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CityRover (2003 - 2005)

GOING FOR AN INDIAN (some text hidden)

BY ANDY ENRIGHT

Introductionword count: 93

Although not without its merits, it's doubtful that Rover's tie up with TATA cars of India will be remembered as a high point in the firm's corporate history. The car that was spawned, dubbed the CityRover, was a quick and inexpensive way for the company to access the city car market and would have had quite some appeal were it not for some rather optimistic pricing from new. Given that buying used will nix that quibble about value, does the CityRover make a better used purchase than a new one? Find out here.

Modelsword count: 10

Models Covered: (5 dr hatchback 1.4 [Solo, Select, Sprite, Style])

Historyword count: 165

It's common knowledge that MG Rover don't have the motoring industry's largest new product development budget and much of their product planning centres around modifying existing products to appeal to new market niches. The CityRover is different. Built by TATA in India, the CityRover is based on their Indica city car, but has been given a thorough makeover by MG Rover to appeal to European palates. Four models were available from launch, all based around the same 1.4-litre 83bhp engine. First up was the Solo, followed in order of plushness by the Select, the Sprite and finally the Style. This top of the range version was saddled with a price tag of £8,895 upon introduction. If MG Rover could have carved around £1,000 from the prices of each model, the CityRover may well have shifted the numbers they were initially looking for. As it stands, a CityRover will remain a rare sight on British roads. Production ended with the end of MG Rover in 2005.

What You Getword count: 222

The interior isn't especially beautiful, but Rover have specified decent quality seating trims, while the full leather option on the range-topping Style variant is an unexpected touch. The lowest priced Solo variant is a little sparse but features a driver's airbag, front seat belt pretensioners, a radio/cassette with four speakers, tinted glass and remote releases for the tailgate and fuel filler. Pay a little more and you get the Sprite model which features alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel and gearknob, front fog lamps and a rear spoiler which together give it a pleasantly dynamic look and feel. A more luxury bias is evident on the Select version, which incorporates front and rear electric windows and air conditioning. Both Sprite and Select are fitted as standard with power steering, remote central locking, a rev counter and a CD-based stereo. The plush Style version features all of this as well as anti-lock brakes and a passenger airbag. Paint choices include two vibrant solid colours and eight optional metallic hues. There's no getting away from the fact that trim quality and finish isn't what you'd expect from a European car and all models seem to be infused with a heady petrochemical smell that will require an industrial strength air freshener to dispel. That said, the materials used look rugged and easy to clean.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Small Runabouts

Performance
80%
Handling
60%
Comfort
40%
Space
60%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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