If buying this car, be very careful. If you pick up a lemon it will cost you dearly.
I bought mine - a '99 model with 97,000 miles on the clock - for just over £1200 because I had just bought a house and needed a car I could pay out in one go. Little did I know I was going to end up paying what I used to in Finance for a car three times better.
A lot can go wrong with these cars. Engine mounts, gearbox mounts, head gaskets, odometers going haywire or just dying... you name it.
Just make sure if you're buying one it has an excellent service history as they need a fair bit of attention.
On the whole, though, I find it a bit sluggish as it is only an 8v model, but the handling is excellent (fitted with a front strut as standard) which can sometimes compensate for the lack of pace.
It also has plenty of toys as standard which you might have had to pay extra for in an equivalent model at this age anyway.
I have recenlty purchased my 2nd car which is identical to the first one, I brought the first one new in 2002 on a 52 plate, and it was great. I only sold as I get bored with cars so got a Fiesta Zetec S. I brought this current one as I was after a more economical car (last one was a Puma), it's an 02 plate with just 13500 miles on the clock with FSH. It drives lovely, the only things to be done to keep upto date with the service record is the 4th year coolant/brake fluid change, and the 5th year belts change. Total from an independent garage is £360 for the lot. I paid £3995 from an independent dealer, they got it direct from Renault, I paid just £3995 which included 6 months tax new MOT and 3 months 5star AA warranty. I have contacted the previous owner who traded the car back to Renault in April 07, and he confirmed the mileage and history. They car is a good buy, and the spec is quite good too, this is the reason I brought anther one, and insurance and running costs are low too.
Mine's 8 years old with 76,000 on the clock and is still remarkably quiet and rattle free inside, and the paintwork is nice and glossy outside - it doesn't show its age.
The head gasket blew at 55,000 miles - this is a known problem on the 8-valve 1.6's. If you're buying one make sure this work has been done as it cost me around £300 to get it fixed (the later 16-valve engines are supposedly better). Apart from that it has only needed regular service items.
Otherwise a nice car, if a little anonymous. Theres a decent boot, but rear leg room is a bit lacking. The handling is entertaining - the car really, really rolls in the corners but doesn't lose grip. Very entertaining for me but maybe not my passengers!
Lets not forget - before the Focus came around this car was best in its class (apparently). Nuff said!
I bought this car on the top end of its market value due to low milage and quality of vehicle. body wise brillaint car no problems engine wise nothing but problems, there is not enough room on this page to tell you of all of them ill just tell you the main ones.
>Pistons Ceased >Engine managment box Melted >Car Continously Over heated >Engine managment chip burnt out >Broke down a number of times. > nearly all the water pipes went (one after each other)
i had spent alot of money trying to fix these jobs but in the end i spent more than double the cars worth. i thought that once i get a couple fixed that the car would be fine due to low milage. how wrong i was. when the pistons i gave up. it meant a new engine and i thought it was better to cut my losses and run. since then i have a vauxhall vectra GLS DI 2.0 wich is an amazing vehicle so smooth and refined. no probblems in just over half a year except brake pads thats it. the megan is the worst car i have ever owned and im not proud to say i owned it. i had to scrap the vehicle in the end.
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