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Renault 21 Savanna estate dark blue paint and grey interior 1988 model and mine when it was about 3 years old only with 40,000 plus miles on the clock.I needed a workhorse second cheap car,not a Vauxhall or a Ford.I like something a bit different and the Renualt "Vingt et Un" seemed a good buy.Very very comfortable supportive seats,good sized practical load lugger with an economical 1.7 litre petrol engine fitted my criteria.OK it was a basic TL model with no luxuries but for £3500 it was a great second hand buy having had just one previous owner and full history.It was a bit cheap and tinny thin bodywork,poor plastics inside but the seat coverings looked decent.I kept it for around a year and traded it for a Citroen XM (I neede some excitement after driving the basic Renault!) and was allowed £2k in the trade a fair deal for my car as it had 60K odd miles on it and I had suffered a bump up the back that was repaired very well by the other peoples insurance.I was hit by an artic just as we came off the motorway,the car took the hit up the back well and was not a writeoff so shows it was either quite tough or the handbrake was a bit weak!
In the time I owned it though it needed a new clutch,a set of tyres and usual servicing costs every 10,000 miles.It handled ok but was a bit slow and made me wished I had gone for the bigger engined 2.0 litre.The turbo charged top of the range saloon was quite a Q-car,suprisingly quick but my estate was very ordinary.It cruised along the motorway ok and returned decent 30 mpg or better so no real complaints.Not very exciting,a basic useful car that was fairly reliable apart from the clutch going at 50,000 miles,not good.Best thing the seats,very comfortable for a long trip otherwise unremarkable.
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I wish I had kept my Renault 21 now. They are very rare althought not exciting it was comfortable basic and very roomy with a large boot.
An oil change every 6000 miles and a service every year is all that was needed. The Renault 21 is a low maintenance car.
Performance is not really fast as advertisede top speed is really just over 100 but 90 mph cruising is possible.
Fuel consumption I achieved about 20 mpg around town. The 1.7 and 2.0 have almost identical performance and fuel consumption. However the 2.0 engine is the superior one but the 1.7 is more sort after.
My 21 GTX lasted one year and ten months as it did not start one day so I scraped it that day. My 21 TS cost me £400 in April 2007 with 22500 miles on the clock even though it was 16 years old. It was like a brand new car to drive. It had, had 1 careful owner and an original sale receipt came with it and it had cost £10600 new.
The car had 18 oil changes and 18 oil filter changes 18 services including a new exhaust, and two new front tyres but the rears were the originals. Servicing was by a local garage not by a main dealer so important changing of the cam belts had never happened. The fuse box was disconnected as any fuse could be taken out with no effect. It needed a new starter motor soon after I bought it which came to £100 plus £60 labour. Lucky for me it stopped working two days before the guarantee ran out. Halfords gave me a full refund but they would not replace it so I got another starter motor from a scrap yard for £40 and paid £60 labour to have it fitted so the cost was the same as the refund for the old starter motor. I changed the air filter as it was only £10 at Halfords as the previous one was 10 years old.
I scrapped the 21TS after 21 months of ownership. The brakes went in October 2008 I got them fixed for the grand sum of £300. In February 2009 the 21TS sprung a leak which meant I had to keep filling the car up with tap water and then the cam belt melted along with the alternator belt. That was the end and of the 21TS which was sold for £20 to a scrap dealer with only 30500 miles on the clock.
After looking on eBay for six months my next Renault 21 was found a 2.0 GTX at only £315. I then had 16 months of trouble free motoring and so another bargain eBay motor.
I did about 5000 miles and the car ran perfectly. It had, had a full service history and all maintenance was done by a Renault dealer before I got the 21GTX so no missing out of important belt changing even though it cost £700 to do the change as at the time the brakes were also renewed all round. It was as good as new. My last service was £120 in 2010 just before I got rid of it.
Power steering is a great benefit on the GTX over the powerless 1.7TS and generally the 2.0GTX version seems like a far superior car as it also has less over heating issues so prevalent on the 1.7 version.
