1974 Renault 12 from Australia and New Zealand


The best present ever


The head gasket blew twice.

The brakes went.

General Comments:

This car was a 21st birthday present from my family from then on I have gained everything I wanted in life. I have been involved in The Renault Car Club of Victoria and made friends with other people that also love Renaults.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th July, 2004

25th Feb 2006, 19:00

Have a '74 myself here in Colombia. AWESOME CAR!!! Robust, trouble free daily driver. Well, yes some drops of oil from the gearbox evey now and then.

1974 Renault 12 Virage 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand




Most incredible car I have owned. Had trouble with front brake pads. and hand brake. Other than that, what a car! Used to pull out to a red line at 7000 rpm and still want more. handled like it was on rails, as long as you knew about body roll. What a car.

General Comments:

Love the car, but, a more powerful engine would be good.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th June, 2003

14th Dec 2003, 16:16

I'm really happy to read this about the red-lining! Almost all of the reviews I've read of these cars comment on the bad acceleration. I remember though, learning to drive in one of these in the late 70s, and I still remember that it would do 50 km/h in 1st, 80 in 2nd, 125 in 3rd. That was pretty amazing for a family 1300 built in 1971. Compare that to, say, a 1969 Ford Cortina (utterly dreadful car). It would reach those speeds at 7400 rpm. I know, because we gave it a rev-counter for Christmas in about 1982, after my father had been caning it for 11 years already. He really drove it like a maniac, and despite that it survived until 1989. My sister had it parked under a tarpaulin out front of her house, and when she took the tarpaulin away, it had basically dissolved. A sad end for a much loved car. My rather overweight and grumpy mother still moans about how no other car has ever been as comfortable.

1974 Renault 12 TL 1.3 from Turkey


Very cheap spare parts and reliable engine


The brakes system had problems and was completely replaced, including hydraulic pipes. But not the pump though.

The cooling leaked water, pipes were replaced.

Seats were unusable and were replaced.

Exhaust failed because of rusting.

Body was repainted.

General Comments:

The car is certainly underpowered for 55 HP for 850kg of empty weight. In addition the acceleration is poor. It is more like a diesel engine rather than gasoline. I measured 18 seconds to reach 100 km/h.

It consumes 8-9 liter/100 km in highway and 10-12 in city. A fifth gear can increase the fuel consumption though. But I don't think it worths changing the gearbox.

Overheats in summer in city and it has no electric fan in front of the radiator. I had a temperature gauge put on after I bought the car. Just turn on the heater and open the windows, it really helps.

It leaks engine and transmission oil. After fixing that it only goes for a couple of months then starts leaking again. I check the oil frequently.

Body is prone to rusting, I found no ways to prevent it, but painting all over when rusted too badly.

It has vibration in third gear under load, and the cabin has amplified noise at the rear. Overall the car is extremely noisy in highway at 90km/h. Although poor noise isolation helps to determine if something goes wrong.

The engine is very reliable provided that oil level and cooling water is checked.

It can be run in rough terrain. I would say it is more like an off-road vehicle, high from the ground.

I really enjoy cornering with it, though it rolls quite a bit. Even it starts to slip it is controllable. I would say it has better handling than two other modern cars I drove.

The engine had no problems except there is a little pressure drop in one of the cylinders. There was no oil burning until now.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th May, 2002