The Rover 213SE
I HAVE been trying the new so-called Rover, in 2I3SE form. Remembering the old Rover 2000TC and 3500 see-eight I used to drive, I confess to disappointment that this Honda-based Austin-Rover confection should carry the prestigious Rover badge. What has become of Spencer King’, engineering prowess — the sophisticated de Dion rear-end and front suspension that fed stresses into the chassis bulkhead, of the former Rover 2000s and later, when all this was professed too costly, that designer’s tise
of the light-alloy Buick Oldsmobile eight-pot power pack in a new frame, the more simple suspen.iion of which gave remarkably good road-holding? All right, the big Rovers are still made. The new 200-series are likened to the Rover Ten of old — unfortunately the Ten was not originally a very good car! Forget all this and I concede that the Rover 213SE is excellent transport. You get the smooth Honda five-speed gearbox (with perhaps a trifle too much movement for instant changes out of fourth into top), the modern ability to run mostly in that fifth, 70 mph at around 3,000 rpm, gear, a big, high-shouldered boot,
seats that are a bit too straight-squabbed for full comfort, and a ride choppy on main roads, deteriorating over rougher going. The engine and gear-train noise is not loud, but can be troublesome on this FWD Rovonda. Sin a character-lacking car, but as I said of the MG Montego, can be fairly called very competent — as transport. It gives the usual extremely good mpg of
today’s cars —37.4 mpg ot two-star overall, with a 10-gallon tank — but being of only 1,342 cc, has to be rowed along a bit with the gear-lever, when it can be made to perform briskly. I would have liked more stowage space for the smiler oddments, but the doors shut like a Royce’s should. A decent car, for £6,146, if you can forget past Rover accomplishments. — W.B.