1973 Renault 16 TS 1.6 from Australia and New Zealand
Very little. It was purchased for $250 and used on a daily basis around Sydney. It was driven to the Snowy Mountains and the Byron hinterland a number of times, 800km and 1700km round trips respectively. It was regularly driven on harsh dirt roads in country NSW. The cooling system glass tank blew on a trip to the Snowy Mountains. A rear shock absorber snapped in the outback. In both cases, the car was still driveable. I changed the gearbox as it jumped out of 1st gear. This was not a difficult job.
It was my first car, a fabulous car. A wierd looking thing, but a lovely design and fantastic to drive. They are very comfortable and are happy cruising about the city or the country. At the time of ownership, a Renault 16 (or 12) was possibly the cheapest car to buy and since the people who owned one were generally cash strapped, the mechanics were very reasonable when it came to the cost of spare parts. I bought two wrecks for spares for $50 each. One was pillaged, the other was registered and given to a friend. I eventually sold it after 3 years of ownership to a guy in Coogee who needed a car to fit his drum kit in. I wonder what happened to it? Following this 16, I bought a Citroen CX, which was a truly marvelous car, but much less faithful than my 16. Find a good 16 and keep it, you will not regret it.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 20th January, 2000
Why call the R16 a "poor man's car"? In its day it was the top (most expensive) Renault as is the Safrane today in their product line. As a matter of fact, the R16 was meant to be bought by a very large audience, hence all its features. Long legged for the country, comfortable suspension for all purposes, luggage features non-plus-ultra! Reliability and safety were all incorporated. Even the repair fee's were clearly stated in the owners brochure addendum. Does not have to do with a poor man's signature.
The car was cheap to buy as a used car simply because so many were around by its popularity. Repairing a previously owned car with even a large mileage was also marketed by Renault.
Unfortunately parts are rarely available from Renault today, which is a pity. Citroen does a better job here for their Ds/ID series.
It is unbelievable the R16 is less popular as an oldtimer here then the ID/DS's. I own 4 R16's today and threw out the R25 with its nasty engine and suspension habits. Rate the 16 higher please!