The Allegro was by no means as bad as people make out.  A friend of mine used to run them as basic commuting transport (a 200 mile daily round commute), clocking up 50,000 miles per year. He would buy 50,000 mile trade ins for around £500 (early/ mid 1980s) and run them for 2 years (up to 150,000 miles).  The 3 he had all made the 150,000 mile mark, were reliable and didn't require any significant repair. The bodywork was actually quite durable compared with the earlier 1100/1300 range.

At the same time I ran 2 Mk I VW Golfs, which were supposedly oh so much superior.  The early ones suffered from problems with gearbox bearings (mine was no exception), water pump failure and the bodywork was actually quite rust prone. My 1976 P reg Golf at 4 years had rust holes in the sills, even though it was maintained and I did not live near the coast. This was a common experience for owners of the 1975 -1977 model years.  By 1977/8 the rust proofing treatment was improved and the later Mk I output seemed to fare better from the rust point of view. Too late for me to remain loyal to the marque.

British Leyland had a plant in Belgium at Seneffe -these were considered to be the ones to have for build quality.  I helped marketing the site, when the plant was closed down. It was rather sad.  In the 1980s Allegros were a fairly common sight in Belgium -they managed to attract buyers in the continental marketplace.

I remember seeing a French auto press review of the Allegro in the late 1970s -it was actually very favourably and its verdict was for French motorists to go out and buy one.  Some did.  The article had a terrible groan inducing pun for a title: "Allez Roulez Britannia".  So bad that I haven't forgotten it some 30 years on.