1989 Plymouth Reliant LE 2.2 TBI from North America
The best cult car ever. The K Car
Climate controls do not light up.
Hubcaps are long gone.
Paint on hood starting to peel.
Mechanically, I've never known a simpler and more reliable car for the times it was built in. In pouring rain, she starts every time, first try, which is nice in a place where we get a lot of rain. You can steer with two fingers if you want to, or you can pay attention, but either way the car just seems to find it's path. At 120km/h, driving down a rain soaked highway, she never once hydroplaned. And while you're enjoying all this, the gas mileage is excellent.
Now for the interior. If you're not a fan of the old style American sedan, you're not going to make friends with the Reliant. Bench seats are in place, front and back. The shift lever is mounted on the steering column. The seats are soft, and for short people it's a long way down to get your feet on the pedals. This is all countered, however, by the simplicity of it all. The AM/FM radio doesn't skip a beat and keeps perfect time. The climate controls are easy to find and use (except in the dark... mine have stopped lighting up), and the dashboard display is the epitome of simple. Speedometer, fuel, battery, oil and odometer gages, and dummy lights for things like the emergency brake, high beams, and turn signals.
You will (trust me) want to remove the buzzer relay for the parking brake. It can, and will, drive you crazy.
The exterior of these cars, at best, is benign. Simple, square three box sedans. Everything is where it should be, and the cars are by no stretch imaginative. They are, however, very pleasing from the right angles. The image of the car changes much for the better if you install hubcaps; it just seems to make it sparkle. The paint doesn't last as long as the car, however, so invest in some touch up paint, some wax, some sandpaper, or a new paint job and keep your car looking nice.
Overall, these cars are excellent. They were never meant to last as long as they do (5 digit odometers?), but with proper oil changes and maintenance every once in a while, they'll run almost forever. Just don't let them go completely... things will deteriorate and you'll be sorry.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st November, 2004
"buzzer relay for the parking brake"? My '88 Reliant did not have a buzzer on the parking brake, only a warning light. Why would it "drive you crazy" unless you drive around with the brake on?
Are you sure you are not talking about the seat belt buzzer?
The K-car may have been many things, but a "cult car"? lol.