1980 Renault 5 TL 1.1 petrol from UK and Ireland
Light, efficient, Fun. Why do small cars these days need to be so big?
Radiator developed leak shortly after purchase (fixed with Rad-weld)
Fuel Pump started leaking oil (split diaphragm, replaced pump)
Brake Fluid then joined in the act leading to a new master cylinder.
General old car problems (noisy heater fan, failed clock, dead bulbs on instrument panel and rust everywhere!)
I loved my Five, and still miss it today. I contemplated keeping it in storage until I had the money to restore it, but things didn't work out that way.
It leaked every possible fluid, but didn't fail to start or get me home. Until I decided to have it tuned by a professional firm who ruined all the settings rendering it hard to start. A bit of tinkering by me got it back to its best.
I think I was the first owner to clean it and the faded red paint came up nicely with some polish. The interior too had been heavily smoked in, but this too came up like (nearly) new. Drivers seat had sagged badly and split, but wasn't uncomfortable.
Rust claimed it. The bottom of the front wing and door bottoms were the most obvious areas affected. But it was the rear suspension towers that caused the most concern. They had been repaired, but the repair was poor and eventually the whole structure became unsafe.
Despite its age and the fact it had been abused (poor thing) it always gave good economy and was happiest cruising at 55 on a straight road. It would do 75 no problem, but it was never happy at that speed. My dad always told me to treat and old car like an old lady. Good advise to any owner of an old car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th November, 2005