February 2011 and the car has gone to the crusher. It had failed to start only a few weeks before the tax, mot and insurance are due so I decided sell the 21 GTX for £50. A bad decision as the Saab 900 I by to replace it with is clapped out I am hoodwicked by a nice picture the £500 I pay for it would have been better spent keeping the 21 GTX on the road.
Every time I go on a long journey with my 2 children I wish I could separate them. All parents will know what I mean. When my aged Escort started to decay I decided a Savanna 7 seater was the car for me. The first thing I noticed was that they are very difficult to get hold of. I missed out on a couple because I had to wait until the weekend to undertake a 200 mile journey. I finally got one in Chester-le-Street. It cost £900 for an M-plate with about 6 month's MOT and a vicious pull to the left. I figured the steering fault was likely to cost less than having to travel half way down the country to look at another one. I do my own work and know where to get parts. I haven't got round to repairing the steering yet, I think it's an anti-roll bar bush (a few pounds) but I've been too busy to have a proper poke. When you buy a French car, whatever the age, you can count on several electrical items not working. In this case it was an indicator, tail light and brake light (all fixed with new bulbs that had been left in the car); rear window heater, rear speakers and a misbehaving fog light tell-tale (It transpired that there were 5 severed wires in the bundles that go from the car to the tailgate. I replaced those with relative ease); non illuminating clock and switches (I bought bulbs for those). Other than that it seemed pretty OK. Half way home I realised the instrument lights didn't work because the dimmer was turned right down! Speed 2 on the fan doesn't work, I might need to get another switch. Comfort and accommodation is streets ahead of the Escort, as is durability (it's a year older). In 7 seat form the second row is slightly further forward than in the 5 seat version. The third row is most certainly NOT for full size people. They will fit, but only just. The third row is equipped with static seat belts which, IMO, are safer for children anyway. If you want to carry 7 adults on a regular basis (at this budge
t level) it's got to be a Peugeot 505. You get electric front windows, remote locking, adjustable steering column, remote stereo, lots of storage and lots of places to put stuff. It's years since I drove a car with flat surfaces! I believe swoopy interiors are a ploy to make us buy cup holders. The boot is slightly less than cavernous but you can open it without the key and it's easy to fold one or two rows of seats down. I managed to get a bulky 3 piece suite in there. OK, it took two journeys and "in" is maybe a bit strong but impressive nonetheless. I remove the tailgate struts when carrying something like that, in any car, it saves tying the tailgate down. Additional storage is available on the roofrack. Mine has a 1.9 diesel engine. Without a turbo. This is exactly the engine that a Clio gets so you can imagine how fast the Savanna is with it. You can get a 2.1 turbodiesel or petrol engines in 1.7 or 2.0. The Renault 21 is, I think, unique in that the 2 smaller engines are transversely mounted and the larger ones are longitudinally mounted. I find the performance OK. It is pretty low geared and it can hold its own in traffic. Mostly. I reckon 45mpg from something that size makes up for losing a few traffic light GPs. Access to the engine looks pretty easy, I may change my mind when I have to actually get in about it. The car is very smooth on the road. It feels a little floaty but I haven't checked over the suspension yet. It's the first modern car I've seen where you can easily push one of the front corners down. When I drove my Escort again it (the Escort) felt like it had wooden springs. Brakes are excellent. If you buy a French car the doors will not fit. They never do. Wind noise is present but bearable. When you exceed 80mph in mine the wind pulls away the top of the driver's door and makes a terrible racket. Simple solution- don't exceed 80mph. The car doesn't let water in.
I'm pleased with it. It does everything I want. I can live with the disadvantages because I know they're inevitable in something that's drivable and affordable. "Proper", MPV shaped 7-seaters are still prohibitively expensive to buy. I don't think they are any better and may be significantly worse in many ways.
I purchased my Renault 21 two years ago in feburary. I found the car to be in a terrible state electrically. The electric sunroof didn't work, the internal fan was knackerd the rear heated screen didn't work. Basically poorly looked after. After spending £150 on the car I had to put a few pounds into it to get it fixed up. After this the car has never let me down, touch wood. It is a F(88) and the rust, well what rust it doesn't have any. Must be good for the price I paid for it. A must for anybody who wants a cheap car but beware they can be a bit broken.