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Triumph 2000 VS Rover 2000

HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS Published: 19th Aug 2013 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

What The Experts Say...

Deborah Squires of the P6 ROC sticks up for the Rover and says in no way is it inferior to the Triumph in terms of space or practicality! She says she was offered a ‘blank cheque’ for her 3500S at the NEC. The OC has seven technical advisors and parts availability is ‘outstanding’ according to Deborah.

The Triumph is the preferred pick if you want an automatic as there’s more choice. The Solihull self-shifter was strangely never made available in the far more energetic TC tune and with a 0-60 in the 20 secs region one road test called the car dangerous when overtaking; really if you want to go auto in a Rover it has to be a V8 which is a great all rounder. Triumph also offered the benefit of overdrive; Rover never did and it remains a mystery, as the P6 always yearned for extra cogs.

Rover really had one over on the Triumph in the chassis department however. The P6, with its more advanced suspension, including a grippy De Dion rear end, set new standards for roadholding and security causing one road test to remark, “anyone who goes off the road in a P6 must be a dyed-in-the-wool dumkopf.”

The Triumph, with its TR4-style IRS was described as ,”too loose and bouncy‚” by Autocar in 1969, although the 1975 revise cured a lot of the criticisms.

All wheel disc brakes also endow the Rover with modern day stopping performance. If you need power steering you can have it on both. It became an option on the ‘69 Mk2 Triumphs and can be grafted on to a Mk1, if desired – it’s a similar tale for the P6 says the owners club although in all probabilities the P6 that you try won’t have it.

With a sporty, short-shift gear change that could be bloody obstructive, especially getting into first, and the P6 could be a tiresome car to pilot in town although both cars cruise satisfyingly well at the legal limit.

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Rover and Triumph made two fi ne prestige, sporty saloons yet they both go unnoticed. There’s plenty around still to snap up middle-class motoring cheaply

Did you know that it’s 50 years ago since the BMW 3 Series was launched? Well sort of – it’s just that we knew this prestige saloon better as the Rover and Triumph 2000 and it’s hard to believe that half a century ago it arguably created what is now one of the hottest sales segments in the motoring market. The Germans may rule the roost now but it was a very different motoring world back in 1963 when these then in-house rivals came up with what we now call the compact executive car.

Amazingly these middle class two smooth sophisticated saloons remain overlooked backwater classics that sell for lowly sums. Fancy one while cheap?


They competed for the same market, they even lived under the same corporate banner, yet this pair couldn’t be more different. Rover opted for a completely new design with an advanced ‘skeleton’ superstructure with bolt on panels) with styling aimed at a younger more aspiring go-getter, whereas Canley’s car shouted stiff upper lip middle class conservatism. And yet the Triumph has probably stood the test of time better.

For the classic car buyer, there’s more model choice available with the Triumph; you can have it as the 2000, which was the most popular, or a 2.5 in either carb or fuel-injected forms, plus some truly splendid excellent estates. Ignoring the terrific 3.5-litre V8 3500 line up which competes more with the 2500 variants, Rover made the P6 2000 in SC (single carb) and in TC twin-carb form with the larger 2.2-litre for ‘74 cars. The Rover was a saloon only design (officially anyway, but some 160 coachbuilt estates were made) and a fairly cramped one at that. Boot space is unexceptional, which is why Rover quickly came up with an optional tyre carrier, allowing owners to fit the spare wheel untidily on the boot lid, wiping out the limited rear view vision but in fairness space is no worse than a Jag Mk2. On the other hand, the P6’s cockpit, was years ahead of its time, as were driver ergonomics and the Rover feels one of the best 60s cars to drive.

The Triumph 2000/2500 is as good an all rounder, especially after its 1969 facelift, which saw an excellent cabin revamp plus a useful increase in boot space, which easily beats the Rover – a notable point for some family users. Compared to, say, a Cortina or Victor both these cars were of a different class; the doors closed with a satisfying clunk, the switchgear felt precise and the fit-and-finish was in a different league – no wonder you thought you’d made it if you drove one back in the 1960s and 70s!


In truth if you want the best models to drive, ignore both 2000s and go for their more upmarket alternatives. Few engines are as smooth as a straight-six and while the Triumph’s may be an ancient unit, originating from the 1950s Standard Vanguard, the engine certainly feels creamier, unless at very high revs. For all its advanced engineering the Rover overhead cam unit was never been noted for its silkiness, especially at low speeds where it can seen disappointingly rough but it improves greatly as the revs rise Both 2000s aren’t hot rods in today’s terms which is why you’re better off looking at the sportier alternatives like a 2.5 Triumph or a 3500 Rover which offer much more respectable pep without too much of an economy penalty.


There’s little argument in this section. Thanks to the popularity of Triumphs as classics, the 2000/25000 range is pretty well served by specialists and owners clubs, not half as healthily as the sports car ranges to be honest but it is improving plus many parts are interchangable between the two designs.

The P6 has a clever construction and this enables easy replacement of the outer panels. That said, structural rot can be considerable, especially at the fl oor under the rear seat (always remove the squab to check here and be wary if an owner refuses).

If you like spannering then the it’s worth noting that the P6 isn’t so DIY-friendly as the simpler Triumph; the rear brakes and that rear suspension remaining particular swines to work on. On the other hand the sump can be dropped with the engine in situ for a bottom end repair, but tappets demand a Jaguar-like head off, decoke and re-shim to adjust.

Both offer great value. Some P6s are changing hands for five figures but in the main £6000 gets one of the best left – full restos are not on unless the car is special to you. It’s similar tale for all the Triumphs.

And The Winner Is...

A close call but we believe it to be the Triumph. It offers that bit more room, practicality, more attainable estate versions, overdrive and more widespread club and specialist back up. The Rover is a splendid car and will appeal to those who appreciate the car’s engineering design – like the Citroen DS. Both make fine sensible classics with a touch of class and for not a lot of money.

Classic Motoring

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