Project Description

Rover Streetwise 1.4 SE, Petrol, Manual

Mark says: “An under estimated car full of features ahead of its time”

Marks reasons why its in the collection

I seem to remember one in a soap years ago and always thought, I like that car. I also used to like the Vauxhall Cavalier and thought it was timeless, but seeing those now they are so outdated. Where as the Rover Streetwise to me is timeless. Looking similar to the popular Skoda Octavia Scout another car I find great interest in and also more lately the popular Citroen Cactus.

You can find these great little cars in a scrap yard for next to nothing – spend a few pounds and they are back on the road again. Theres loads pop up for no money that are in excellent condition. If you just want a cheap run around for £500 look at these and the Rover 25!

Look for one like this which is a one lady owner from new, without a scratch on it where the spare wheel has never been out of its shrink wrap with 24’000 miles on it and you can command a fair price without going over board! And I thought this was good and low mileage – I’ve seen them since with 6000 miles or a bit more and again with the spare wheel still wrapped up! Oh well, you can’t win them all.

Read up on them and you hear some horror stories of bad build quality from new, head gaskets going and timing belts. But look after them as you should and they will do 1-200’000+ miles with very little issues.

This one was built in the last months before Rover went bust. I’ve had to do nothing to it, its exactly as I found it. With the built in roof racks, it’s ideal to fix my Race winning Slalom Kayaks on the roof as a feature – a reminder that in the year it was made I was UK Kayak Slalom Veteran Champion – a proud memory of my past!

With the bucket seats and console in the back it’s an ideal car to ferry around my grandchildren.

Not the fastest car on the road, but perfectly fine for smooth driving in this country with the roads as they are – but you always want a bit more power, at times it’s a bit frustrating down gearing. Run it in high revs and it’s fine, but I’m a bit old for that these days.

Rover Streetwise the story

The Rover Streetwise was a compact British car made by MG Rover. It was based on the Rover 25 but had an increased ride height and chunkier bumpers.

The Streetwise was an attempt by Rover to appeal to younger drivers. Updated by MG Rover who designed and chose the ‘urban on roader’. The tough looking Streetwise was designed as a two wheel drive urban car with 4×4 looks.

The Streetwise had a 10mm higher ride height than the basic 25, and although it shared many of the common characteristics of the 25, it was visually different with large impact absorbing Grey or Black plastic bumpers. Sixteen inch alloy wheels came as standard with security wheel nuts. To extend the load space, the Streetwise was fitted with multi purpose roof bars, which also served to distinguish the Streetwise from the 25.

The Streetwise offered a choice of sporty interiors, available in four or five seats (optional). The standard four seats had two separate rear seats and a separating centre console, and body hugging front sports seats on all models, trimmed in half leather on SE and later GSi models. All models came with a driver’s airbag, remote central locking with alarm and ABS. The S added electric front windows, body-coloured door mirrors, CD-Tuner with rear speakers and steering wheel remote audio controls. Top spec SE models further added air conditioning, electric door mirrors, leather steering wheel and gear knob, part leather seats with rear headrests, front fog lamps and body-coloured bumper inserts.
Other changes included a revised centre console and a restyled blue instrument dials. The Streetwise also came with rear parking sensors, as an option or as standard on higher models.
The Streetwise ceased production in April 2005, when Rover ceased trading and went into administration.

Whats it for?

I love it,  its used as a display in our shop or parked in the workshop out of the way. Its in regular use on our mid week date night where we drive out to find a nice restaurant. And the only normal 4 seater car where the grandkids can all get in.