1987 Renault 21 Nevada 2.1 turbo diesel


If you want a car to last you over 15 years without seriously going wrong, this is it


Radiator split at 200000km.

Radiator split again at 285000km.

Glow plugs have broken up regularly from 150000km onward.

Small fires behind the dashboard caused by poor wiring. As a result, most of the dashboard instrumentation (OK, all except for the speedometer) no longer works.

Rear light clusters keep on falling out toward the interior.

Boot support broken and jammed since 250000km.

Windscreen lamination in poor condition.

Gearbox problems - not yet terminal - first gear jumps out regularly, third gear making worn out noises. Reverse often impossible to find.

General Comments:

Bearing in mind that this car is now seventeen years old and has done so many kilometers, the (many) faults are acceptable.

The problem is that the faults are becoming more expensive to fix; once the gearbox finally dies it will be time for the car to retire.

The interior has stood the test of time very well, with no holes in the seats or carpets.

All of the "extra" electrical equipment (windows, radio) still works, even if the standard stuff (dashboard, lights) doesn't always.

The turbo lag has to be experienced to be believed. The process of accelerating goes something like this: first, floor the throttle; second, wait one second for the diesel engine to catch up; third, wait another two seconds for the turbo to kick in. Not a problem if you can anticipate when you will need to accelerate.

The car has done Paris-Prague return three times since it passed 230000km, and the fuel consumption is amazingly low at 140kmh in fifth.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st October, 2004

11th Mar 2015, 18:15

Update: the car finally went to the scrapyard in 2007 with 315000km on it. It became impossible to get 1st gear when the gearbox was cold, and I had to hold 3rd gear in place to prevent it jumping out. A second dashboard fire took out the speedo shortly before it was scrapped. The steering also would sometimes block at low speeds (unable to turn left), making roundabouts tricky - the only option was to force the wheel around, which often resulted in a violent jerk to the left when the blockage cleared. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare, but when you think of the service I got out of the car (and my in-laws had out of it before me), the faults at the end of the cars life were a small price to pay. It was a great car in its time, and for quite a while afterwards!

14th Mar 2015, 13:56

Well, of course it will be cheap to run if you don't rectify any of its faults...

16th Mar 2015, 23:56

I find the idea of criticism of the OP or the car at this age and mileage kind of trite.

1993 Renault 21 GTD Manager 2.1 diesel


An excellent cheap and reliable road car


I had to change the alternator at 210,000 km.

I have exchanged the driver and the passenger seats, because the driver one had became lot too soft. The ancient Renault cars often had bad seats.

Many electrical minor problems. Some plastic elements have broken.

The R21 phase 2 have all the same problem : an oxidation of the corners of the windows, which make quiet hard to lower the rear electrical glasses.

The previous owner had no major problems with this car.

General Comments:

I really appreciate my car, despite all the minor problems due to the bad quality of the plastics.

It has a good comportement on the road.

The engine is very very reliable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th October, 2003

1991 Renault 21 TXI 2.0


Great road holding and comfortable


Central door locking sometimes "forgets" one door.

Several oil leaks.

Dashboard LCD screen deteriorated.

Dashboard lighting sometimes switches off (wire loose).

Air conditioning regulator at 120000 Km.

Radiator leak at 125000 Km.

Gearshift pommel came unstuck at 140000 Km.

General Comments:

This car is very pleasant to drive, the engine gives its real power only above 3500 revs, it easily reaches 6500 revs generating a lot of noise. Under 3500 revs the car will behave like a good family car and your passengers will not be able to guess it can become a furious road racer.

The car has a magic suspension setup and good brakes.

The seats are very comfortable and the hatchback is convenient.

The engine is very reliable, but the gas consumption is too high (12 liters/100 Km).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2003

23rd Feb 2006, 07:50

I am absolutely agreed with the description of the car. I have the same car and I am really happy with it:)

24th Mar 2007, 15:23

A furious road racer, that makes me want one even more!