Rover 213 and 216 (1984 – 1990) Review

Rover 213 and 216 (1984 – 1990) At A Glance


+Sweet Honda engines, easy to drive, good visibility, an air of class and refinement, Vitesse surprisingly rapid

-Rust, very low survival rate

Following on from the highly successful Triumph Acclaim, Austin Rover decided that its next joint venture with Honda should wear the Viking longship. For most people, this was a culture shock, considering that the Rover name had traditionally been the preserve of large cars. So when the Honda Ballade-based 213 hit the market in 1984, the dealers and marketing people had quite some work to do. But it didn't take long for the word to get out – here was a Rover that was reliable and efficient, with sweet-running Honda drivertrain, and within months of going on sale the 213 was mixing it in the UK top 10 sellers' list.

The car was soon sold as a premium product within the Austin Rover line-up. The 200 range was extended in 1985 to include a locally-produced 1.6-litre S-Series engine, which was also available in fuel-injection form for the Vitesse version. 1987 saw the range lightly facelifted to include more equipment, a reprofiled boot lid, and uprated dashboard - subtle changes that reall boosted sales. In the end, the 200 would go on to out-sell the so-called volume-production Maestro and Montego, and setting its maker on a more upmarket course. All-round reliability was excellent, but the body suffered from horrendous rot all over, and as a consequence, not many are left now.

Ask Honest John

Could you offer me some advice on selling my 1995 Rover 216?

"Could you offer me some advice on selling my 1995 Rover 216? It looks like brand new with only 33,000 miles. "
You'll want to target the Rover enthusiasts if you want this to go to a good home. Try one of the many clubs, such as the Rover 200 Club ( but also list it in the classifieds. These are an appreciating classic, but be realistic with the price you set. While the very best 200 BRMs and Tomcats can go for more than £2000, a stunning 216 auto is probably only going to sell for £1000-£1250. Remember, this figure is only a guide - have a look and see what's for sale. If you find an example better (or worse) than yours, you can price it accordingly.
Answered by Keith Moody

Where can I get an electrical component for my 1990 Rover 216?

"I have enjoyed owning my Rover 216 GS1 Auto since new in 1990. It is maintained by a local independent garage. Back in 2004 I had stopped in a long traffic jam locally, and switched off. I could not get the car to start again, so I called the AA. Their engineer came and fitted a new ignition module and all was well until five weeks ago when I was filling up at the petrol station, and when I tried to start it, the car did not respond immediately. My local garage owner thinks that the problem is the "amplifier" and cannot find a supplier of a new one. I have tried some of the Rover spares suppliers who advertise on the Internet, but have had no response. According to my mechanic the Rover part number of the amplifier is NJL100040 and the manufacturer's reference is NEC, MC 8132 3K 220. Would this be the same as the ignition module, PRIM 8130 fitted by the AA at 73,600 miles in 2004? The current mileage is 92,000. Can you possibly advise me where I may find a replacement part?"
I think this has a Honda engine. If the gearbox is on the left hand side of the engine rather than the right hand side when facing it, then it definitely does. That should mean that it is the same thing and you can get the amplifier via a Honda dealer or someone specialising in parts for Japanese cars (even though the Honda Concerto equivalent of the Rover 216i was built near Swindon). This directory should help: Update: It did. WC got the part from
Answered by Honest John

Can I disconnect the immobiliser in my Rover 216?

"I have just purchaced a Rover 216 SLI left-hand drive to go to Italy next year. It has the Honda engine and it will stand in Italy for a few months of the year, but we are concerned about the immobiliser - can we get rid of the fob?"
Go to a car security specialist and have it disconnected.
Answered by Honest John

Should I still be servicing my 1998 Rover 216?

"I have owned my Rover 216 from new in 1998. It's serviced regularly once a year, but only driven in the summer months doing approximately 2000 miles. Is it still worth servicing considering the age of the car?"
If you want to keep it running reasonably reliably, yes.
Answered by Honest John
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