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A Grand Monday: Rover 416 GSi

Published 28 January 2019

Believe it or not, the Rover 200/400 ‘R8’ turns 30 this year. As the most successful product of the Rover/Honda partnership, the R8 was also one of the UK’s best-selling cars until its untimely demise (Coupe, Cabrio and Tourer excepted) in 1995, after just six years on sale. 

The fact that you still see the odd 200 or 400 knocking around in daily use is testimony to the build quality of what was arguably Rover’s best-ever car (the 75 was probably better in a contemporary context, but the R8 is certainly more durable), and with interest in the model expected to pick up throughout 2019, we can’t help but think that this week’s star of the small adsis a bit of a bargain.

Rover 416 GSi R8 (2)

Yes, £995 is decent money for a 400, but with just 18,000 miles on the clock, in range-topping 416 GSi spec and with the Honda D-Series engine, this one is worth every single penny. The best thing about these R8s isn’t just the value for money they offer, but also the way in which they drive - ignore the unashamedly turn-of-the-Nineties styling, and you have a car that will mix it all day long with modern traffic, and in 1.6-litre manual form, with a decent turn of pace as well. 

It surely can’t be long before these cars really catch on, so snap one up while they’re still great value for money. 

Rover 416 GSi R8 (3) (2)


   on 8 November 2021

My father bought a grey 416 GSi with the Honda D16Z2 engine, back in September 1992 and we still have this car in our garage, amongst newer ones. Why?.. It is the definition of reliability not only in terms of the engine, but also in terms of electric / mechanical components that all work flawlessly after almost 30 years. It curently has a total mileage of 327.000 km, mainly done in city traffic, but also on long summer journeys in distant places and everything works 100% perfect like day 1.

I am also amazed by the quality of the rubber seal strips on the doors and the sunroof, because after all those years they are still 100% water proof! And here in Greece there is always a lot of sunny days and during the summer, temperature reaches 36-38 degrees celsius, that usually kills any car rubber part over the years. But not in this case. The 416 GSi does not have any plastic or rubber problems at all. I am really impressed with this..

I also use it today as a daily car, it is very practical to drive, it has a very smooth and comfy ride, the front / rear / side visibility is great, very nice steering and gear shifter feeling and inside the cabin you have leather seats, wood panels in the dashboard and doors, electric windows / mirrors / sunroof, A/C and high quality trim levels, that make this car a joy to use everyday in traffic and also for rural journeys. Future classic in my opinion, as these days at least here in Greece, it is getting noticed more and more, as a vintage and rare car of a brand that it is long gone.

I really appreciate and love this car, for what it stands today in 2021 and offers, as we live in an era with modern cars with tons of technology and innovations, but reliability hits rock bottom. Even premium car brands cannot offer a car that gives you peace of mind in terms of short and long term reliability. And as I get older year by year, I tend to appreciate more peace of mind. So for me the 416 GSi is a gem. Hats off to this fantastic car that for 30 years (and still counting) transported my family safely without any mechanical problem at all. Massive respect.

P.S. I really love also the fact that our old and humble saloon car has lend its rear lights to the iconic Jaguar XJ220.

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