Rover CityRover

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Rover CityRover
2004 Rover CityRover.jpg
ManufacturerRover Group / MG Rover
AssemblyPune, Maharashtra, India
DesignerI.DE.A Institute[1]
Body and chassis
Body style5-door hatchback
LayoutFront-engine, front-wheel-drive
RelatedTata Indica
Tata Indigo
Engine1.4 L I4 (petrol)
Transmission5-speed manual
Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length3,703 mm (145.8 in)
Width1,924 mm (75.7 in)
Height1,500 mm (59.1 in)
Kerb weight1,040 kg (2,293 lb)
PredecessorRover Metro
SuccessorMG 3

The Rover CityRover is a supermini car that was marketed by the former British manufacturer MG Rover under the Rover marque, between 2003 and 2005. Launched in the autumn of 2003, the car was a rebadged version of the Indian developed Tata Indica.[2] Its performance was considered poor for a small car in contemporary road tests, and its lack of quality, poor road handling and high price were not well received.[3]

Production of the CityRover ceased in April 2005, along with the rest of the MG Rover range, when the company fell into administration.[4]

Technical details[edit]

The CityRover was offered with only one engine: a Peugeot derived 1,405 cc (1.4 L) four cylinder, eight valve engine producing 85 bhp (63 kW; 86 PS) and 88 lb⋅ft (119 N⋅m).[5] It could accelerate to 60 mph in 11.9 seconds and had a top speed of 100 mph (160.9 km/h).[6] It could manage up to 46.6 mpg.

The CityRover was manufactured by Tata Motors, at their factory in Pune, India.[7] Alterations for the British market included new bumpers, Rover badge grille, 14" wheels, and new suspension settings.[8]


The high driving position and large glass area affords drivers with good all round visibility, while the rear lamps are mounted high up on the structure so other road users can see them more prominently. Doors were fitted with anti intrusion bars, with child locks at the rear.

The steering column is collapsible and a driver airbag is fitted as standard to all models, with a passenger airbag standard on the top trim level, and available as an option on the entry the mid range trims. All seats have anti submarine ramps and three point seatbelts, with the front getting belt pre tensioners and height adjustable head restraints. ABS is included on style models.[9]


2004 Rover CityRover (United Kingdom)

MG Rover was reported to be paying Tata £3,000 for each car and, with each model featuring a Rover corporate nose and revised suspension settings, the buying public was not impressed by the £6,495 starting price.[10]

In May 2004, Rover refused to lend a CityRover to motoring show Top Gear to test it. In order to answer the question of "just how bad could it be?" James May went undercover and test drove one at a dealer while carrying a hidden camera. May went on to say, "that is the worst car I have driven on this programme".[10]

Sales were well short of MG Rover's targets, so the CityRover was given an upgrade for the model year of 2005, with more standard equipment. In December 2004, prices were reduced by £900, confirming that the car's previous prices had not been competitive.[11]

According to car reviewer Parker's, the CityRover was the worst rated Rover car from MG Rover, with a rating of two out of five.[12] In October 2013, Top Gear Magazine placed the CityRover as number two behind the Perodua Kelisa on its list of "The thirteen worst cars of the last twenty years."[13]


The upgraded 2005 version was chosen to be used as the reconnaissance vehicle for the 2007 Himalayan Challenge Endurance Rally. With only minor modifications, the car was driven over the 7,000-mile (11,000 km) planned route from London to Delhi, by students from the University of Southampton, Chris Cardwell and Nick Clarke, without any major problems, including crossing significant distances of desert, and a number of mountain ranges.

The reasons given by the event organisers for the choice of vehicle were that it is "the cheapest brand new car you can drive in Britain", and to prove that the route could be driven in an ordinary small car, without the need for a large four wheel drive vehicle.

Following completion of the race, the car was shipped back to the United Kingdom and sold to a prospective competitor, with the intention of using it on the event in September 2007.


  1. ^ Aucock, Richard. "On test: Rover CityRover". MSN Motors. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Cheetham, Craig (December 2003). "Auto Express". CityRover Sprite 1.4i. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ "Rover CityRover 1.4 Style review - living". Autocar. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ "CityRover (2003 - 2005) used car review". 28 October 2005. Retrieved 18 April 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "Rover CityRover 1.4 Style review". Autocar. 27 January 2004. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Rover CityRover 1.4 Solo 5d – Facts and Figures". Parkers. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "Tata Motors rolls out first CityRover". The Hindu Business Line. 16 September 2003. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Hudson, Paul (3 January 2004). "Relax, it's a Rover". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "City Rover Goes on Sale from £6,495". Honest John.
  10. ^ a b Marriage of convenience? Archived 19 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine Austin Rover Online
  11. ^ "Rover to cut CityRover prices - What Car?". 21 December 2004. Archived from the original on 26 May 2005. Retrieved 10 May 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Parkers car reviews - Rover
  13. ^ "The 13 Worst Cars of the Last 20 Years". Top Gear magazine. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 12 October 2014. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]