Practicality, character and economy balanced by poor component quality
Steering column bearings and shaft replaced.
Rear wheel bearing, rear wheel brake cylinders and brake lines replaced.
Front discs, pads and hoses replaced.
Both driveshafts replaced (one new, one s/h).
Anti-roll bar drop links and bushes replaced.
Water and air temperature sensors, CO potentiometer replaced to cure rich running problem.
Fuel gauge/trip computer replaced.
Cam belt replaced at 120,000 miles (easy job).
Driver's window winder motor and stereo unit replaced with s/h parts.
Front shocks replaced.
Removed all AC components (didn't work).
The following parts came from a spare car: rear struts, tailgate, windscreen, starter motor, driver's seat, brake master and clutch slave cylinders.
The clutch and gearbox will follow.
Ongoing faults: heater is either off or fully on, syncro gone on first, weak on second, excessive play in final drive.
It's a shame the French aren't as good at BUILDING cars as they are at DESIGNING them! If you aren't an enthusiast/mechanic like me, owning one of these would be expensive and frustrating. The quality of the running gear components and some of the controls and trim is sub-standard (squeezing suppliers?).
As a car, the 25 is one of Renault's better efforts. The styling is sharp and distinctive, aging well. It's unusual in being a large FWD hatch, very useful load carrier, though the legroom is not generous for it's size. The 25 is light for it's size; combined with the quick, light steering and torquey motor, makes it nimble around town.
The 2.2 litre 8 valve motor is the car's best feature: they appear to be bullet-proof, not particularly powerful, but heaps of torque, the Rennix EFI works brilliantly, and the car is astonishing economical (best 39 mpg on a trip). Combined with a generous 70plus litre tank, touring range is excellent.
Ride is harsh over small bumps, excellent on large bumps, treats speed bumps with disdain. Big anti-roll bars keep things under control in the corners, car is quite nicely balanced, with lift-off oversteer. Alas, bumpy corners are a nightmare with truly horrendous bump-steer; how they could release a car with such a chronic and dangerous fault amazes me. Brakes are excellent despite rear drums.
Driving position odd, with angled wheel, offset instruments hard to read, seats lack lateral support, but are comfortable. Relaxed tourer. The standard Philips stereo and 6.5 inch speakers are very good, column controls.
Easy car to work on (just as well!), you can climb into the engine bay. Mechanically quite simple.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th July, 2006