The first Metro were called and badged mini metro, as they were to be the successor of the ubiquitous Mini…indeed the first one I owned, a red X registration bas badged in that way. As an early car, it had the A series engine (A+) and was incredible for its size, roomy and reasonably well appointed, although as a base model mine had vinyl seats. The rear seats folded into the rear footwell (like a modern Honda Jazz) to give a totally flat load area. They became an immediate sales sensation, despite the dashboard looking like it had been built from plastic boxes. The car became an immediate sales success, climbing quickly to the top of the sales charts, however the old mini continued to sell well alongside, so the car lost its mini badging.
My second Metro was a company car, still the base model and Y registration, but by this point it had moved from sticky vinyl to cloth (or rather a brushed nylon).
My third, was a four door City X, with a 1.3 litre A series engine with enough poke for a 70mph motorway run, although still sporting a 4-speed gearbox. The problem was that I’d bought second-hand from someone who never opened the rear doors, which meant that they had never drained rainwater and the bottoms rotted out at 4 years old. Imagine my alarm when I looked under the read doors and saw literally nothing. Time to move on to another vehicle.
My fourth (yes I rather liked them) was a Rover metro, with a 5 speed gearbox, smooth overhead cam K series engine and interconnected hydro gas suspension. It sported a new interior with modern dashboard and central locking! Further problems, at 3 years old the engine became bunged up using supermarket fuel, which at that time didn’t have the detergents of the main brands leading to enormous problems…suffice to say it was part exchanged again, this time for a VW Golf.
The Metro continued to become the Rover 100, although similar to the Rover Metro, it continued to sell well until the European crash regulations showed up its aging design. Not many left of what was an amazing small car.