Rover 75

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This article is about the 1998–2005 car. For the Rover 75 of 1948–1949, see Rover P3. For the Rover 75 of 1949–1964, see Rover P4.
Rover 75
Rover 75.jpg
Rover 75 Connoisseur SE
Manufacturer Rover
MG Rover
Production 1998–2005
Model years 1999–2005
Assembly Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, United Kingdom
LongbridgeBirmingham, United Kingdom
Designer Richard Woolley
Body and chassis
Class Executive car
Body style 4-door saloon
5-door estate
Platform Rover R40
Related MG 7
Roewe 750
Engine Petrol
1.8 L Rover K-series engine I4
2.0 L Rover K-series engine V6
1.8 L Rover K-series engine I4 Turbo
2.5 L Rover K-series engine V6
4.6 L Ford Modular engine V8
2.0 L BMW M47 I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,746 mm (108.1 in) (saloon, estate)
2,946 mm (116.0 in) (limousine)
Length 4,747 mm (186.9 in) (saloon)
4,791 mm (188.6 in) (estate)
4,950 mm (194.9 in) (limousine)
Width 1,778 mm (70.0 in)
Height 1,424 mm (56.1 in)
Curb weight 1,370–1,600 kg (3,020–3,530 lb)
Predecessor Rover 600
Rover 800
Successor Roewe 750

The Rover 75 is an executive car produced by British automobile manufacturers Rover Group and later by MG Rover, under the Rover marque. The Rover 75 was available with front-wheel drive in either a saloon or estate body style and latterly, in long-wheelbase form and a rear-wheel drive, V8-engined specification. In 2001, an MG-branded version was launched by MG Rover, called the MG ZT.

Rover 75s were built by the Rover Group at Cowley, Oxfordshire, for just a year. After owner BMW divested its interests in Rover, the 75 was built by the new MG Rover Group at their Longbridge site in Birmingham.

The Rover 75 was unveiled to the public at the 1998 Birmingham Motor Show, with deliveries commencing in February 1999. Production of the Rover and later MG badged models ceased on 8 April 2005 when manufacturer MG Rover Group entered administration.


The Rover 75 started life as part of a group of three new designs[1] for the company under the guidance of Richard Woolley; a large saloon codenamed Flagship, a smaller vehicle (with the codename of Eric), and the 75. Of these only the 75 concept progressed. The initial aim was to re-skin the Rover 600[2] but following the BMW takeover it was quickly decided that this platform would not be re-used but replaced by an entirely new model.

Work on the new model, codenamed R40, progressed well with little operational interference from BMW; the styling received an enthusiastic response from the management and both companies believed the classical look would be the ideal direction for Rover. Revolutionary new design processes were adopted, including the 3D virtual reality assembly simulation "ebuild" techniques, ensuring the car would achieve class leading build quality when series production started.

Under the lauded styling was a range of petrol and diesel engines from 1.8- to 2.5-litre sizes. Petrol engines provided were Rover's 4-cylinder K series in 1.8-litre guise and the quad cam KV6, offered in either short-stroke 2.0 or revised 2.5-litre formats. The 2.0-litre was later dropped on introduction of the 1.8-litre turbo for emissions purposes.

Transmissions on all models were either the Getrag 283 5-speed manual, supplied from the company's new facility in Bari, Italy, or the JATCO 5-speed automatic unit—one of the first transverse engine deployments made with this feature.

Braking was in the form of all-round discs, complemented with a Bosch 5.7 4-channel ABS system and electronic brake force distribution. The parking brake was a cable operated drum integral within the rear discs.

Suspension was a MacPherson strut arrangement at the front, anchored by lower alloy L-arms. The wide spacing of the mounting points, compliant bushings and a perimeter subframe gave the model a cushioned yet precise ride with relaxed handling that could be tuned for different markets or model derivatives such as the later MG ZT. The rear suspension, after a period of uncertainty during development, was eventually a version of BMW's Z-Axle arrangement first featured on the 1988 Z1 sports car.

