1974 Renault 12 TL 1.3 litre from Australia and New Zealand
Long in tooth, but quirky and interesting
Brake master cylinder (twice).
Rusty fuel tank.
New drum brakes.
Motor (original) badly needed rebuilding towards the end.
Rear springs replaced.
Entire front suspension needed overhauling.
C/V joints worn.
A lot of other things. $500 per year in repairs just to keep it on the road (ignoring the bigger problems)
Overall an interesting, individual, and practical car. It had a lot of problems which I think were partly age related and partly due to poor build quality or bad design.
This car was very comfortable for a small car. It had a superb ride and excellent seats. Virtually everyone who went in it commented on the comfort.
Despite the soft, long travel suspension, it was quite a good car to drive. It had good road holding, and excellent on the limit handling. These things are first rate handlers in the dirt and in the wet. I always used to enjoy putting it fast enough into a corner to get a bit of roll-oversteer happening, and then correcting with a bit of opposite lock. Scared the hell out of passengers though.
Unfortunately the 12s are totally underpowered. I suppose it was probably acceptable in the 70's, but anyone use to driving a modern car would find the lack of power very frustrating. It had to be driven pretty hard just to keep up with city traffic, and hills were a real chore. Get a few mates in the car and things just get worse.
When I got it, the car felt a bit loose. A lot of things needed work, and there were a few interior fittings either missing or broken. I don't think they were really up to Australian conditions. However, I did enjoy owning my Renault.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th June, 2001