RE­NAULT 5 MkII (19851996)

Look­ing for a clas­sic that’ll stand up to the rigours of ev­ery­day use but which won’t break the bank? This is well worth a look

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

The orig­i­nal Re­nault 5 was a land­mark car, a work of ge­nius de­signed by Michel Boué, who never lived to see his fab­u­lous cre­ation go into pro­duc­tion – barely changed from his ini­tial sketches.

With 5.5 mil­lion made, Re­nault played it safe when it cooked up a re­place­ment, so when the all-new MkII car (dubbed Su­percinq) ap­peared in 1985, it hardly looked any dif­fer­ent. Yet there was a fresh plat­form, the en­gines were now mounted trans­versely in­stead of lon­gi­tu­di­nally, and the in­te­ri­ors were more con­ven­tional and of a much bet­ter qual­ity.

When the Su­percinq ar­rived in the UK in Fe­bru­ary 1985 there were 1.0-, 1.1- or 1.4-litre petrol en­gines with the last avail­able as an auto. A year later things got more in­ter­est­ing with the ar­rival of the GT Turbo, with a 115bhp tur­bocharged 1.4-litre en­gine. The nor­mally as­pi­rated 1.6 GTD diesel ap­peared in June 1986, a year be­fore the 1.7 GTX joined the range and the GT Turbo’s power was boosted to 120bhp.

With the launch of the Clio in 1991 the 5 was on bor­rowed time, but Re­nault ran the two side by side, with the lat­ter of­fered in Cam­pus or GT Turbo forms for a few months.

Com­pared with the orig­i­nal R5 there are a lot of Su­percinqs around, in­clud­ing regular edi­tions in good con­di­tion. But it pays to shop around, as the Re­nault Own­ers’ Club’s Alas­dair Wors­ley ex­plains. ‘It’s not un­usual for some­one to buy a 5 for way over the odds, of­ten from a dealer, as­sum­ing the ex­tra money is buy­ing a min­ter – only to find out later that they’ve bought a heap. From time to time we get peo­ple ap­proach­ing the club af­ter a pur­chase when what they should have done is get in touch be­fore­hand – we know where most of the good cars are, and what they’re worth.

‘Parts avail­abil­ity is sur­pris­ingly good be­cause some much later Re­naults fea­ture com­po­nents that fit the 5. Also, the club has a ware­house full of parts, many at re­ally low prices. Add to this the fact that these cars are still be­ing bro­ken be­cause of their low val­ues and there’s a healthy sup­ply of good used bits too – some of which are given away by mem­bers keen to help each other. So the 5 is not only very cheap to buy but it’s ridicu­lously cheap to run.’

‘ We know where most of the good cars are and what they’re worth’

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