Rover 75, 1.8 Club SE, (1999–2003)

At the time of the launch there had been speculation within the media that the Rover 75 used the BMW 5-Series platform, perhaps due to the overall size of the model, the apparent presence of a transmission tunnel and the use of the parent company's rear suspension system. This was in fact not the case: Rover engineers had used the concept of incorporating a central tunnel which had been explored by BMW as part of their own research into front-wheel-drive chassis design. As the 75 took shape, this core engineering was passed over to Rover and evolved into the Rover 75 structure[citation needed]. The tunnel concept, along with the rear suspension system, was also used by the Rover engineers for the design of the Mini.

Rover 75, rear view
2002MY Rover 75 1.8 Saloon front view

At launch the Rover 75 quickly attracted praise for its styling and design integrity. Some critics of the car labelled its styling too "retro", suggesting it had been designed with an older buyer in mind, and was not sporting enough when compared to the competition[citation needed]. However, the 75 won a series of international awards including various "most beautiful car" awards, including one in Italy.[3][4]

Assembly originally took place at Cowley but in 2000, following the sale of the company by BMW to Phoenix Venture Holdings, production was moved to Longbridge in Birmingham, England.[5] 2001 saw the introduction of the Rover 75 Tourer (developed alongside the saloon but never authorised for production by BMW), swiftly followed by the MG ZT and MG ZT-T, more sporting interpretations of the model, differentiated by modified, sporting chassis settings and colour and trim derivatives[citation needed]. Between 2000 and 2003, there were few changes to the range: the most significant was the replacement of the 2-litre V6 engine by a low-pressure-turbocharged version of the 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine. The introduction of the 'greener' 1.8-litre turbo greatly benefited British company car drivers who are taxed on carbon dioxide emissions. A customisation programme, Monogram, was launched, allowing buyers to order their car in a wider range of exterior paint colours and finishes, different interior trims and with optional extras installed during production[citation needed]. Rather surprisingly, it was offered for sale in Mexico, making it the first Rover to be sold in North America since the Sterling.

From June 2002 a factory-approved dual fuel petrol-liquid petroleum gas conversion was available in the UK on 1.8 and 2.5 litre models. The LPG conversion was an after-market undertaking approved by MG Rover. Developed by EcoGas Systems Ltd and Landi Renzo S.R.L. in conjunction with MG Rover Powertrain Limited, the conversion was ordered from Rover dealerships, the cars retaining the three-year factory warranty. The retail price of the conversion was £2,195, but in an effort to encourage LPG use for transport for ecological reasons the UK Government offered a Powershift Rebate of some 60% of the conversion cost. When running on LPG the Rover 75 suffers only a slight reduction in performance compared to running on petrol; LPG fuel consumption is also slightly higher than when running on petrol but this is more than offset by the greatly reduced cost of the fuel.


Rover released the estate body-style of the 75, called Tourer, in 2001. It was designed to offer Rover customers a greater degree of practicality while retaining the 75's sleek looks and high-class image. The tailgate is fitted with a separate opening rear screen, allowing owners to drop items into the boot, without having to lift up the whole door. Once the door is opened, however, the load space is up to 1,480 mm wide and 2,060 mm long.[6] With the seats up there is a competitive 400 to 680 litres of cargo space, and with the seats folded down (in a 60:40 ratio complete with centre load-through hatch) there is 1,222 litres available, making it more of a 'lifestyle' estate than all-out load lugger.

Vehicle Saloon Estate
Rover 75 432 L 400 L - 1,222 L
Alfa Romeo 156 378 L 360 L - 1,180 L
Audi A4 440 L 390 L - 1,250 L
Jaguar X-Type 452 L 465 L - 1,415 L[7]
Lexus IS 400 L 343 L - 1,000 L
Mercedes-Benz C-Class 430 L 465 L - 1,510 L
SAAB 9-3 425 L 419 L - 1,273 L

To improve practicality further, self-levelling rear suspension and an integral load restraint system were added to the options list for the Tourer. Up to 100 kg can be loaded onto the roof, which is more than rival executive cars of the time,[6] and putting loads into the boot is made easier by the 544 mm sill height. Four hinged chrome lashing eyes are fitted to the floor, and oddment stowage compartments and two recessed hooks are located in the side walls.

