• 15k from new
• Two previous owners
• Feels and smells like new
• Must be one of the best available
It’s now over a decade and a half since the sad demise of the MG Rover Group, which brought to an end a century of car production in Longbridge, Birmingham.
Yet there’s still a huge amount of enthusiasm for the Rover brand and especially the company’s later models – more so than many other ‘modern’ marques, perhaps thanks to its uniquely British image.
The Rover 25 is one of the company’s last cars, introduced in 1999 and based on the Rover R3, or previous 200. It was manufactured in pre-facelift form until 2004. This example is one of the very last pre-facelift cars and is a special edition Impression model, with an incredibly low mileage of just 15k from new.
The Rover was supplied new by the CD Bramall dealership in Newcastle upon Tyne in June 2004 and then spent the next 14 years in the car of an elderly owner, who covered just 9,000 miles in it.
In 2019, the car was discovered by a young enthusiast in Northumberland, who rescued it after the owner passed away and put it back on the road, before selling it last year to the current owner – a collector of cars from the 1990s and 2000s.
He’s used the Rover more than it has been used in a year before in its life, taking the mileage up to 15,000, but has decided to sell it on while it’s still a super low mileage original example.
Sadly, a lot of the bills and paperwork with NH04 HGY were misplaced when the original owner passed away, though it does come with the original handbook and service book in the Rover wallet.
It has a V5C in the name of the current owner and an MOT valid until March 2022, which it passed with no advisory notices.
Unsurprisingly for a car with such a low mileage, the bodywork of the Rover is in excellent order.
It is finished in Arbor Green metallic, which was one of the more unusual shades seen on the later Rover 25 and 45 models. The pale green really suits the three-door body style and the paint finish is excellent all over – quality paint was always a Rover strong point.
This example is a Rover 25 Impression, which was one of the special edition models produced to help generate retail sales and showroom footfall in Rover’s final years. It has a few extras over a basic 25, such as eight-spoke alloy wheels, colour-coded trim and distinctive ‘Impression’ decals, which are in really smart and fresh-looking condition.
There are no signs of visible corrosion anywhere on the car, including in the rear arches and front wing corners which are often common rust spots on a 25. You’ll have to go a long way to find a better or more solid example.
The first thing you notice when you open the door of this car is the smell.
With its half-leather, half-cloth interior, the cabin smells just like a new car. Anyone with memories of driving a Rover from the late 90s or early 2000s will instantly recognise the scent.
As you'd expect from the tiny mileage, the seats look and feel almost unworn, while the carpets, door trims, headlining and dash are in equally superb order.
It’s an unusual spec – it has half-leather seats, parking sensors and a high-end ‘CD-80’ radio, but manual windows and no air conditioning.
There's one minor issue in that one of the rotating knobs from the heater controls is missing, but it should be relatively straightforward to find a replacement from a specialist or breaker. Otherwise the interior is in fabulous condition.
Rover’s 1396cc K-Series engine always punched above its weight when new and even today it's 103bhp power output is impressive for its size.
The 16-valve unit is a strong performer and with just 15,000 miles on it, it comes as no surprise to discover that this one runs beautifully.
It idles sweetly, revs freely and shows no signs of any head gasket issues, which are a commonly cited problem on the K-Series engine. Not this one though.
The vendor reports that the car drives extremely well and feels tight and responsive, almost like a nearly new car.
This is a great example of an increasingly rare car and also one of the last to have been built by Rover.
With such a tiny mileage and its place as a footnote in the history the British motor industry affirmed, the 25 deserves to be loved and cherished by its next owner and to be preserved as one of the best surviving examples of one of MG Rover’s last ever models.
It's in sensational, original condition and has not been restored. It really ought to be kept that way so it can be admired by future generations, and it will only appreciate in value with time.
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