Tested: Rover Streetwise – AROnline

24 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Tested: Rover Streetwise – AROnline

Tested: Rover Streetwise

was conceived to entice younger back behind the wheel of products, and cash in on the boom in vehicles.

Over the last of decades, customers had been looking for cars that not looked good, but also practical and tough in the city. new breed of car, which sales away from the traditional hot hatchback sector of the was epitomised by the Land Rover Toyota RAV4 and Suzuki According to MG Rover, this was a of the market that the company had keen to re-enter (the had belonged to Ford since

However, given the fact BMW#8217;s licensing agreement of the marque name precluded MG from producing an all-wheel-drive and even if it could, there was the matter of a limited development the company could only at a revamp of one of its current models.

In its to meet changing demand and maintain its market share, MG devised a version of the 25, which hopefully appeal to young looking for a tough-looking, practical and car. In order to appeal to buyers, the new car was styled by Peter team to incorporate many of the that off-roaders have in armoury. So, a raised ride and big wheels was complemented by tough bumper mouldings and roof

If this all seemed a little bear in mind that Sports Activity Vehicles (or never venture off-road, and the treatment that they encounter is the bump and grind of the ASDA car park. MG Rover#8217;s research backed this up; the of four wheel drive not inhibit sales at all#8230;

At the time of its launch in July the Streetwise was alone in its sector, its starting price was well £10,000 and it could offer no than two-wheel-drive. Stylistically, it was to the Audi Allroad and Renault RX4, but the similarities ended

MG Rover#8217;s marketing gurus up with the #8220;Streetwise#8221; tag, and that the car was known as its, On-Roader#8221;. This contrived might have seemed a naive (as it translates as, #8220;Town but it was all done in the pursuit of appealing to turned off by Rover#8217;s rather image.

Having said within this brief, the worked rather well; the and stance added some but did not make the Streetwise look at all The new bumper mouldings were a success, as they looked and contemporary, adding form to the blob-like 25#8242;s body. interestingly for Rover#8217;s fans, the (and CityRover for that also heralded the launch of the new logo.

Some critics it of being a #8220;dumbed down#8221; of the Rover longship, but it undoubtedly more stylish, and perhaps was a of giving the rest of the product something of a more youth lift.

Either way, there was no away from the fact Streetwise amounted to little than a light facelft of a product. Rover had already it before #8211; back in they commissioned Automotive Consultants (ADC) of Luton to a #8220;toughened-up#8221; version of the R6 Metro/100. The car produced, the Scout. featured a ride height and #8220;off-road#8221; tweaks#8230; it was a nice concept, and a resemblance to the Matra-Simca Rancho. but was not as a production model. How times changed#8230;

To drive, the Streetwise was pure Rover 25 #8211; the height did not make much and newer cars, such as the 307 and Ford Fusion were The 1.4-litre version, however, was a lively car to drive, and at the launch of £9295, it had considerable appeal. In the younger buyers, at which the was aimed at approved of the new style. they would be enticed into Rover dealers was matter#8230;

I found Streetwise to divide opinion; some it was a cynical exercise in keeping an old car for a few more years, others, myself, felt it was an inventive of niche filling and deserved success. The jury is still out as to who is but given the fact that have produced its own Streetwise Polo #8220;Fun#8221;), it would that MG Rover were not in ackowledging that the concept had


NEC 2004 debutante, the Olympic: this interesting car has won a few closet admirers out there, and to maintain Rover 25 sales as it for its range facelift.

He was best as DLT, aka ‘The Hairy

Those who recall Dave Lee days at Wonderful Radio 1 may remember his penchant for oddball The one that sticks in my mind was his Allaggro, which earned its moniker after being with motorway crash as the ultimate all round crash DLT reckoned it was the ideal car for driving London #8211; and does it you of anything in Rover’s current

That’s right, the Rover , Rover’s new ‘urban on roader’.

will dismiss the car as another of MG R badge engineering. This the badge in question is plastered all the acres of black plastic almost suffocates the car while the is, as far as I can make out, restricted to ride height and some to the gearchange and suspension.

Streetwise was a clever piece of niche and the appearance of these three after it was launched demonstrates other manufacturers were as impressed.

I have tried to some enthusiasm for the car but after a test drive it was pretty It was bad enough to see the smirks that the car on its surprise debut when the of the CityRovers were rolled out to the press in Longridge last … the French and Germans could hide their hoots of when they first saw the car though, that both and VW have chosen to ape the Streetwise …)

So is the newcomer a hero or villain? It all on how you view the attempt to turn the 25 into a Sports Activity or SAV as Rover describe it.

Full for some lateral thinking in producing the car … but to say it has had a lukewarm reception be to grossly exaggerate the case. It was bad to have to sit along the foreign at its introduction … and it was left to influential writers, notably Steve from Autocar who could see Rover was coming from, for kinder observations on the car. On the news that MG R is in talks Proton and working successfully Tata one wag wondered if Tonka had the fray too #8211; the Streetwise that kind of off beat

The newcomer has not got off to the best of starts ‘What Car’ recently it two out of five stars and after a driving the four seater S version I wasn’t completely won either. Okay, I know Rover have excelled at niches in the past but I kept if the Streetwise is the answer what on was the question?

I can count the number I have on the road in the tens and twenties. In form with plain wheel it looks particularly Pat-ish #8211; at least my came with the alloys, spotlights and sunroof to ‘lighten’ the But it’s the interior which some attention #8211; and

It’s all a bit of a mish mash its silver detailing, new style trendy metal effect around the gearlever and surprise, no ashtray (although a cigar is optional). At least the fiddly radios are thing of the past and the boasts a sound system suffers little distortion at volumes. But if Rover is really about designing a seriously looking dash, it had better looking at its rivals with the Fiesta, Getx and Matrix all of what can be done.

Right. the interior dealt with, about the exterior? I gave it six out of ten for … I wish I had shares in the black industry because the car sports of it #8211; everywhere!

At least you confuse a Streetwise with any car on the road (not too difficult its looks) and evidently young like its style … I’m 47 so obviously it.

If the exterior style is ‘in yer face’ mechanical refinement is literally ‘in yer Start the engine and you immediately get the that overall refinement was high on the agenda. It’s noisy on initial tickover and only settle down it gets in its stride on the motorway or A roads where it’s a cruiser at anything between 70 and 90.

Rev to around 4,500 revs in and third gears and acceleration is but not startling while the useful of torque keeps fuel in the high forties. The extra has made little difference to the gearchange although the ride somewhat less controlled on my motorway route to work on the resurfaced M57 in SW Lancashire.

I wonder how people #8211; including the younger folk #8211; ‘get’ the Streetwise? Potential include a lucrative group of drivers who want the looks of a small car but can do without the exorbitant premiums MaxPower lookalikes can And the range’s attractive safety and features should mean women drivers take a at it, too.

So, is Rover’s latest Streetwise #8211; or street Only time will Fingers crossed that are no plans for an MG Streetwise…

Tested by Blaxall

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