Long wheelbase[edit]

A stretched version of the Rover 75—initially called Vanden Plas, then simply Limousine—was introduced in 2002. Developed in conjunction with specialist vehicle builder S. MacNeillie & Son Limited in Walsall, England, the model was stretched by 200 mm in the rear floor pan, with longer rear doors. The extra length, and the fitment of the new premium grille were the only visual clues to the changes made. Available only in Connoisseur specification, production moved to Longbridge after an initial short run by the coach-building partner.

The 75 has been one of the most popular ministerial cars in the British Government. Various ministers were driven around in Rover 75s and Tony Blair had access to a 75 Limousine while he was in power, but was never seen in it.[8] However Alistair Darling was seen in a 'Premium Grille' Rover 75 which could be the 75 Limousine in question.

Rover V8[edit]

Rover announced the new V8 model at the Geneva Motor Show also in 2002. This was the second iteration of the modified rear-wheel-drive platform developed by MG Rover and already receiving plaudits from the media. The car also boasted a new grille stretching down from the bonnet shut-line to the bottom lip of the bumper—a style that had also just appeared on Audi's A6, which was not lost on the press.

The Rover 75 V8 was created as a means of proving MG Rover's engineering expertise and to attract a development partner to the company. The car was extensively re-engineered to accommodate Ford's Modular V8 in 4.6 litre capacity, driving the rear wheels to give a car with much higher performance, taking advantage of the stiffening tunnel in the body structure.[9] These cars were built on the standard production line, and then removed to allow the necessary structural modifications to be carried out. The cars were then returned to the trimming lines for completion. Just under 900 were produced in both saloon and Tourer body styles, carrying either Rover 75 or MG ZT trim. The cars had numerous differences to the standard versions, drive train notwithstanding, with non standard heating and ventilation, and brakes and suspension capable of dealing with the extra power[citation needed]. Externally, there is little to indicate what is under the bonnet, other than quad exhaust pipes and a couple of subtle badges, although a large 'premium' grille was fitted to some cars following the 2004 facelift.

A heavily modified MG ZT-T V8, known as the X-15 broke the speed record for a non-production estate car on Bonneville Salt Flats in September 2003, achieving 225.609 mph (363.082 km/h). The engine was bored out to 6 litres producing 765 bhp (570 kW; 776 PS), but remained normally aspirated.[citation needed]



In early 2004 Rover facelifted the design of the 75 to look less retro and more European. Changes were restricted to bolt-on components and some technical upgrades. At the front was a new, more angular bumper fitted with a mesh lower grille, bigger door mirrors, one-piece headlights with halogen projectors fitted as standard, revamped front and side indicators and fog lights as well as a larger yet sleeker chrome grille on top. The rear also featured a more modern bumper with a new chrome boot handle.[10]


Dashboard pre-facelift

Middle-specification Club trim was dropped, and on Connoisseur trim light oak wood took the place of the original walnut, which remained standard fitment on the entry-level Classic trim. Rover also added a new trim to the range called Contemporary which featured revised fittings such as larger alloy wheels, body colour exterior accents, black oak wood trim and sports seats as well as an altered equipment tally. The instrumentation and its back-lighting were modernised, the console texture finish was upgraded and the seat bolsters revised to offer more support. Access to the rear seats was improved and leg-room increased.[11]


Under the skin the steering feel was improved with the sportier ratio from the MG ZT taking place of the Mark I Rover 75's more relaxed set-up. The suspension was reworked to allow more travel and soften the ride while improving the responsiveness, giving the updated 75 sharper handling.[11]


