26 December 2011

The Rover 600

This was a car I really liked, although it wasn't as successful as it deserved. The 600 was basically a Honda Accord, which wasn't a bad thing. It was tweaked so as to have a British feel to it, and that worked quite well. For European tastes it was probably too Japanese. When I was on holiday in the UK, I met an American chap who had a rental 600. I asked him his opinion of the car and he loved it. He wanted to buy one back home, but they were not exported there - at Honda's insistence.

I don't know if it replaced another car, but if it did, I'm picking it carried on from the Montego. The Rover 600 started to be produced in 1993, the Montego finishing in 1994. The six years of production figures are as below, followed by UK sales:

1993 30,394
1994 54,603
1995 61,518
1996 43,701
1997 40,291
1998 40,815
Total 271,322

1993 14,454
1994 23,397
1995 24,200
1996 19,900
1997 22,300
1998 ?

So it was a good car, but lacked in prestige and dynamics. It was replaced by the Rover 75, but that model came a bit too late and the 75 never even matched the 600's production volume.

Pics: www.autoplenum.de
Sales figures: http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/


  1. It was an excellent car by the standards of its day; very well built and engineered, with peachy Honda engines and crisp double wishbone front and rear suspension; it felt a lot more sporty than the 75 that followed it (although the 75 was far, far more solid). It amazes me that it never did better sales-wise; I think it was under-sold by Rover. Styling was superb (for a facelifted Honda), courtesy of the highly talented Richard Woolley (who then did the superb 75). To me, a Rover 623GSi is one of the high points of the Rover-Honda cooperative axis - beautiful engine and drive train, fine build, lovely interior and a great ride. Even the humble 618 was a peach, though.

  2. Thanks for the insight. Richard Wolley was a talented guy. The UK sales indicate it didn't sell as it should have in its home market - it never even made the top 20! It was better than that.

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