1993 Renault 19 RT 1.4 from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Cheap first car

Faults:

Wheel Bearings needed replacing when I bought the car.

Alternator went, although this was traced due to a leak from the head which stopped after tightening the head bolts. Expensive to replace as hard to get to!

Water Pump went, good opportunity to replace the cambelt.

Calipers went, upgraded with 16v setup.

General Comments:

This was my first car at age 17 and I'd be the first one to say its hard a hard 3 years!

The 1.4 engine is surprisingly quick and very low insurance group, 6,000 mile service intervals come round quickly and the tappets start to make a racket if you try and push it up to 8,000. Service it at home if you can, £15 for oil and filter, air filter and sump washer from your motor factors.

Drinks the juice if you drive it hard, but keep it under 3.5k (70 on the motorway) and it'll return 40MPG - I've only managed to do this once!

Get an RT, don't even consider anything else. Electric everything, and nothing electrical has yet to go wrong. 16v parts are easily interchangeable and readily available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2004

1993 Renault 19 RN 1.4 Energy from UK and Ireland

Summary:

An underrated car with a huge interior and good handling

Faults:

Head gasket started to leak.

Rear crank case oil seal needed replacing, resulting in a bottom-end engine rebuild.

Water pump was replaced.

A new thermostat was fitted.

A few minor switches were replaced in the dashboard.

Injector fault (very rare I have been told)

New center clutch plate (due to a lot of city driving)

General Comments:

This was my first car, so naturally I loved it to bits!

Despite all the problems, the car never once let me down and always started on the button, no matter what the conditions.

The running costs are fantastic. Even if you drive it hard, you will struggle to get less than 35mpg. Part prices are very low and even the engine rebuild mentioned above was only £400 including the new clutch plate, water pump and thermostat.

The car was very comfortable, and many people who traveled in it proclaimed the seats to be the most comfortable they have ever used. Space is first rate and the whole package is very practical.

Performance was OK. The engine was quite responsive compared with other cars of that size, but was quite vocal and was rather sluggish with more than 2 people in it, but unless you want to race people from the lights the performance overall is quite acceptable.

The handling was excellent. Although I did have the bigger "16 valve" type alloy wheels on mine, they all handle well. With quality tires, grip is ample and although there is some body roll, the car had a good neutral handling response and didn't under-steer unless severely provoked, even when this happened it would convert to a good progressive slide by easing off the throttle. The ride quality was good and kept the car stable at high speeds, even on bumpy back roads.

The car look nice, especially with the alloys, and when clean looked very smart. There was no rust despite its age and the paint finish was excellent.

Admittedly I drove my 19 very hard, and I think this could be the reason the head gasket went, but for simple, A to B motoring with minimal costs and lots of practicality I highly recommend the 19. It is much nicer to drive than its rivals and if you keep it serviced and clean and it should prove to be an excellent car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd January, 2004

6th Dec 2008, 09:26

I own a Renault 19 Saloon 1993 (L).

I inherited it from a late relative in 2006, when it had 30,195 genuine miles on the clock.

I have done 16,000 miles in the car and it`s a joy to drive.

No rust is evident and the interior is comfortable and in good condition.

It`s a bit slow off the mark, but only to be expected with a small 1.4cc engine and quite a big body.

It will cruise on the motorway all day at 70mph and I frequently find myself creeping over the legal limit, without any effort. ;o)