Initial sales of the Rover 75 failed to match the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4 in the British car sales charts during 1999. The public unveiling of the car at the Birmingham Motor Show was unfortunately over-shadowed by a speech by BMW chairman, Bernd Pischetsrieder, containing criticism of the British Government's attitude to financial assistance in the redevelopment of the Rover Longbridge factory (where the new Mini and R30 was to have been produced).[12] Press reaction interpreted this as saying that BMW were unhappy with continuing financial losses and were intending to close Rover down. This undoubtedly scared off many prospective buyers, despite the very positive reaction to the car itself. Indeed it did (and still does) hold up very well with the Jaguar S-Type that was unveiled at the same show.

Sales picked up substantially during 2000, and it was Britain's fifth most popular new car in the month of April of that year. It was still selling reasonably well at the time of MG Rover's bankruptcy in April 2005, and a small number of unsold 75s were still in stock as of early 2007, as Nanjing Automobile was preparing to re-open Longbridge.

Based on the combination of safety, performance and maintainability, the Rover 75 was found in 2011 to be the cheapest car to insure in the United Kingdom across all age groups.[13] Based on fuel efficiency and lower taxes, the Rover 75 was found in 2011 to be the most cost effective diesel in its class.[14]

The cars are still popular and actively supported by an active and growing Owners Club[15]

Appearances in popular culture[edit]

The Rover 75 was a familiar sight to Midsomer Murders viewers, with four versions featured from 1999 until 2005: three first generations and a second generation, all with high specification and painted dark colours.

A Mark I also appeared numerous times in the BBC television series Dalziel and Pascoe. Two were in Wedgewood Blue and one in Starlight Silver.

2004 French film thriller Feux Rouges (Red Lights) featured a Mark I Rover 75 1.8T extensively as the main character's vehicle.[16]

In 2005 a Rover 75 Mark 2 featured in V for Vendetta as a rapid response police car.[17]

Rover's 75 is extensively featured as police cars in films and television series, in both saloon and estate bodystyles, including The Inspector Lynley Mysteries,[18] Rebus,[19] 55 Degrees North,[20] Blue Murder,[21] Rosemary & Thyme,[22] The Day Britain Stopped,[23] Ultimate Force,[24] New Tricks,[25] Murphy's Law[26] and Silent Witness.[27] and in the opening episode of Life on Mars[28]


Year Production
1999 53,581
2000 31,545
2001 33,883
2002 32,123
2003 30,449
2004 24,156
2005 5,439
Total 211,175

Flexible electronics design[edit]

The BMW electronics based Rover 75[citation needed] incorporates the entire in-car entertainment system (radio function, navigation system, television and telecommunications systems) and is based on a very flexible automotive computer system from BMW.[29] As a result the Rover 75 can be easily upgraded with the newest BMW technologies including BMW's Bluetooth system, the DVD based navigation system, and widescreen displays, as well as BMW's CD changers which play MP3s.[30]

Engine specifications[edit]

The Rover 75 (and MG ZT derivative) were powered by a combination of Rover's own petrol and LPG K-Series and KV6 engines as well as Ford's Modular V8 and BMW's M47 diesel engine. The latter was designated M47R to identify the unit as a Rover special, having been modified by Rover's engineers for transverse installation, with performance and refinement characteristics unique to Rover.[31]

