Reliant Rialto Reviews from UK and Ireland

1986 Reliant Rialto Estate 850

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 850 Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 2 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.8 / 10
Distance when acquired25000 miles
Most recent distance30000 miles
Previous carFord Cortina

Summary:

Good town runabout... not for motorways

Faults:

Very little mechanically, but used fair amount of oil.

Interior self-destructing - headlining coming off, dash made of very poor plastic which cracked badly.

Window winders not very durable and back door didn't stay open.

General Comments:

Purchased as a cheap runaround for London.

Good for weekly supermarket trip - load space is huge considering tiny dimensions of car.

Very noisy engine.

Good "clicky" gear change. Amazing acceleration from the lights!

Used about £10 of fuel once a month!

Always started, whatever the weather.

Seats very uncomfortable!

Not really up to motorway driving.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th July, 2007

1984 Reliant Rialto GLX 848cc petrol

Year of manufacture1984
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 848cc petrol Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.2 / 10
Distance when acquired73000 miles
Most recent distance75000 miles
Previous carReliant Robin

Summary:

A great car for anyone who don't mind standing out from the crowd

Faults:

Nothing other than the mounting plate on the drivers seat came loose making the seat wobble, it was only a 30 sec job to fix though.

General Comments:

This car is great, it out accelerates a fiesta at lights, and the seats are deceptively comfortable. There is surprisingly loads of legroom in the front, if the foot wells are a little narrow. The dashboard is simple and uncluttered yet well laid out with all switches in easy reach or the driver. The boot is massive for such a small car and the fold down seats mean it can hold almost anything you want. This car also has a lot more soundproofing than the old MK1 Robin it replaced making it much quieter inside and even at motorway speeds its still fairly quiet. Spare parts are cheap to buy and all the Reliant dealers tend to be very helpful. If you want a good car, which costs peanuts to run, is easy and cheap to maintain will last forever and keep its value well get a Rialto, Rialto 2's tend to be more expensive as they go a bit faster and do even more MPG.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th April, 2002

27th May 2002, 14:46

Don't buy any sort of Reliant 3-Wheeler. They are all ludicrous. if you want to enjoy a Reliant, then buy a Scimitar, or a Sabre. Robins, Regals, and Rialtos, would look good if they had 4 wheels, don't you think?

9th Jun 2002, 16:16

Ho ho ho, someone doesn't like Reliant three wheelers! Check out the Wizard of NOS and fit a nitrous kit. this makes a fantastic difference.

I can even blow away Scimitars...

Kit costs about 500 quid, but it's really funny burning hot hatch-backs off from the lights.

1981 Reliant Rialto 2 0.85

Year of manufacture1981
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1995
Engine and transmission 0.85 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance56000 miles
Previous carReliant Robin

Summary:

An excellent choice for the motorcyclist who wants to stay dry in Winter

Faults:

Got hit by a lorry.

General Comments:

The Rialto is a sound 3-wheeler and will on a good day touch 96mph. Its wedge shape gives it extra stabilty over the Robin and so it does feel quite safe. It provides excellent fuel economy at around 80mpg and can not be faulted.. apart from the hatch door at the back which is below the window so you can not actually stack anything in there higher than the window.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2000

27th Jan 2006, 12:06

I own a 87 Rialto estate and it is great! I run my own plumbing company with this car and would not swap it!

22nd Nov 2007, 18:37

A 2CV is definitely NOT safer.

6th Oct 2011, 13:54

I own a 1986 Rialto 2 like yours. Superb little car.

20th Dec 2012, 18:00

I have a 88 Rialto with a 1300 Hayabusa lump! Oh yeah, any car any day!

1st Feb 2013, 15:27

I'm trying to do a bike engine Rialto now, any hints?

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 3 reviews