It might seem like madness to buy a car from a manufacturer which recently went bust - but that's simply not the case with the Rover 75. Even now it represents great value for money and, if you can live with the retro looks, it's good to drive and well put together.
Despite the firm's collapse, the 75 is still an excellent second-hand proposition - not least because you can now get so much more for your money. Buy a Tourer and you have a stylish load-carrier. And if you find sister firm MG's ZT260 V8, you'll get a bargain that's guaranteed to become a classic.
Values are still uncertain since the fall of MG Rover, but are set to stabilise shortly, levelling out at only a little below current prices. Reckon on paying £3,000 for an early 1.8-litre 75 with 60,000 miles on the clock. A 52-plate 2.5 V6 with 30,000 miles can be yours for £7,000, while a 15,000-mile 53-reg 2.0 CDT Tourer with automatic transmission is worth around £9,500.
Don't pay over the odds for a recent second-hand 75, because there are some great deals to be had on brand new cars - £5,000 savings are common. Remember, 75s produced by MG Rover at Longbridge are better than those built by BMW at Oxford, and the handling is superior, too. The easiest way to distinguish a Longbridge example is that they have body-coloured sills rather than the Oxford-made cars' black ones.
Mike McCabe from Milton Keynes, Bucks, has owned his 2.5 V6 for three years - and he loves it. The car is reliable, supremely comfortable and dif-ferent, and he isn't worried about the company's demise. "It's a real shame to see Rover go," he told us. "But there is no shortage of specialist knowledge to keep my motor maintained, and parts supply is assured for many years yet."
Predictably, the failure of MG Rover has ensured that 75 residuals are lower than ever - so now, it's easy to scoop a bargain. It's reckoned that values have been slashed by up to a third since the manufacturer went bust, yet the cars are still well built and good to drive. For the price of a used (and possibly abused) Ford Mondeo or Peugeot 406, you could have a nearly or even brand new 75. If it was our money, we know which one we would rather buy... We like the well constructed and comfortable interior, enjoyable driving experience, superb value and long-distance refinement. But do make sure you have an aftermarket warranty and watch out for a shrinking dealer network, thirsty V6 engines and a tarnished image.