A reliable mile muncher
One of the coolant hoses failed and all the water emptied out of the radiator within a couple of minutes. This was 1 week after the car was serviced (by a non-Renault dealer) It turned out that the hose was too near a sharp piece of metal and this eventually burst the hose. Renault hoses are not simple "pipes" and this hose assembly had 4 outlets and cost £45 + VAT!
Bonnet catches were worn and had to be replaced. They originally had plastic inserts that would wear out, but the new versions have been modified and are all metal. Bonnet catches are not cheap either and there are 2 (one on each side of the car). These can only be reached from underneath the car and only one is readily accessible. Luckily, the "easy" side failed and the garage repaired the car in around 4 hours.
Paintwork is easily scratched.
The non-turbo diesel engine is economical (but rather slow) and I regularly achieve 550 miles or more on a full tank.
The RN specification is the basic model, but the car still has an RDS stereo with remote volume control etc on the steering column.
The door mirrors provide excellent rear visibility, but they do protrude a fair distance from the side of the car. I've had a driver clipping my mirror when I have been parked in the street (so I sometimes fold them back when I'm leaving the car for any length of time).
The steering and clutch both have a nice weight and "feel" (not too light like some cars).
Even after 122,000 miles, the engine feels sound and there are no rattles in the cabin.
Only bug is the car seems to lose power after 1000 miles of gentle driving and blows soot out of the exhaust. This was only noticed when the "low sulphur" diesel was introduced. I now have to use a fuel additive at every fill-up to stop this happening or drive the car at 4,000 RPM for 10 seconds to clear out the soot.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th April, 2002