Petrol engines
Years Made By Model Engine Power Torque Top Speed 0-62
1998–2005 Rover 1.8 Manual 1,798 cc - L4 - NA 120 PS (88 kW) 160 N·m (120 lb·ft) 121 mph (195 km/h) 10.9 s 36.2 mpg-imp (7.8 l/100 km)
1998–2005 Rover 1.8 Automatic 1,798 cc - L4 - NA 120 PS (88 kW) 160 N·m (120 lb·ft) 118 mph (190 km/h) 12.3 s 30.1 mpg-imp (9.4 l/100 km)
1998–2002 Rover 2.0 V6 Manual 1,998 cc - V6 - NA 150 PS (110 kW) 185 N·m (136 lb·ft) 130 mph (210 km/h) 9.6 s 30.1 mpg-imp (9.4 l/100 km)
1998–2002 Rover 2.0 V6 Automatic 1,998 cc - V6 - NA 150 PS (110 kW) 185 N·m (136 lb·ft) 127 mph (204 km/h) 10.8 s 27.5 mpg-imp (10.3 l/100 km)
2002-2005 Rover 1.8 T Manual 1,798 cc - L4 - TC 150 PS (110 kW) 215 N·m (159 lb·ft) 130 mph (210 km/h) 9.1 s 36.3 mpg-imp (7.8 l/100 km)
2002-2005 Rover 1.8 T Automatic 1,798 cc - L4 - TC 150 PS (110 kW) 215 N·m (159 lb·ft) 127 mph (204 km/h) 9.7 s 31.7 mpg-imp (8.9 l/100 km)
1998–2005 Rover 2.5 V6 Manual 2,498 cc - V6 - NA 177 PS (130 kW) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) 140 mph (230 km/h) 8.2 s 29.4 mpg-imp (9.6 l/100 km)
1998–2005 Rover 2.5 V6 Automatic 2,498 cc - V6 - NA 177 PS (130 kW) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) 134 mph (216 km/h) 8.9 s 26.9 mpg-imp (10.5 l/100 km)
2002–2005 Rover 2.5 V6 Automatic LWB 2,498 cc - V6 - NA 177 PS (130 kW) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) 134 mph (216 km/h) 9.9 s 26.6 mpg-imp (10.6 l/100 km)
2003–2005 Ford 4.6 V8 Manual 4,601 cc - V8 - NA 260 PS (190 kW) 410 N·m (300 lb·ft) 155 mph (249 km/h) 6.2 s 23.1 mpg-imp (12.2 l/100 km)
2003–2005 Ford 4.6 V8 Automatic 4,601 cc - V8 - NA 260 PS (190 kW) 410 N·m (300 lb·ft) 151 mph (243 km/h) 7.0 s 22.1 mpg-imp (12.8 l/100 km)
LPG engines
Years Made By Model Engine Power Torque Top Speed 0-62
2002–2005 Rover 2.5 V6 LPG Automatic 2,498 cc - V6 - NA 177 PS (130 kW) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) 134 mph (216 km/h) 8.9 s 21.3 mpg-imp (13.3 l/100 km)
2002–2005 Rover 2.5 V6 LPG Automatic 2,498 cc - V6 - NA 177 PS (130 kW) 240 N·m (180 lb·ft) 134 mph (216 km/h) 9.9 s 21.3 mpg-imp (13.3 l/100 km)
Diesel engines
Years Made By Model Engine Power Torque Top Speed 0-62
1998–2005 BMW 2.0 CDT Manual 1,951 cc - L4 - TC 116 PS (85 kW) 260 N·m (190 lb·ft) 120 mph (190 km/h) 11.0 s 51.4 mpg-imp (5.50 l/100 km)
1998–2005 BMW 2.0 CDT Automatic 1,951 cc - L4 - TC 116 PS (85 kW) 260 N·m (190 lb·ft) 118 mph (190 km/h) 12.2 s 40.9 mpg-imp (6.91 l/100 km)
1999–2005 BMW 2.0 CDTi Manual 1,951 cc - L4 - TC 131 PS (96 kW) 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) 121 mph (195 km/h) 10.0 s 50.0 mpg-imp (5.65 l/100 km)
1999–2005 BMW 2.0 CDTi Automatic 1,951 cc - L4 - TC 131 PS (96 kW) 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) 118 mph (190 km/h) 10.6 s 40.9 mpg-imp (6.91 l/100 km)
1999–2005 BMW 2.0 CDTi Automatic LWB 1,951 cc - L4 - TC 131 PS (96 kW) 300 N·m (220 lb·ft) 118 mph (190 km/h) 11.8 s 40.9 mpg-imp (6.91 l/100 km)

