Renault 12 Review & Ratings: Design, Features, Performance, Specifications ...

Renault 12 Review & Ratings

Renault 12

Called by many names all across the world, the Renault 12 had a good run of 31 years of production. Not a lot of family car manufacturers can say that they can do something better than the R12. Not even a bad review of the car would affect its sales, the R12 was a car far ahead of its competition when it came to practicability.


Built by the French automaker Renault, the Renault 12 was first introduced in 1969, during the Paris Motor Show. This family car was built and sold in several different countries; in fact, the last Renault 12 was built in Turkey. Global sales of the Renault 12 have reached 2.5 million units. This car was a hit in Europe because of the comfortable, spacious, and stylish interior, plus its low fuel consumption. Although it may have garnered praise in Europe, it did not fare well in North America because Americans mainly thought that the car was too noisy and that the non-power steering was a bad idea.


The Renault 12’s design was based off the Renault 16; the only difference was that the R12’s engine was situated differently from the other Renaults. The R12 came in the 3-door (sedan delivery), 4-door (saloon), and 5-door (estate) variants. The 1969 model was the saloon style model. It ran on a 60 hp engine, which topped at 145 km/h. A sports version of the car was built, which was called the R12 Alpine. To try and market the R12 as a rallying car, it ran on the R5 Alpine 1397 cc engine, which produced 110 PS, giving it a speed of about 175 km/h. The parts on the Alpine were hand-built, which is why it cost more than the other versions and because of this, only 493 units were made.

Safety and Security

The suspension on the R12, which was used for 25 years, was a rigid rear axle, which was different from the 4-wheel independent suspension used on the R4 and R16. The popular Renault 12 Gordini was especially equipped with a ventilated front disc brake and a regular rear brake.

Space and Comfort

Designed to be a family car, the space on the R12 was commended in a lot of countries and is one of the reasons why it lasted for so long. Europe was actually enthralled with the spacious interior of the R12, which prompted the automaker to design more R12s based on the 1969 model. Not really designed to compete with the likes of the Porsche or other sports and luxury cars, the R12’s aim was for it to be comfortable, economical, and easy to produce.

Quality and Value

With the car’s fuel-efficient engine, people enjoy driving the car. The quality and value of the car can be measured by the number of units it has sold over the course of its production. If 2.5 million units is not an indication of good quality and value, few cars can be said to have them. Quite a few cars took inspiration from the R12, such as the Turkish Dacia 13, which was marketed as the Renault Toros.


During its production years, the Renault 12 has been used by so many people that it lasted for over three decades. The engines low fuel consumption made it a very practical car. Even though it was originally designed to be a family car, other models of the R12, such as the 3-door sedan delivery, show that it can be applied for different uses. A trustworthy and efficient model, the Renault 12 is an oldie that is definitely golden.

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