1987 Renault 21 Nevada 2.1 turbo diesel from France
If you want a car to last you over 15 years without seriously going wrong, this is it
Radiator split at 200000km.
Radiator split again at 285000km.
Glow plugs have broken up regularly from 150000km onward.
Small fires behind the dashboard caused by poor wiring. As a result, most of the dashboard instrumentation (OK, all except for the speedometer) no longer works.
Rear light clusters keep on falling out toward the interior.
Boot support broken and jammed since 250000km.
Windscreen lamination in poor condition.
Gearbox problems - not yet terminal - first gear jumps out regularly, third gear making worn out noises. Reverse often impossible to find.
Bearing in mind that this car is now seventeen years old and has done so many kilometers, the (many) faults are acceptable.
The problem is that the faults are becoming more expensive to fix; once the gearbox finally dies it will be time for the car to retire.
The interior has stood the test of time very well, with no holes in the seats or carpets.
All of the "extra" electrical equipment (windows, radio) still works, even if the standard stuff (dashboard, lights) doesn't always.
The turbo lag has to be experienced to be believed. The process of accelerating goes something like this: first, floor the throttle; second, wait one second for the diesel engine to catch up; third, wait another two seconds for the turbo to kick in. Not a problem if you can anticipate when you will need to accelerate.
The car has done Paris-Prague return three times since it passed 230000km, and the fuel consumption is amazingly low at 140kmh in fifth.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 31st October, 2004
11th Mar 2015, 18:15
Update: the car finally went to the scrapyard in 2007 with 315000km on it. It became impossible to get 1st gear when the gearbox was cold, and I had to hold 3rd gear in place to prevent it jumping out. A second dashboard fire took out the speedo shortly before it was scrapped. The steering also would sometimes block at low speeds (unable to turn left), making roundabouts tricky - the only option was to force the wheel around, which often resulted in a violent jerk to the left when the blockage cleared. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare, but when you think of the service I got out of the car (and my in-laws had out of it before me), the faults at the end of the cars life were a small price to pay. It was a great car in its time, and for quite a while afterwards!
14th Mar 2015, 13:56
Well, of course it will be cheap to run if you don't rectify any of its faults...
16th Mar 2015, 23:56
I find the idea of criticism of the OP or the car at this age and mileage kind of trite.