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Renault R5 Revisited

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    Point well taken, but did it occur to you WHY you got this car for $400? Because nobody else wanted it.

    Which is great, if you have the skills and patience to keep an R5 going. Most people are greatly disappointed when they buy an R5. You can't see that much "flak" about a car without something behind it that's true...where there's smoke, there's an R5.

    I buy cars all the time that nobody else wants or can't fix. I've owned just about every "bad" car you can name and gotten good service out of it. How many people you know drove an MGB cross-country without a "burp"?. But I have access to parts and information, a lift, and a very large toolbox. I didn't "avoid" the problems with these bad cars, I anticipated them and/or fixed them.

    I almost bought an R5 about two years ago for $200 for use as a "dock car" but it got towed away by the city of San Francisco same day I came to pick it up, and between the towing charges and parking tickets owed on it, it wasn't worth the $525 to me.

    One problem is that most surviving R5s are beaters.

    If you found a low mileage well-maintained R5, you might have a chance. I'd buy one if I saw a car like that and it was cheap.

    But quite frankly, if you encourage people to buy R5s on the premise that they are really great, trouble-free cars and that their reputation is spurious, I think you would be doing people a bad turn, IMO.

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  • prlamzprlamz Posts: 78
    I absolutely would not advise anyone to buy one now, quite to the contrary. Parts are truly impossible to get, even exhaust pipes. The few surviving ones are on their last leg.

    What I said is that through the 80s and early 90s you could find one for very little money and get a reliable daily driver if you care to maintain it. My brother-in-law, before I knew him, did just that.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    Well fair enough then!

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    Great, listen to this: There's a 1987 Renault Alliance two-door for sale on Ebay with, believe it or not, 2,400 original miles. I don't know what it looks like, since there are no pictures of the vehicle. But the ad says that it was owned by an elderly man since it was new. This is something strange and rare: A Renault with 2,400 miles. Now who's going to buy something like this?
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    but I did think they had a rather utilitarian,pleasing squareness to them. Of course,they were no LeCar....
  • prlamzprlamz Posts: 78
    I saw the ad on e-bay. That car is probably in dire need of work. A lot of things must have dried up, and are either leaking or waiting to do so at the first chance. Parts availability is also likely to be an issue.
  • martianmartian Posts: 220
    I mean, France is a major indutrial country-they were pioneers in automotive engineering, and many innovations came from Renault, Peugeot, Citroen. Why did they blow it so bad in the USA? I know, maybe their parts distribution was deficient-but why were these cars so despised?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    Because they were strange, crappy, troublesome, weird cars that few mechanics would work on.

    This comes from a guy (me) that owned two Peugeots!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    What kind of Peugeots did you have? I bet you had all sorts of quirks to deal with!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    "The French don't copy anybody, and nobody copies the French".

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    I had a couple of 505 diesel wagons.

    These are TOUGH, rugged cars that hold a lot and they have seats that are the most comfortable you will ever sit in.

    But, yeah, strange, oddball cars. It took about a four step procedure just to turn the head lights on as I recall.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    Yeah, I liked the Peugeots I had...certainly more reliable than any Saab I ever owned. But nobody, as in NOOOOO-Body....wants to help you work on them, and parts can be tough. Also stay away from the turbo 505s.

    The 504 was the best model they made, IMO. They ride great, run forever if cared for, and are quite comfortable, economical, and utterly worthless if you need to buy a parts car. Nothing rides as well, not even a Benz or BMW of that era.

    What you have to get used to with French cars is that odd combination of excellent handling but LOTS of body roll.

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  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,704
    I do hate to ask this, but did you find the Peugeots to be more reliable or durable than Volvos from the same era?
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    Now that I think of it, one of my wagons was a 504. Thre was something about that car that I can't describe but it rode like a dream.

    You're right. The shops HATE working on them and very few (if any, anymore) will.

    Even the oil drain plug requred some bizarre wrench.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    I really have no sound basis to judge reliability of a 504 Peugeot over a 142 or 242 Volvo, but I can say with total assurance that a Peugeot is far more comfortable and fun to drive and just as sturdy. Probably what might hurt Peugeot reliability is the lack of adequate parts and service, leading to postponed maintenance and botched repairs from incompetent people.

    I think in France a Peugeot would be just as reliable as a Volvo, as long as you stay away from a) turbos and b) the not-so-good models, like the...was it....604? Of course Volvo made bad cars, too, like their diesel and their own 164 and 264 series....

    So you know, it depends on what models you compare to what models. The newer compact and subcompact Peugeot turbo diesels are fabulous little cars to drive but I have no idea about how they hold up.

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,741
    That was the problem. People would defer maintenance or take them to shops who didn't understand them. Those diesels were strong and long lasting but people who had no business owning one would just kill them.

    There was a guy around here who specialized in them and had a pretty captive market. He pulled no punches and he would give stern lectures to abusive owners. If the abuse or neglect was severe, we would simply refuse their business.

    I remember he once told me, that a well maintained Peugeot Diesel could easily go 300,000 miles an more but the average owner would "kill" them in about 150,000 miles.

    My buddy bought a 604 Turbo Diesel new and drove it withou major incident for something like 230,000 miles. he dumped it when the heater core started leaking...I think it called for 14 hours of miserable labor plus parts!
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,603
    Go to Buenos Aires and you'll see (and smell) hundreds of 504 diesel taxis. I imagine they're experts at maintenance. (sorry for the big pic)

    image
  • british_roverbritish_rover Posts: 8,476
    My amsoil rep when I ran my shop had a Turbo Diesel wagon that ended up with the same fate as your friends. It went to about 275,000 miles before something broke that they couldn't get the part for.

    The guy next to me could fix any of those, "funny fogiun cars" as people in southern Virginia used to call them. He pronounced thew wagon DOA after he saw what part has failed. You just couldn't get them in the US anymore.
  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Renault Samsumg Motors., the South Korean affiliate of French automaker Renault, unveiled Monday (Nov. 19) its first ever SUV, the QM5 which will go on sale in the domestic market from early December. The same car but with a different grille will also be available under the Renault brand as the Koleos in 2008. The QM5 is based on the underpinnings of the Nissan Qashqai crossover which has proven quite successful in Europe. This is the news.
    How can a company in the US import such a vehicle? It has supper off-road and on-road characteristics by the use of a switch (on/off). When it is ‘on’ all the AWD and front and rear suspension are affected electronically.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,019
    They can only import it by building it to USA Federal specification. I suppose they could sneak a few in as museum pieces or race cars.

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  • batman47batman47 Posts: 606
    Perhaps the same could be said for cars imported into Europe (specifications). The reliability of American cars is just appalling.
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