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Rover Streetwise
Manufacturer MG Rover
Production 2003–2005
Class Supermini
Body style(s) 3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
Engine(s) 1.4 L K-Series I-4
1.6 L K-Series I-4
1.8 L K-Series I-4
2.0 L L-Series I-4
Related Rover 25

Rover Streetwise, rear view

The Rover Streetwise was a small car made by MG Rover. It was based on the Rover 25, but had an increased ride height and chunkier bumpers. The car was marketed by Rover as an 'urban on-roader'.

Production ended in April 2005 due to the bankruptcy of MG Rover.


The Rover Streetwise was an attempt by Rover to appeal to younger drivers. Rover had modernised the existing models in 1999 with a facelift for the 25, 45 and the Rover-designed 75 models but Rover was suffering falling sales and a tarnished brand after the sale of Rover to the Phoenix consortium in 2000 by BMW. Although new models were in the planning stages, the 25 and 45 models would be at least 10 years old before the new models were launched. Phoenix owned the rights to the MG brand, and had marketed the ZR, ZS & ZT with reasonable success, restyling the existing 25, 45 and 75 models. This included tweaked suspension, new wheels, altered dashboard inserts, different seats, and bodykits.

Into a new market

With the MG brand proving popular, MG Rover Group turned their attention to the Rover brand. The Rover-badged cars had a rather staid image and were commonly associated with elderly motorists. MG Rover thus attempted to appeal to a younger market. To avoid costly mistakes, MG Rover decided to design a car for a niche market, and chose the ‘Urban on-roader’ look, similar to the Audi Allroad, Volvo XC70 and Volkswagen Polo Fun/CrossPolo.


The tough-looking Streetwise was designed as a two-wheel drive urban car with 4x4 looks. The streetwise had a higher ride height than the basic 25, and although it shared many of the common characteristics of the 25, it was visually different with large impact absorbing grey or black plastic bumpers. Unlike the rest of the Rover and MG range, the Streetwise bumpers were not colour-coded. The front indicator and fog lights were redesigned to complement the circular headlamps, and most models came with chunky 16-inch wheels as standard. To extend the load space, the Streetwise was fitted with multi-purpose roof bars, which also served to distinguish the Streetwise from ZR & 25.


The Streetwise offered a choice of sporty interiors, available in four or five seats (optional). The standard four seats had two separate rear seats and a separating centre console, and were half leather body-hugging seats. All models came with standard front electric windows, driver's airbag, PAS, and ABS. The S & SE Models came with leather steering wheel, gear knob and air conditioning. The electric window switch had been relocated next to the handbrake, with new-style rocker switch, in a circular design with chrome effect plastic in the middle. Other subtle changes included a riveted chrome effect plastic loop round the base of the gear lever, and a restyled blue dash dials. All Streetwises came with trafficmaster, an early warning device to warn the drivers of congested routes, and CD player as standard. The Streetwise also came with Rear Parking sensors, as an option or as standard on higher models.


The Streetwise engines were available as 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 stepspeed (Automatic), and a 2.0 TD. The 1.6 & 1.8 were less common.

Years Model & Transmission Engine Power Torque Top Speed 0–100 km/h Economy
(MPG imp)
2003–2005 1.4 16v 84 Manual 1.4 L, 4 in-L 84 PS (62 kW/83 hp) 110 N·m (81 lb·ft) 169 km/h (105 mph) 11.8 secs 41.3 mpg 164 g/km
2003–2005 1.4 16v 103 Manual 1.4 L, 4 in-L 103 PS (76 kW/102 hp) 123 N·m (91 lb·ft) 180 km/h (112 mph) 10.2 secs 41.3 mpg 164 g/km
2003–2005 1.6 16v Manual 1.6 L, 4 in-L 111 PS (82 kW/109 hp) 145 N·m (107 lb·ft) 190 km/h (118 mph) 9.3 secs 37.0 mpg 179 g/km
2003–2005 1.8 16v Stepspeed 1.8 L, 4 in-L 117 PS (86 kW/115 hp) 160 N·m (118 lb·ft) 185 km/h (115 mph) 9.5 secs 34.7 mpg 194 g/km
2003–2005 2.0 TD 101 Manual 2.0 L, 4 in-L 101 PS (74 kW/100 hp) 240 N·m (177 lb·ft) 182 km/h (113 mph) 9.9 secs 53.8 mpg 150 g/km

The end of production

The Streetwise ceased production in April 2005, when Rover ceased trading and went into administration.


Main article: MG 3

In 2008, the Streetwise, rebadged as the MG3 SW, was relaunched in China by Nanjing Automobile Group.[1]


  1. "MG3 SW - 80,000rmb to 120,000rmb - actually might be worth it". (2008-02-21). Retrieved on 2009-03-13.

External links

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