1989 Renault 19 GTX 1.7 from UK and Ireland


Good reliable, simple car


The starter motor burnt out about 65,000 miles. This was replaced with a good S/H unit from a breakers, £5.

Rear box started leaking about 68,000 and was about £30 to replace from ATS.

Required two new rear wheel cylinders as the bleed nipples were corroded and so I couldn't bleed the brakes. They were about £10 each and easy to fit.

New petrol tank was £72 fitted.

Some light corrosion to door bottoms and wing edges, but one the whole, very rust resistant for an eighties car.

Watch the front cross member though, just under the radiator.

No mechanical trouble at all apart from a weeping camshaft seal. About £2 to replace.

General Comments:

A very simple car to maintain, and surprisingly durable for an eighties french car. Reasonably well built, although the interior is rather flimsy, but you would expect that from renault.

This is a VERY comfortable car to drive. It's like a Rolls Royce compared to a similar vintage Escort. Handling is not it's strong point though, plenty of roll on corners, although grip is good.

The 1.7 engine is a great puller, with lots of low down power, and very economical at around 40 MPG.

Brakes are a bit iffy at speed, but it's dead easy to upgrade to 16 valve spec. Just need the bigger disc's and caliper brackets from that model, or a R5 turbo.

It's very dated now, but I like its old world charm and simplicity. If it goes wrong, you'll know what the problem is without taking it to a garage.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2007

1989 Renault 19 1.7 petrol from Slovakia


Cheap to buy, expensive to repair


Lots of rust that started to appear around rear wheels after about 10 years - color was simple red and looked terrible as well.

A problem with the temperature control of the cooling system caused that the fan turned on long after the car was parked in the shadow. This also left us once steaming on a highway and ruined a vacation. The problem was never really fixed, but since the car was old, there was no point in taking it to Renault's own repair service.

Water pump started making crazy noise at about 150.000km, was fixed with a little bit of oil, but had to be replaced about one year later when the problem returned. I didn't realize it was so loud until I saw a truck driver waiting at traffic lights peer out of his cabin nervously checking his vehicle.

Exhaust had to be replaced at about 180.000km.

At about 200.000 we realized we can't drive backwards anymore - a plastic part under the gear shift lever was broken and had to be replaced.

Brake pads replaced at some point.

After selling the car, the new owner had to replace both rear wheel axes within a year (they broke, of course not simultaneously). Same year the car was crashed beyond repair.

General Comments:

The car was crashed before we bought it, so thanks to the non-metallic red, every part had a different type of red.

Renaults are of the type that cause feelings like when being sea sick.

The car has very poor braking. I later drove a Nissan and that was much better.

I'm not sure what to think of all the problems, but I certainly wouldn't buy another Renault (also because I do get sea sick). I've also spent a lot of time in a FIAT Tempra, which was even worse, so I don't think it is such a disaster. On the other hand, I heard a story about having to replace the clutch and entire transmission at about 100.000 on another #19.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 1st February, 2007

1989 Renault 19 GTS 1.4 Energy from UK and Ireland


A good reliable car that did not once let me down


Faulty window seal on drivers side: replaced under warranty.

Wheel bearing: replaced out of warranty.

Usual stuff such as bulbs, brake pads etc.

General Comments:

Very happy with this car in the two years I owned it. I replaced my previous Renault 9 with one of these because, at the time, I'd always liked the shape.

The car proved to be very reliable mainly due to the fact that Renault had not fitted all of the pointless electronic gadgetry to these lower end models.

No particular reason for trading it in. I felt like a change of car but with hindsight, should have kept hold of it.

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

Review Date: 5th November, 2006