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Rover 25 (1999 - 2005)

Last updated 13 July 2018


Buying Guide


For parts, try 

Exhaust systems from

98% breakdown free in 2003 Which survey.

Rovers generally had slightly below average warranty repair costs in 2003 Warranty Direct Reliability index (index 93.69 v/s lowest 31.93), just beating Nissan

Fewest number of breakdowns and average for problems and faults in 2003 Which survey.

Rover 25 the 3rd most reliable car in 2005 Warranty Direct Reliability Survey with 11 repair claims per 100 cars. 


Three star score in 2001 NCAP crash tests. 

Fascia a bit old fashioned. Light-coloured dash tops reflect badly in windscreen. 

Irritating 'twist-stalk' for wipers and lights. 

Electric window switches on centre console. A/c rarely fitted. Steptronic upshift and downshift is the wrong way round. 

Only 88% of cars up to 2 years old breakdown-free over previous 12 months in 2004 Which? survey. Came 8th = from bottom in 2005 JD Power/What Car Survey of 23,000 cars reg Sep 2002 to Aug 2003 with satisfaction score of 73.6%.


Wiring problems are typical. 

'K' Series engine inlet manifold 'O' rings tend to perish between 25 - 30,000 miles. Re-named MG ZR in Summer 2001. Head gasket failure common because very low coolant capacity of engine means small leaks rapidly lead to overheating. Weakest point is water heated inlet manifold gasket. 1.8 K Series head gasket failures website link Bore liners of this engine can also drop. K-Series engine failure class action solicitors was but after April 2005 there was no one left to sue. 

Water level sensor kit available for the MGF and TF for £89.99 from MG Specialists such as Brown and Gammons (01462 490049) may also fit Rover 25. 

Lower steering arm bushes can wear and seriously affect both tyre wear and steering. 

If has ABS, fuse is on the ABS ECU inside the car and easily dislodged by clothing causing dash to show ABS fault warning. 

In two years one reader's 25 was off the road for warranty work for 14 days. The work has ranged from minor (faulty window catch) to major (replace engine block and tappets, bodywork rust). In the case of the tappets, the reader is on his 3rd set. Make sure all the electrics work. 

An engineered solution to the coolant leak/head gasket problem is offered by Sterling Automotive. This involves a modified MLS (multi-layer shim) gasket, the more substantial lower oil rail (as fitted to Land Rover Freelanders) and a retro fit low coolant level warning system, with a 5 year guarantee which can be valid for up to 75,000 miles if this is reached before 5 years. In addition to this guarantee Sterling Automotive offers fixed price servicing as per the MG Rover recommendations throughout the period of cover as a reward for complying with the conditions of the guarantee and also a free 6 monthly oil and filter change between the annual services. Sterling Automotive is currently only able to offer this on MGF/TF, Rover 25/Streetwise/MG ZR, Rover Commerce/MG Express Vans and the Rover 45/MG ZS range where fitted with the four cylinder K series engine due to the fact it is only able to provide a retro fit low coolant level system for these models but is actively seeking a way of adding the Rover 75/MG ZT 1.8 and 1.8 Turbo models to the offer as soon as possible. 

XPart offers the MLS head gasket set which comes with a strengthened lower oil rail and new head bolts, as well as a water pump, from In designing the new kit, XPart and SAIC have used a combination of the revised lower oil rail designed by MG Rover engineers, higher tensile 10.9 grade long stretch bolts and a new single piece multi-layer steel gasket engineered by SAIC for its new N-series engine. The gasket should not be fitted in isolation and it is the kit together with revised torque settings that provides the best known repair. The XPart parts warranty only applies when the full kit has been used.

27-9-2010: Fix for Fault with Security Control Unit. A number of owners of MG and Rover cars built between 2003 and 2005 will be aware of faults that can develop with the Security Control Unit or SCU. This commonly involves seemingly minor faults such as the horn not working or an electric window not operating but can also cause much bigger problems with the alarm, immobiliser and central locking systems which cause the car to become un-drivable. Until now rectification work has necessitated the replacement of the SCU and at times the remote handsets as well often costing £700 or more at some of the larger former Rover Dealers. However as part of Sterling Automotive's ongoing program of customer commitment, SA are always looking at new ways of making MG and Rover cars more reliable for future peace of mind and reduce the ongoing costs of motoring.

Sterling Automotive has inteoduced a new SCU repair service from just £350 including labour, components and VAT. The modified replacement parts fitted during the repair are guaranteed for 2 years which is double the time of the guarantee offered on the new SCU part. As an added bonus, if you think that your MG or Rover car might be suffering from an SCU related problem, Sterling Automotive will even carry out a free health check by appointment at its Eastbourne Service Centre to confirm if this is being caused by the SCU.

Additionally, for customers who are unable to get their car to Sterling Automotive or who reside overseas, they are also able to provide a mail order repair service. If long distance customers can remove the SCU from their car, SA advises them not to open the casing but to send it to us for repair. SA will then carry out the necessary refurbishment and repairs and return it to them for a reduced price of £320 including VAT. Postage and packing adds a further £9 within the UK, £12 within Europe or £15 for the rest of the world.

This fault can only be present on the following MG Rover vehicles; MG TF, MG ZR & MG ZS, Rover Streetwise, Rover 25 & 45 and the light commercial van derivatives, Rover Commerce and MG Express.

9-2-2011: Body parts problems starting to bite, but owners of later model Rover 25s will be able to keep their car on the road in the event of damage to its front bumper, as XPart offers garages the option of fitting a modified MG ZR front bumper in the event that a Rover 25 bumper needs to be replaced. It fits perfectly, is a very close aesthetic match for the original and provides a safe and durable replacement. It can be ordered from any XPart wholesaler under part number DPB002610LML. More at

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