1985 Talbot Horizon LX 1.3 from UK and Ireland


I love this car -100K miles, it owes me nothing


Hardly anything - I've got through two ignition coils in 15 years - the second time I told the AA man I thought that's what it was, but he still spent an hour checking everything else first.

Apart from that just the usual consumables although the gearbox is beginning to get a little delicate.

General Comments:

I love this car. I've had it fifteen years and still use on a daily basis.

It's deceptively quick and great for catching 3 Series BMW owners by surprise at the lights. Unlike modern cars it's easy to push to its limits when cornering giving plenty of drift and loads of tyre squeal.

Granted the engine is a little noisy, but you get used to it bubbling away.

It's also very comfortable and refreshingly minimalist. It complements my Lexus perfectly, but it has a hard life, kept outside and used in all weathers when the Lexus is snug in the garage.

Running cost are low - no depreciation low insurance and 40 mpg is possible.

The last three MOTs have needed no repairs! The road tax also low (now the same as when I first bought it in '88)

I'm tempted to 'Max'it up, but it might spoil the original character.

This car owes me nothing and I'll keep running it until it finally gives up. Talbot put a Lotus Esprit engine/gearbox in a Sunbeam. When the gears eventually collapse I'd like to get hold of the Lotus bits. Then I can really start to have some fun.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th November, 2002

18th Nov 2003, 16:32

The Lotus Sunbeam is a rear wheel drive car with a ZF gearbox and the running gear will not fit into the front wheel drive Horizon without major structural surgery.

I believe Peugeot_Talbot did build a 1.5 litre rallying Horizon in about 1983 but they were probably more interested in developing the Peugeot 205 at the time.

It might be possible to fit the engine and gearbox from a 1.9 litre Peugeot 205/309 GTI or 405 GTX. Early Peugeot 309's and Horizons are mechanically very similar. Of course you will need to uprate the brakes, springs and tyres.

It's fortunate that later Horizons seem to be more reliable than the early ones, as my father had a 1978 model for eight years and it was always a struggle getting the numerous spare parts it was so fond of. Also, the issue of corrosion was never solved.

19th Dec 2003, 10:49

I read somewhere that there was one factory prototype Talbot Horizon Lotus built. I've seen a picture too, but can't remember where and I'm not sure what the drive layout was.

31st Dec 2003, 05:24

I don't think Lotus were involved, but I have a recollection it was based on a 1.5 litre Horizon with front wheel drive. I suspect it was built as a "one-off" with Peugeot-Talbot backing.

12th Aug 2004, 05:57

With regard to improving it I can highly recommend the 'Pullman' version which carried the 142 x 175 alloys which were also OE on the Talbot Sunbeam 2.2 Rally rocket and also some Simca's. This further improves the already very predictable handling. Also a significant improvement for anyone who can be bothered is the fitment of the 1592cc engine out of a Solara or Alpine rather than the standard 1442cc. The 10% extra capacity really seems to make it a lot more grunty and a bit of a wolf (well maybe a husky) at the traffic light grand prix. I have no idea why this engine was not fitted as standard in the UK as it was a production model in France.

23rd Nov 2005, 14:53

The larger engine was never fitted because they could not make enough for Alpine production. I agree that it would have been a worthwhile upgrade.

18th Jun 2006, 16:51

A Talbot 2.2 horizon will beat a lot of cars out there 0-62mph in 6 seconds isn't exactly slow, this is the first ever hot hatch before the VW golf GTi was ever made.

17th Jun 2009, 07:32

Why do you think Peugeot bought Talbot?

The Horizon morphed into the original hot 205 hatch.

1985 Talbot Horizon LS 1.3 from UK and Ireland


An ideal runner, drive it until it dies!


Offside front window fell into the door panel, the runners had corroded.

Indicator stalk broke off, no replacements for it anywhere (and I work in motor-factors!)

Distributor cracked, easy to replace.

General Comments:

The car was very comfortable and roomy.

The dashboard is very simple, and there are no electrics, which can sometimes be a good thing!

The engine was LOUD, and harsh, however it was quite nippy and had good, rapid acceleration.

Mine still had the origonal Philips stereo in it, it was a lot to be desired.

The car had no power steering, but in all honesty it didn't need it, the steering was fairly light.

I think they would keep running forever, however mine never had the chance, it went around Mildenhall Arena!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th February, 2002

1985 Talbot Horizon LX 1.3 petrol from UK and Ireland


Cheap, nasty styling, but fun and indestructible


It died when I dumped it in a puddle when water got into the distributor cap. A simple fix with WD40.

Second time it died was when the original coil expired. The RAC man fixed it in five minutes.

General Comments:

This was my first car. I was bought it by my parents and from a style point of view I hated it. I then proceeded to thrash it to within an inch of its life for 66,000 miles. I could not kill it. I swear that this car would do well in the Le Mans 24 hours because it is nearly indestructible. I even tried to roll it when I hit a bank side.

Fit it with cheap skinny tyres and it will drift beautifully through the corners. Oversteer in the wet can be easily prompted with hilarious results. It's not fast, but once up to speed it's a hoot. Find a low mileage one at about £500 and enjoy the cheapest and funniest transport ever.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th January, 2002

29th Mar 2004, 15:13

Never left the driveway, but managed to give us a whole lot of pleasure back in 2000!

Bought for £250 worth every penny!

1984 Talbot Horizon LS Ultra 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A tale of the unexpected


Ignition module packed up on damp days. Once replaced it was quite reliable.

Core plug blew. For some strange reason this was in the cylinder head, underneath the valve gear! It was an absolute pain to replace.

Finally died when the distributor drive seized and stripped its teeth, both on the drive and on the camshaft.

General Comments:

This car was unbelievably quick for a granny wagon. It quite easily topped the ton!

It was a regular Escort beater off the lights. It hit 60 in just over 10 seconds.

Handled well when I got the torsion bars set up right.

Very comfy and spacious.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th November, 2001