The frontal impact test was staged back in spring 2000. The side impact took place then, too, but problems demanded a re-test. But then, testing was suspended after events threw Rover’s future into doubt. Once the car-maker was back on track, it resumed: and, here, repeated side impact results feature along with the original outcome for the frontal impact. The Rover 25 is a reworking of the mid-1990s 200 model and the protection it offers is below that of some modern designs. The protection it gave in the frontal impact was weak although it proved creditable in the side impact considering its lack of airbags. Protection for children was poor.
The driver’s door bent in the middle and the screen pillar was driven back, leaving the body unstable. The driver’s head hit the steering wheel, loads on his chest were high and he risked leg injuries from hard points under the fascia. His left knee hit the column lock lever hard enough to cause severe injuries. Chest loads for the front passenger were also relatively high. However, the footwell remained intact and the centre rear seat was fitted with a three-point belt that protects more than a lap belt can.
The results were marred by results obtained from a test dummy that would not occur with a human. Other than that, it performed reasonably well. The driver’s chest hit the door trim but his abdomen was protected by the seat wing. As the door pushed in, his pelvis was moved away from it by a foam pad.
Protection for both children in the frontal impact proved poor. A forward-facing booster seat did not use the adult seat belt effectively. The seat for the 18-month-old was rear-facing but its performance was hampered by the belt lock-off failing. Neither protected in the side impact but Rover is working with the child seat manufacturer to improve matters. The time gap between tests ruled out the use of more modern type of seat: for consistency, the same restraints were used throughout.
The leading edge of the bonnet proved to be stiff but the bumper turned out to be better than most.