1978 Renault 12 Reviews

1978 Renault 12 1.4 from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership1994
Engine and transmission 1.4 Manual
Performance marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.3 / 10
Distance when acquired200000 kilometres

Summary:

Reliable, cheap and solid little car

Faults:

Clutch replacement - replaced with heavy duty estate clutch plate; was never a problem again.

Shock absorbers.

Air filter replaced with foam type filter.

General Comments:

This was my first car, I picked it up for $500 AUD in a paddock, the owner had cleaned up the engine and it ran very smoothly. From the day I bought it to the day I sold it, the little Renault ran well, and while its performance was nothing to write home about, it was reliable, very comfortable and had enormous amounts of space.

The car was assembled in Australia and was pretty rudimentary, but as a first car it was perfect. Extremely easy to repair/conduct routine maintenance, parts very easy to find and very affordable (plenty of wrecked examples).

I regret selling the little 12, as I am sure that it would have provided, reliable, cheap and quirky transportation for many years.

It was amazing how many comments from former owners I received, all positive, many with pleasant memories of their own Renault 12's.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th January, 2009

1978 Renault 12 1.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand

Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership1997
Most recent year of ownership2001
Engine and transmission 1.4 petrol Manual
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired423000 kilometres
Most recent distance546000 kilometres

Summary:

Individual, fun, reliable

Faults:

Most of the problems I have had with the car are due to age related wear rather than poor design or shoddy workmanship. It wasn't very well looked after by the previous owner.

New motor after about 100 000 km's of owning (piston collapse). Replacement motor also eliminated starting problems which were the most annoying thing about the car: refused to start even in comparatively mild Australian winter mornings of +3 to +9 C.

Brake performance fades quite quickly after servicing.

Floor carpet wears out very fast in the front - 20 year old pristine carpet will be destroyed in a matter of months.

Dashboard gauges prone to inaccuracy/blowing/dying completely.

Windscreen wiper pivot rusted completely through (driver's side, of course!)

General Comments:

Acceleration is pretty underwhelming. If you buy one, get the 1.4 L engine.

Desperately needs a 5th gear: 3700 rpm at 100 km/h in top 4th.

Has amazingly comfortable seats for a 70's car - excellent for long drives and sleeping on.

With a bit of proper maintenance these cars are extremely reliable. The motor is absolutely bulletproof. Great long distance car.

Economy is not too bad, somewhere around 8-9 L/100 km if kept tuned and not hammered on the highway.

Oddball body shape and quirky accessories still endear and turn heads 20 years later.

Three nuts per wheel is a tribute to French engineering - tyre changes are very quick.

Door lock design makes these almost theftproof.

Back seat a bit cramped, but heaps of boot space.

This is a car you really have to DRIVE.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2001

14th Oct 2001, 10:49

I have had a Renault 12 TS for 24 years and have almost 480k on it - the most comfortable, reliable and best built car of its time. Pity the build quality of todays cars aren't the same as the good old 12.

12th Jan 2002, 15:42

Renault R12 wagon, I found that the car was robust and very easy to repair. Parts were easy to get, taillight lenses were damaged when I bought the car. It does have very comfortable seats and roomy front cabin space.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the car was working in all departments and had no oil leaks and all the bushes were in good condition. After some TLC was applied and fresh paint, it was a enjoyable car to drive and yes people did comment on the model.

Average review marks: 7.6 / 10, based on 2 reviews