Twitter often brings up some interesting debate, whether it’s the discussion on the latest new Alfa Romeo 4C or who should be next in line for Prime Minister. However, on this occasion it wasn’t either that bought this particular topic to my attention. The purchase and chase to find the Rover 45 was, in some ways, slightly controversial amongst those with those who haven’t previously owned one, nor find them remotely interesting, or just have a grudge against the K series and its reliability having had found some lemons.
I won’t re-cover all of the details of the previous post regarding the 45, but I’ll cover the basics. I bought it early November 2012, it has proved to be rather reliable, but is proving to be the car I don’t want. I foresaw it as an opportunity to jump onto the bandwagon I hadn’t ventured onto before, giving the undesired Rover a chance to show its true colours.
The 45 since its launch been seen as the ‘older person’ option, and couldn’t quite compete with the likes of the Ford Focus and the VW Bora. Since owning it the clichés have followed in their droves, which given its reliability, cheap running costs, and good equipment levels I feel these are unfairly placed. I can happily admit it doesn’t match the handling of the Focus of that era, or the Bora for build quality but if you’re looking for something different you can’t really go wrong.
A purchase that didn’t hit the nail on the head
As time has passed and I’ve driven the car more often, I’ve come to find out it lacks one little detail that stood out in the Mini. Charm. This is, obviously, something I should have seen coming venturing towards a newer car. Charm is quite hard to define, but I think Balloon_Fish’s words sum it up: “It’s a coefficient of age and in-built design flaws. A brand new Defender has more charm than a new Polo, but a scruffy old Mk2 bread-van Polo has more charm than a new Defender.. .You can have reliable ‘factory fitted’ charm, which is expensive or unreliable ‘acquired charm’ which is cheap.” So where does the 45 fit within this scale? Well, it doesn’t. The lack of faults, or niggles make it a dull car to live with.
My classic Mini taught me a lot, and sure it wasn’t a perfect bond but it was a car I have come to regret getting rid of. Since spotting it on a regular basis I’ve been on EBay hoping the current owner will advertise it there so I can re-purchase it. Alas, it hasn’t happened but it’s that bond that I miss. Even if it did occasionally breakdown, it was a humble icon.
So with my new purchase leaving me cold, where does that leave me? The current action plan is to keep it until the summer time, where I hope to spend my money more wisely on something that I can appreciate a bit more. Regarding the criteria, under £2K, comfortable, built to last, oozes character by the bucket load, fairly reliable and built before 1995.
Perhaps the Mercedes Benz 190e is the answer?
For the time being, I’ve come to the conclusion modern cars aren’t for me. Hopefully something with more appeal will whiff under my nose in the mean-time.
Images supplied by ARonline.co.uk and Netcarshow.com