............... Are Rovers really that bad?
No, and neither is an Allegro
The Allegro was quite a decent car when it was launched in 1973 - people only deride them because they are ignorant bigots, and because of lack of investment funds, the Allegro had to carry on for several years beyond the time when it should have been replaced and most other manufacturers were by then two generations of car beyond where they were in 1973, which made the late Allegro look massively inferior.
The problem with the MG Rover cars is that they have all been on the road for 10 years or more, and because the UK buys more brand new cars than any other European market, there is a huge volume of recent model second hand cars available. This glut of used cars gives rise to massive depreciation on those newer cars, and makes them easily affordable for most people, and that in turn means that very few people want to buy a 10+ year old car. Those that do are either MG Rover enthusiasts (who will only want one in tip top condition with low mileage) and those who just want a cheap runabout.
The sheer volume of MG and Rover cars still around means that there are far fewer buyers than there are people trying to sell them, which consequently means that there are a lot of perfectly good condition, mechanically sound MG Rover cars which are simply going straight to the breakers yard.
The people who are just using them as a cheap runabout, usually won't spend any money on even relatively minor repairs, so when something goes wrong, they too just take them to the nearest scrapyard - the consequence of this is that the breakers are finding that they are selling less and less used MG Rover parts, so they don't make much out of MG and Rover cars that come into their yards, so they don't want to pay more than a few pounds for them.
It is a sad fact of life, and most brands will suffer the same lack of interest and lack of value to a greater or lesser degree when they get to a similar age, and it will probably another 10 years at least before the numbers of MG Rover cars have dwindled to a point where the numbers available for sale fall to less than the number of nostalgic enthusiasts and the values begin to rise a little due to the effect of supply and demand.
The fact that 30 years on, an Allegro only commanded a bid of £400 suggests that those who fondly think that their MG Rover era cars will be worth money in the future may have to face up to a big disappointment.....