Saturday, 6 June 2015

Car of the Week: Renault 19

An Australian Renault 19, I must be feeling very French as this Giorgetto Giugiaro designed, often overlooked hatch is the second French oddity I've found for sale in as many weeks. Let me try to explain why this is a worthy car of the week. 
Renault 19 hatchback, this is the facelifted phase 2 19

Italian design

Firstly the design, regarded as bland at the time, now I think its brilliance lies in its simplicity. Giugiaro managed to a make square look good, a skill he first showcased with the exquisitely proportioned Mk1 Volkswagen Golf. The 19 really was to Renault what the Golf was to Volkswagen and the 205 was to Peugeot, a practical car wrapped in an understated yet expensive Italian suit. 
Phase 1 Renault 19 was a little squarer  

French comfort 

Moving inside the comfy ergonomic interior was praised at the time and now some 25 years later I bet the typically soft sprung nature of classic French cars combined with those seats will offer a ride second to none. Its back to basics interior might act as bit of a relief from today's over complicated cabins too.

Renault also produced a booted sedan 19, it looked like this

Go get yourself one

If we move to engines though things do get a little dull, however for reliably cruising around the 1.7 litre petrol engine offered down under should do just fine. If it is a 19 themed hot hatch hankering you have though a 16 valve 16S was offered in Europe and with some luck you might find one that found its way to Australia. This weeks car car is just a bog standard 1.7, but it does appear to be an absolute minter. It's well maintained and ready for rego and insanely cheap, further proving my point that slightly left field Euro motoring need not be expensive Down Under. Go on, stop eyeing up those early 90's Corollas, that quite frankly are duller than a slice of tofu and take a look at this lovely little Renault 19.   

1993 Renault 19, $1200
Renault 19 for sale in Australia

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