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SAGA TOUR GUIDE (some text hidden)
BY ANDY ENRIGHT
Introductionword count: 106
There are some cars that have a definite element of rightness about them of which the Rover 75 Tourer is one. Despite being launched a full two years after the 75 saloon, the 75's inherent genteel clubbiness seems to work even better as an estate than as a saloon. Produced during the most turbulent period in Rover's history - just as BMW were working out how to pull the plug - you'd be justified in expecting the 75's abilities to mirror the organisational fiasco that overwhelmed Rover, you'd be quite wrong. As a used proposition, the 75 Tourer offers surprisingly affordable and wonderfully 'officer class' motoring.
Modelsword count: 18
Models Covered: (5 door Tourer 1.8, 1.8T, 2.0, 2.5 petrol 2.0 diesel [Classic (SE), Connoisseur (SE), Club (SE)])
Historyword count: 184
The 75 saloon was already making respectable sales for Rover by the time the Tourer estate version was launched in summer 2001. In broadening the appeal of the 75 marque alongside the sportier MG ZT versions, the 75 Tourer did its bit to spread the news that here was a car with the best bits of BMW and Rover in one package. Sales have been steady, if unspectacular, in the meantime but there's no shortage of models to choose from. At launch there was a choice of a 118bhp 1.8, a 148bhp 2.0-litre V6 or a 175bhp 2.5-litre petrol as well as a 114bhp 2.0-litre turbo diesel. The engine choices were altered in late 2002 when the slow-selling 2.0-litre V6 was replaced by a more tax-friendly 150bhp turbocharged version of the 1.8-litre 'four'. Another diesel option was also made available, still based on the 2.0-litre CDT engine, but this time with power stepped up to 129bhp. Dubbed the CDTi, this engine was instantly popular. The last knockings for the 75 Tourer were played out in 2005 as MG Rover went to meet its maker.
What You Getword count: 418
Like the four-door version, the 75 Tourer looks a class bigger than it really is - which gives the car some driveway stature over rivals like BMW's 3 Series Touring, the Mercedes C-class estate and Alfa Romeo's 156 Sportwagon. It should even swallow a little more luggage, thanks to boxy dimensions that disguise a slightly smaller 1222-litre capacity with the seats folded down. Don't go expecting to transport a grandfather clock mind you: there's only 45mm of extra rear overhang which means that the loadbay is restricted to 2060mm in length. Those who really need the space will prefer a big Volvo estate - which is probably why self-levelling suspension costs extra. No Volvo estate ever looked as good as this however - or made such good use of the space available. The tailgate houses a separately-opening rear window, so that you can get at small items - say a sportsbag - without actually having to lift the whole of the rear hatch. The tailgate also houses the emergency triangle so that you can get at it easily should you break down fully loaded (why has no one else thought of that?). Another nice touch should disaster strike is the illumination of a spare wheel compartment, the cover for which rises up and supports itself on a gas strut. Lovely little touches are everywhere - chrome lashing eyes, retractable 'curry hooks' and a really rather clever (though sadly optional) combined luggage cover/restraint net which you can move forward when you have the rear seats folded. The newly designed 60/40 spliit-folding seats can be dropped with one hand and there are a variety of useful storage cubby holes around the estate compartment for storing valuables built into the sides and the underfloor. If you choose not to drop the rear seats, there's 400 litres of loadspace - or 680 litres if you remove the standard retractable loadspace cover and fill the car up to the roof. Black roofrails are fitted to all models, as is a nice feature that engages the rear wash/wipe whenever you select reverse in the rain. There are also bigger windows for back seat passengers that let in more light and free up more headroom. Only a retractable load bay floor which slides out proud of the rear of the car to get luggage out and for tailgate picnics is missing. This may be because BMW (who originally developed this car) wanted to restrict use of this feature to their own 5 Series Touring estate.
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Category: Spacious Family Cars
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