Environmental impact[edit]

The Rover 75 compared favourably against contemporary rivals in terms of emissions. Each of the Rover 75's engines were analysed and given a score between 0 (cleanest) to 100 (dirtiest).[32]

Rover Vehicle CO2 Score Rival Vehicle CO2 Score
Petrol engines
Rover 75 1.8 184 g/km 50[33] Alfa Romeo 156 1.6 T.S.
Volkswagen Passat 2.0
195 g/km
206 g/km
Rover 75 1.8 Automatic 224 g/km 60[36] Mitsubishi Galant 2.0 Automatic
Subaru Legacy 2.0 Automatic
224 g/km
224 g/km
Rover 75 2.0 V6 225 g/km 61[39] Lexus IS 200
Subaru Legacy 2.5
233 g/km
230 g/km
Rover 75 2.0 V6 Automatic 245 g/km 65[42] Mercedes-Benz C240 V6 TouchShift 256 g/km 68[43]
Rover 75 1.8 T 193 g/km 52[44] Honda Accord 2.0i VTEC
Peugeot 406 2.2
209 g/km
210 g/km
Rover 75 1.8 T Automatic 214 g/km 59[47] BMW 318i Automatic
SAAB 9-3 1.8T Automatic
220 g/km
221 g/km
Rover 75 2.5 V6 225 g/km 61[50] Mitsubishi Galant 2.5 V6
Vauxhall Vectra 2.6i V6 24v
227 g/km
236 g/km
Rover 75 2.5 V6 Automatic 249 g/km 66[53] Ford Mondeo 2.5i V6 Automatic
Mazda Xedos 9 2.5 Automatic
253 g/km
258 g/km
Rover 75 4.6 V8 314 g/km 81[56] Volkswagen Passat 4.0 W8 4MOTION 317 g/km 84[57]
Rover 75 4.6 V8 Automatic 319 g/km 83[58] Volkswagen Passat 4.0 W8 4MOTION Tiptronic 312 g/km 83[59]
LPG engines
Rover 75 2.5 V6 LPG Automatic 214 g/km 51[60] Volvo S60 2.4 Bi-Fuel LPG Geartronic 227 g/km 61[61]
Diesel engines
Rover 75 2.0 CDT 116 163 g/km 59[62] Peugeot 406 2.0 HDi 90
SAAB 9-3 2.2 TiD
150 g/km
164 g/km
Rover 75 2.0 CDT 116 Automatic 190 g/km 69[65] Audi A4 1.9 TDI PD 115 Tiptronic 184 g/km 71[66]
Rover 75 2.0 CDTi 131 163 g/km 59[62] Audi A4 1.9 TDI PD 130 Quattro
Mercedes-Benz C220 CDI
175 g/km
Rover 75 2.0 CDTi 131 Automatic 190 g/km 69[65] Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi 130 Automatic
Vauxhall Vectra 2.2 DTi 16v Automatic
203 g/km
208 g/km


The Rover 75 was designed with reinforced footwells, underfloor box beams, side impact bars and a "ring of steel" around each door opening to prevent jamming in case of an impact.[71] Driver and front passenger head and side airbags are fitted as standard, with side head "windowbags" available as an option until 2005 when they became standard equipment. If the window airbags had been standard equipment at the time of its Euro NCAP crash test in 2001, it would have scored the full five stars for the adult occupant impact rating.[72] Also fitted are disc brakes all round, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) with a traction control system (TCS) available as an option on 2.0 engines and above.[73] On models fitted with Rover's Hi-Line infotainment system, a speed warning indicator was also included. Additionally, electronic stability control (ESC) was due to be made standard fitment on the 75 from the 2006 model year onwards.[74]

