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Rover metro review (don't laugh!!!)


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Here’s a review of my latest car, a few weeks on:

The first thing you notice about the rover metro are the looks, or lack of. The front and rear are presentable enough, with nice rounded curves and modern styling touches, where as the sides are pure 1984, recognizable to all and sundry as a 5 door “mini” metro.

At first glance the interior is also similarly dismal, having been lifted straight from the old metro, but the seats are something else, they are comfortable and very supportive, the only gripe is that because they are basically J-reg (or R8) rover 200 seats they rob rear legroom, but who buys a metro as a people carrier?

The instruments and controls are well laid out, everything is easily within the driver’s reach. The steering wheel is well positioned and the pedals are nicely spaced. The only gripe is that there’s no footrest for long journeys. Also there are long, deep door pockets for storing oddments and CDs. Rover also supplied a cassette holder, but unless you are still in the dark ages it’s of little practical use. The general fit and finish are typical small early 90s supermini, with a good dose of rattles and cheap plastic, but it is very hard wearing.

Turning to the rear there’s a seat, with 3 seat belts, but don’t expect any more than that!

The boot is pretty good for a supermini, with a wide, flat load area. For big loads the rear seats fold down, and then hinge upwars, turning the car in to a metro van!!!

My car is the 1.1 C model, aka “the cheap one”, so it comes with a carburetor engine, so you kneed to use the choke to start on a cold morning, the K series engine is a bit rattly for a few seconds in the morning while the tappets pressurize, but after that it’s Ok in terms of refinement.

It’s when you get out on to the road that the metro really shows off, the first thing you’ll notice is the slickness and lightness of the gearchange, a world away from the old car. You can throw the stick up and down the ‘box with ease (as is to be expected with the Peugeot gearbox). The engine needs working to get the best out of it, but the K series will happily rev over 5k RPM, and speeds north of 6k have been known with no problems.

What will really surprise is the handling, the hydragas fluid suspension was British Leyland’s attempt to copy Citroen’s hydropneumatic system on the cheap, and the rover metro is seen as the car in which it worked best. The car will crash over bumps like other small cars, but in the corners it can hold it’s own with the French competition, and is vastly better than the same age fiesta 1.1. The steering is light and responsive, and communicates exactly what the front wheels are doing to your hands. The metro’s main gripes in handling are a tendency to plough on when pushed hard (due to 155 width tyres), and an almost worrying lack of grip when pulling out of junctions that can cause the car to almost come to a halt with all the wheel spin (tyres again).

On the open road the 1.1 will hustle along as quickly as any other 60bhp car, 0-60 is about 13-14 seconds, while crusing at 80 is not a problem, if rather noisy. The car will sit comfortably on a dual carriageway all day, but the ultimate lack of acceleration is a handicap but not to the same extent as other 1.1s.

All in all, the metro is a competent small car, but at a much fairer price than the competition, the rover 100 is also just as good, being simply a face-lifted metro with airbags. What it looses out with age and asthetics it makes up for in handling, performance and cheapness.

My last metro cost me £300 and lasted 2 years of abuse, including driving through floods, snow and ice and the occasional use of the metro “party trick”(leave a metro in 2nd and you can do 60), I hope this one does the same.

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I heard someone knocked their car door against rhyds Metro in the local Tesco's car park this morning, while he was in it. Aparently damage was so severe to the Metro the Fire Brigade had to chop the roof off...

Apparently hes just been discharged from Hospital. He was very lucky he didn't scratch a bumper or hit anything while moving at 10mph or he might have died! EEK2.GIF

Sorry I'm bored SLEEP5.GIF

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