When the Maestro first launched in 1983 it was quite well-received, and this small family car was in a good position to compete against rivals such as the Ford Escort and Vauxhall Astra. In fact, it became the bestselling car of 1984 in the UK.
The first diesel models lacked turbo power, as did the 1.6 MG version which was also difficult to start. The fact that the Maestro was being built by British Leyland was always going to be the thorn in its side, and financial problems at the company weren't helping matters. As with many cars built by BL, it suffered from rust and reliability problems.
After the demise of BL, in 1988 production was handed over to the newly-formed Rover Group. However, sales continued to decline and by 1989 the Maestro had fallen to 19th place in terms of car sales.
Production ended in 1994, although in July 1995 the car was given a new lease of life, and 2,200 were assembled in a Bulgarian factory (using Complete Knock Down CKD kits) sent from Britain, before the factory finally closed in April 1996.
Unsold models were bought by a couple of British dealers who converted them to right-hand drive. Believe it or not, models were still being built into the 2000's, this time by a Chinese company called Etsong, although they used Toyota engines and mainly produced vans, but a few hatchbacks were built, too.
- Base (1983–1985)
- L (1983–1990)
- LE (1986–1988)
- HL (1984–1987)
- HLE (1983–85)
- HLS (1983–1986)
- LX (1990–1993)
- City (1985–1988)
- City X (1985–1988)
- Special (1988–1990)
- Clubman (1990–1994)
- SL (1988–1990)
- Mayfair (1986–1988)
- Vanden Plas (1983–1988)
The video playlist includes;
1. A history of the Austin Maestro
2. A basic, red 1.3L
3. 1987 1.3 HLE in lovely beige
4. 500 City van in showroom condition
5. 1989 MG Maestro challenge
6. British TV advert featuring Noel Edmonds.
7. MG Maestro Turbo awakening from hibernation!
This red Maestro was photographed in Malaga, Costa Del Sol, Spain.
Austin Maestro 1598cc (registered June 1987)
1985 Austin Maestro 1.3 Base
1992 Austin Maestro 2.0 turbo diesel Clubman photographed in Weymouth.
1987 Austin Maestro 500 City Van