Cost of a Rover 2000
50.000 miles at just over
It´s a truism
these days that the cost of living goes up and up. But does it? Not if you own a
Rover 2000. These first 50.000 miles have cost me almost exactly the same amount
as the first 50.000 miles in my old Rover 75 in 1952-54. The two cars make a
very interesting comparison. First, then, the fuel bill, the biggest item in
running any car.
started off by averaging 25 mpg, but this figure improved steadily, reaching 30
mpg at 50.000 miles. (It went on to reach 32 mpg at 95.000 miles, and thereafter
stayed at this figure.) The 2000 started at 37 mpg, and is now averaging 40 mpg,
or a little less.
It will be
obvious from these figures that I drive for best economy. In favour steady
acceleration and braking, and furthermore, I do a good proportion of long runs,
and these also helps the figures. But even so, this is a remarkable performance
for a 2000.
petrol cost about 4s 6d per gallon, but in the past two years (using the cheaper
types, but still 95 Octane), it has averaged about 5s, an increase of 11 per
cent. In spite of this, my petrol bill has decreased from an average of about £7
per thousand miles, to £6 5s 0d per thousand.
another factor to be taken into account here. The 75 had a free wheel. This
saved me 4 mpg, and without it, the 75´s performance would have been 28 mpg, and
not 32 mpg. This 2000 hasn´t got one, of course, and this makes its average of
40 mpg even more remarkable.
biggest item in running a car is what I call Routine Maintenance, which includes
virtually everything except the "static" items.
For the 75,
the figure for the first 50.000 miles came to £208, which includes five new
tyres at £41, and two de-cokes at a total of £60. For the 2000, the figure is
£147 (four new tyres and no de-cokes). With regard to these de-cokes, it must be
remembered that in 1952-54 we still had "Pool" petrol, which made de-cokes
necessary more often.
In each case,
a new set of tyres was necessary. On the 75, the original Dunlops lasted 25.000
miles and were replaced by Goodyear Eagles, which lasted 31.000 miles. The
latter were more expensive, but the cost per mile was almost exactly the same
for both makes.
On the 2000,
the original Pirelli Cinturato lasted 29.000 miles and the Dunlop tubeless are
beginning to went replacement now at the 55.000 mark.
re-lined on the 75 at 38.000, and on the 2000, the front brake pads were
replaced at 22.000, and all of them at 40.000 miles.
car was a new battery necessary.
On the 75,
the first silencer replacement came at 74.000 miles, but on the 2000, part of it
was replaced at 26.000 and the rest at 54.000 miles.
on the 2000 which were not necessary on the 75 include the replacement of the
Hardy-Spicer units (propeller shaft couplings) and welding the shock-absorber
housing back into place.
On the 75,
the repair bill came to the almost unbelievable figure of £6 8s 9d for the first
three years (67.000 miles). The 2000 has been more expensive, the total being
nothing in the first year, £28 14s 6d during the second (this included the
Hardy-Spicer units and part of the silencer), and £16 16s 7d in the past six
months (including a new clutch cylinder and brake pipe).
This gives a
total of £45 11s 1d for the 2000 compared with £6 8s 9d for the 75.
taxation (up from £12 10s to £17 10s), licence (down from 7s 6d to 5s), and
garage charges, which are an estimated £10 per year - this being a purely
items include insurance, up from £23 a year to £40, depreciation - rather less
for the 2000 which has a high re-sale value, and loss of interest on the capital
expenditure. In 1952-54 this was about £37 a year, but in these days of dear
money, is now nearer £60.
Total costs (50.000 miles)
But some of this comparison is
not fair. For instance, the "dear" money policy is costing the 2000 £23 a year
more and has nothing to do with the actual merits of the cars. Nor has
depreciation, nor the rise in insurance. If these items are left out we have:
But even these figures do not
give the complete picture. For one thing, they don´t take into account the two
de-cokes which were necessary on the 75 because of inferior petrol, and which
cost the 75 £20. Nor do they take into account the advance in engine technique,
which make oil changes necessary only every 5.000 miles for the 2000, as against
3.000 for the 75. The increase in the cost of living is also left out. Servicing
the 75 at 3.000-mile intervals cost about £3; whereas the 5.000 mile services
for the 2000 are costing £8, an increase of 50 per cent. This amount off the
running costs of the 2000 would, by itself, reduce the amount from £493 to about
But even without taking into
account all these various factors, the actual cost of running the 2000 is
now £1.312 per 50.000 miles (or 6.3d per mile), compared with £1.484 per 50.000
for the 75 (7.1d per mile). This is, surely, a very remarkable fact.
There have been tens of thousands of words written
about the performance of the 2000 by men who are far better qualified to assess
it than I am, and it is not the object of this article to add to them. But
comparing the 2000 with my old 75, there is an enormous improvement in almost
every way. Engine power, acceleration, comfort, safety, springing, roadholding,
visibility, and economy are all vastly better. The car, in fact, is a radical
departure from former Rover models, and may be said to be a real attempt to
design the "ideal car" for the average man. Advanced engineering is introduced
in the form of an overhead camshaft engine, de Dion rear suspension, and disc
brakes, and an entirely new and original body. And this is still Rover quality.
From the foregoing, the quality of the engine will
be obvious. What of the bodywork? Well, so far, there is hardly a squeak or
rattle anywhere; there is practically no rust on the chromium, the stainless
steel, or the bodywork. The leather seats look almost as good as new.
The average man, I think, looks for six things when
he is buying a car (consciously or unconsciously), reliability, economy, safety,
comfort, easy maintenance and speed. I would put these items in this order of
importance, but the order would, of course, vary with the individual concerned.
But almost everyone, surely, would regard these six items at the head of the
As for reliability, never once has either car let me
down on the road. Never has either been reluctant to start, even in the coldest
Economy; some time ago, the RAC gave 1s a mile as
the average cost for the average car. Both my Rovers have averaged half this
figure for the first two years of their lives, and the 75 averaged 6d per mile
over 13 years and 300.000 miles.
Safety; this reaches a high standard in the 2000.
The passengers sit in a steel box, with solid girders before and behind them.
Not for nothing is the 2000 acknowledged as one of the safest cars built.
Comfort; there is plenty of room for four adults,
and the seats are almost as good as arm-chairs. Springing is excellent, there is
little roll at corners, and ventilation is first-class. The car is very quiet
and easy to drive.
Maintenance; easy. One has to remember to look at
the tyre pressures, and fill up with petrol now and again (but only at intervals
of about 480 miles), and this is about all. The garage takes care of everything
else at the 5.000-mile services.
Speed; top speed is 105 mph, and I think the
acceleration is terrific. This compares with a top speed of 84 mph with the 75.
When I first had her in 1952, her acceleration was good. But after 13 years it
was very much below average. This was not because of any deterioration in the
performance of the car (which was as good as ever), but due to the immense
increase in power of every other car. Engine improvement has come a long way
Now, I have lively competitive performance again
with my new 2000.
I travelled 300.000 miles in the 75, without any
major overhauls, and with the same engine, and I was very reluctant to sell her
even then. I was sure that my next Rover would not be as good. But I was wrong.
The 2000 has a very much better performance, is even more comfortable, and is
also cheaper to run. Could one ask more?
Autocar / UK