1976 Renault 12 TL 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Sublime - Get one while you can!


Very little considering I bought it at a car boot sale for 200 quid.

The car had "head gasket issues" from day one and as such was prone to overheating. Driving with the heater on and the windows down during the summer solved that.

A local mechanic, overcome with nostalgia kept me on the road with some kind MOT results and reconditioned bits and pieces when things went pear shaped. Clutch 100 quid, carb 70 etc.

Rust was a bit of a battle, but that's what Halfords is for.

The car ultimately died of terminal head gasket, meeting its maker in a shopping centre carpark in North County Dublin.

General Comments:

Very quick as weighed close to nothing.

Go anywhere ground clearance.

Long bonnet - ideal for sun bathing!

Excellent petrol mileage for its age.

More comfortable than anything I have owned or driven since (I am not kidding here).

Very roomy and supremely stylish.

A third gear to die for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th August, 2001

20th Mar 2004, 14:29

Your R12 comments brought back memories. I bought an 1982 model here in Canada and almost immediately had top end problems. The dealer was of no value, which was reasonable as I suspect I owned the only Renault east of Quebec City.

We finally had a new head installed and thereafter took care of business ourselves. We solved the problems by going to the local auto parts store, buying a Dodge flathead 6 carburetor (We just drove it in the bay & kept looking until we found one that fit. I don't recall making up a plate), removing approx. 6 miles of anti-smog hosing and generally laying it out in a way able to cope with our winters. After that, it was a darling little car. It ran for years. To this date, I have not had a car able to match the cornering ability/general fun of that little auto!

1976 Renault 12 TS R1177 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand


The most problem-free car on the road


Virtually nothing, except for oil leaks from the gearbox.

General Comments:

This car would have to represent the very peak of automotive engineering, manufactured in the days when cars were built to last. Fortunately, this ensures that there will be cars of this model available for many years to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th April, 2000

14th Aug 2001, 02:48

I agree, the R12 is one of the best cars of all time!!! I have got a 1978 model and it is really good. It also leaks oil from the gearbox!!!

4th Feb 2006, 00:17

True. My 1975 R12 is still my daily driver, and leaks some oil here and there, but will probably last forever. It just blows me away how easy it is to keep such an older car road worthy! I do some frequent trips to USA on it (800km same day round trip) and find all kinds of newer cars left in the ditch for one reason or other, and I can't believe this one is still going. I also own a 1990 Nissan Sentra wagon and I don't trust it as much. For those long trips I stick to the Renault.

16th Jun 2006, 12:37

First of all: please excuse my writings if they are not 100% correct, but I am not an English speaker (Romanian).

I don't think my comment is really about this car's reliability, but it's tangential to the subject.


Please consider that this car, the Renault 12, was made until 2003-2004!! Yes, it's real!! In fact, the name wasn't Renault 12, but Dacia Berlina (or Dacia 1300), which is a licensed version of the french car that was produced in Romania for almost 30 years, since the 70's. Today they are still produced as commercial versions (pick-up) of the old car.

But the problem is that, after 1980, when the communist regime forced the economy and the original parts were assimilated and updated in Romania, their quality was poor, and the car lost its reputation of reliability.