Renault’s back catalogue is littered with boring cars. The Nineties Megane immediately springs to mind, I know, I had one.
But I think there has never been a more boring car from any manufacturer – at least not a European one – than this, the Renault 18.
The 18 was launched in 1978 as a replacement for the ageing 12 saloon. In fact, it was largely based on the 12, using an updated version of that car’s chassis. As such the 18 went from concept to showroom in just 18 months. Not a whole lot of which was spent on the styling. It isn’t offensive to look at; if it was that would make it much more interesting. It just looks like 14 feet of car.
Power came from 1.4-, 1.6- and 2.0-litre petrols; it was also one of the first diesel-engined Renaults. There was even a warmish turbo version. But none of these offered a particularly notable driving experience. The chassis was biased towards comfort and ease of use, but not so much to mark it out from, say, a Toyota Carina.
As a machine, then, the Renault 18 was completely, totally and utterly unremarkable. It is worth noting that it was Renault’s first true world car, built and sold around the globe, which helped towards a sales total of comfortably over 2 million by the time production ended in Colombia in 1994. And, bizarrely, it was quite a successful rally car.
But that doesn’t stop it curing insomnia. It did sell quite in the UK, making the top ten best sellers list in 1980. But rust and total indifference rapidly reduced numbers and now you’ll struggle to find anyone who remembers it. Even people who owned one. According to HowManyLeft.co.uk, just 34 are left.
By Only Motors