The 75 underwent Euro NCAP and ANCAP car safety tests in 2001 and proved itself to be one of the safest cars in its class. It scored more points overall than the Audi A4,[75] BMW 3-Series,[76] Citroen Xantia,[77] Ford Mondeo,[78] Honda Accord,[79] Hyundai Sonata,[80] Jaguar X-Type,[81] Mazda 6,[82] Mercedes-Benz C-Class,[83]Nissan Primera,[84] SAAB 9-3,[85] Opel/Vauxhall Vectra,[86] Peugeot 406,[87] Toyota Avensis,[88] Volkswagen Passat[89] and Volvo S60[90] which were all on sale during the Rover 75's lifetime. The Rover 75 achieved the following ratings:

Euro NCAP 2001 75[91] Points Rating
Adult Occupant: 30 out of 36 4/5 stars
Pedestrian Impact: 13 out of 36 2/4 stars
ANCAP 2005 75[92] Points Rating
Overall Score: 29.78 out of 35 4/5 stars
Offset Impact: 13.78 out of 16
Side Impact: 16.00 out of 16
Bonus Points: 0.00 out of 3

All seats have anti-submarine ramps and three-point inertia reel seat belts with pre-tensioners,[93] while the front seats get additional load limiters and automatic belt height adjustment as standard. In certain markets a seat belt reminder for the driver was fitted. Each seat has an adjustable head restraint with the front ones pivoting on SE models. Thatcham's NCWR organisation (New Car Whiplash Ratings) tested the Rover 75 and awarded it the following scores:

NCWR[94] Score
Geometric: G
Dynamic: M
Overall: M

G = Good A = Acceptable M = Marginal P = Poor


A perimetric (and optional volumetric) alarm, engine immobiliser and remote-control central locking with deadbolts are standard equipment on the 75. Alloy wheels are fitted with locking wheel nuts. Automatic locking when driving off is standard, but can be disabled by a dealer. On the inside is a master locking switch and the boot can only be opened by remote control or an interior button.[71] A battery back-up sounder and tracking device called Trackstar were available as options.[73]

The 75 was tested by Thatcham's New Vehicle Security Ratings (NVSR) organisation and achieved the following ratings:[95]

Saloon Rating
Theft of car: 4/5 stars
Theft from car: 3/5 stars
Tourer Rating
Theft of car: 4/5 stars
Theft from car: 2/5 stars


The first production Rover 75 model, a V6 Connoisseur, 1998
Facelifted 2004–05 Rover 75
The last production Rover 75 model, a CDTi Connoisseur, 2005

1998 – 2003 (Mark I)

  • Classic
  • Classic SE
  • Club
  • Club SE
  • Connoisseur
  • Connoisseur SE
  • Vanden Plas (LWB model)
  • V6 Connoisseur
  • Coupé Connoisseur
  • Limousine

2004 – 2005 (Mark II)

  • Classic
  • Connoisseur
  • Connoisseur SE
  • Contemporary
  • Contemporary SE
  • Limousine (LWB model)
  • V6 Connoisseur
  • Coupé Connoisseur
  • V8 Connoisseur
  • Coupé Cabriolet

2006 – on (Roewe 750)

  • 1.8 Turbo Base (18K4G, modified Rover K-Series)
  • 1.8 Turbo High-Line (18K4G, modified Rover K-Series)
  • 2.5 Base (25K4F, modified Rover KV6)
  • 2.5 High-Line (25K4F, modified Rover KV6)


