1985 Talbot Horizon LE from UK and Ireland


Get a low mileage one, it'll run forever


Electronic ignition thingy stopped working, needed replacing.

Clutch plates needed replacing.

Radiator mountings failed.

General Comments:

This was an exceptional basic car. Unbelievably unfashionable, but reliable and cheap.

I commuted 500 miles from home to work several times a month with never a problem.

Driving on winding roads was a carnival of emotions. Handling and roadholding were inherited from bygone eras. Take care! On the plus side, I had the chassis straightened after an impact with a brick wall - it was as good as new.

The only problems, ignition, clutch and radiator mountings, happened after 100,000 miles.

It was impossible to sell. No takers, despite being in good nick. I gave it to my sister who used it as a school bus until 2001.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 18th September, 2003

1984 Talbot Horizon GLE 1.3 from UK and Ireland


A high performance shopping cart


Driver's side ball joint strangely popped in half.

Exhaust broke. Could not get another anywhere after searching for over 2 years. So I made my own.

General Comments:

Very nippy, very cool, great reliability, different. All round great.

Only problem is the total lack of parts available for the thing. You end up using Pug 205, 309 parts all the time!

This thing is very quick when adjusted slightly, and can quite easily keep up with many other makes 1600s.

Economy is great at almost 40 MPG.

They're a real head turner. Mine is perfect; no rust, nothing.

I am getting rid of it due to a lack of parts, and that exhaust I made out of a Citroen one is noisy.

This thing never breaks down.

These things usually rust bad, but mine has none.

If you get one, keep it; they're becoming very collectable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th April, 2003

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.