Last post on Jan 15, 2002 at 6:40 PM
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Renault Le Car, Coupe
Jan 15, 2002 (7:10 am)
That first photo...now that was funny!
Does anyone remember another Renault that was sold in the US the same time as the Dauphine?
I know there was a cheaper (and even uglier) Renault sold at the same time. A four door sedan that was cheap beyond belief. What was it called?
I sure don't remember.
Jan 15, 2002 (8:51 am)
I think that car was called a 4CV. The 2CV is Citroen.
Actually the 4CV is a minor collectible and the convertible version is worth a lot more than a Dauphine. But I agree, the Dauphine is cuter. The 4CV was actually a fairly competent car by 1960s Renault standards (which aren't very high).
I'm pretty sure most French perceive Renault as the cheap car and Citroen as a step up and Peugeot a step up from that. Chevy-Buick-Cadillac. I drove some new Renaults in the mid 1990s, which was my last experience with the cars. They drove very well but I was very unimpressed with the quality of the car. I thought the Japanese would kill them in a free market.
Jan 15, 2002 (9:03 am)
That's right,but the little wagon WAS A Renault 4,wasn't it? The one with the sliding side windows.
#196 of 201 French hierarchy...
Jan 15, 2002 (9:03 am)
...that's interesting. I didn't know that Peugeot was considered upscale from Citroen. I guess mainly because of what I've seen of their offerings here in the U.S. I remember Renaults mainly being just cheap, ugly, nasty little cars (well okay, the LeCar was a cheap, cutesy, nasty little car . The only Peugeots I remember were the boxy 505 from the '80's, and the smaller 405 that came out for a few years in the late '80's. I have a car buying guide from Consumer Guide back from 1985, and they tested a 505. I think it was around $17,000, which was definitely high-end Buick territory back then. My grandparent's '85 LeSabre, loaded with just about every option you could get, was "only" around $16,000.
I always thought Citroens were kind of exotic and upscale, mainly because when I think of Citroen I think of those "French Pastry" style cars they used to have. Like the one Chevy Chase wedged in a tunnel in "National Lampoon's European Vacation" I just figured something like that would be upscale from a boxy Peugeot.
Jan 15, 2002 (9:10 am)
Well, maybe we need a Frenchman here to sort this out! These were only my impressions.
Yes, the little boxy Renault was the R4, you are right! And it was a sturdy little car I am told, a fairly conventional, old-fashioned design.
Jan 15, 2002 (9:15 am)
I guess it's hard to believe, but Peugeot is considered the nicest of the French brands. And, no Renault doesn't offer a 12 month warranty. Most European warranties are in fact longer. The standard is 3 years 60,000 miles as opposed to 36. Honda offers 3/90, Hyundai 5 years, Mercedes offers unlimited mileage warranty, and 4 years is common for most premium brands.
In America, too the Peugeot was considered nicer. The 505 was definitely executive class, whereas Renault had nothing but econoboxes until the Medallion, which was a quirky nightmare and a half. At least the 505 had a sort of mainstream feel to it.
#199 of 201 Hierarchy
Jan 15, 2002 (12:38 pm)
There is no real hierarchy in France for the national brands, as prices of the three are equivalent. The image of Renault has changed a lot in the past two decades. Renaults are now considered as the more innovative and safe. Peugeots are more classic, nice and handle perfectly. Citroens are now less considered because Peugeot, that owns the brand now, didn't develop them a lot (if you look for ugly french cars, take a look at the citroen visa, GS, Axel...)
In Europe, the cars "hierarchy" is something like:
1. Mercedes, Jaguar
2. BMW, Audi, Saab, Volvo
3. VW, Renault, Peugeot, Alfa
4. Opel, Ford, Fiat, Seat, Citroen, Toyota, Honda, Nissan
5. Skoda, Daewoo, Hyundai, Daihatsu
The warranty of all the european makes is only of one year in france (except alfa, 2 years. They had such a reputation of poor reliability that they had to extend their warranty)
Japanese, Korean and east European brands offer 2 or 3 years.
Jan 15, 2002 (2:31 pm)
Well, in the UK it's 3 years.
Jan 15, 2002 (6:40 pm)
Thank you phs2, that was very interesting to read. I would have thought Renault in #4 position as well but it sounds like you are in a better position to judge.