  • Auto Trader 4/5 stars[96]
    'The 75's biggest problem was its image; potential buyers just assumed it was hopelessly outclassed by rivals. Nothing could be further from the truth though, as the car could compete on equal terms with some prestigious adversaries'
  • Honest John 4/5 stars[97]
    Positives: A fine looking car from all angles. Destined to become a classic
    Negatives: Let down by cooling system problems on all K-Series engines, particularly the 1.8
  • Parker's 4/5 stars[98]
    Pros: Rover refinement and heritage. Handsome looks and a charming, comfortable interior.
    Cons: Mid-range Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz [rivals].
  • RAC 3.5/5 stars[99]
    'The Rover 75 Tourer is one of those rare ... cars that retains a genuine sense of occasion whenever you get behind the wheel. The retro clocks and the buttoned down rectitude of the detailing all contributes to a huge feel good factor.'
  • Verdict On Cars 4/5 stars[100]
    'Recommended. The standard 75 has an elegance missing from German executive car rivals, with wood and leather harking back to a bygone age. The Tourer estate models are, surprisingly, even prettier and very practical indeed.'
  • What Car? 3/5 stars[101]
    For - It's excellent over long distances and smooths out bumps like a luxury car. It's cheap, well equipped and practical, and comes with olde-worlde charm.
    Against - The rear seats are cramped and you get a much sharper drive from its German rivals.
  • Which? 3.3/5 stars[102]
    For: rock-bottom prices | strong diesel engine | lots of equipment | comfortable
    Against: patchy reliability | hefty depreciation | no dealer network | limited warranty
  • Wise Buyer's 4/5 stars[103]
    'The elegant 75 showed that Rover ... could build a quality executive car that's refined, reliable, good to drive [with] real presence.'

Awards and accolades[edit]

A Rover 75 used as an ambulance


  • What Car? – 'Car of the Year'[104]
  • What Car? – 'Compact Executive Car of the Year'
  • What Car? – 'Diesel Car of the Year'
  • Auto Express – 'World Car'
  • Journal/AA – 'Business Car of the Year'[105]
  • Italy - 'World's Most Beautiful High Class Saloon'[105]
  • Bild am Sonntag – 'Golden Steering Wheel Award'[105]
  • The Society of Plastic Engineers – Innovative Use Of Plastic[105]
  • British International Motor ShowBest Riding And Handling FWD Saloon In The World
  • Japan – 'Import Car of the Year' (1999–2000)[106]
  • Middle East Wheels & Gears – 'Car of the Year'


  • Middle East Wheels & Gears – 'Car of the Year'
  • New Zealand's National Business Review – 'Car of the Year'
  • Executive Class – 'Portuguese Car of the Year'
  • What Car? – 'Compact Executive Car of the Year'
  • 2000 'European Car of the Year' Awards: Only Executive Car Short Listed
  • Used Car Buyer – 'Used Car of the Year'


  • Used Car Buyer – 'Used Car of the Year'
  • Diesel Car Magazine – 'Compact Executive Car'
  • JD Power Survey – Only European Car In The Top 5


  • Auto Express Used Car Honours – 'Best Diesel Car'
  • Used Car Buyer – 'Best Used Medium Car'
  • ITM – 'Car of the Year'[107]
  • Australian Institute of Transport Management – 'Car of the Year'


  • Used Car Buyer – 'Used Car of the Year'
  • Used Car Buyer – 'Best Used Family Car of the Year'
  • Most Popular British Armed Forces Tax Free Car Purchase


  • Auto Express Driver Power – 'Best Ride Quality' (1st)



  • Auto Express Driver Power – 'Best Ride Quality' (2nd)[108]


  • Auto Express Driver Power – 'Best Ride Quality' (1st)[109]

Chinese production[edit]

Production of the Rover 75 and MG ZT ended when MG Rover Group went into administration in April 2005. The Rover 75 design was purchased by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in early 2005, although the new MG Rover Group owner, Nanjing Automobile (Group) Corporation (NAC) acquired the tooling for the car. Both companies launched revised versions of the 75/ZT in China. SAIC's model was named the Roewe 750 (following the purchase of the Rover brand by Ford, the Roewe marque was created by SAIC for use worldwide) and NAC's the MG 7.

The Roewe brand and Roewe 750 were launched at the Beijing Motor Show in November 2006. The 750 is based on the long-wheelbase 75 platform, and engineering was completed by Ricardo 2010.[110]

The MG 7 was launched in March 2007.[111] NAC also introduced a long-wheelbase version of the MG 7, called the MG 7L.[112]


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External links[edit]

Media related to Rover 75 at Wikimedia Commons