Where can I get a Renault in USA please?

haffieMarch 22, 2006

After two years of living off and on in Austria, and leasing Renault cars, we very much want to buy one in our area of New England. Any dealerships that you know of? I can find nothing online except one or two 'parts' postings.

I do not know why I never thought of posting to you all here! Thanks so much for any advice.


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at your nissan dealer, renault purchased nissan. or look for old amc products built when they were owned by renault. i read that renault may start selling under the renault name in the u.s. in another couple yrs. i had a renault dalphine when i was young.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 6:24AM
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Thank you Bill, that is the first place we will go when I return home. What was AMC (American Motors Corp?) Want a new car though, not older. Already have one of those!
thank you again. Will talk with Nissan dealer.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 8:11AM
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You will not be able to find a new Renault in the United States. Renault left the market in the mid-80s, after a few years of abuse by Chrysler (which had purchased American Motors Corp.; I know because I was nursing along a Renault 5 "Le Car" at that time). Nissan has now stepped in but, AFAIK, there are no plans to bring any current Renault models into the U.S.

Since new cars here must comply with U.S. emissions and safety regulations, it is quite unlikely you will be able to import one for yourself, either.

Sorry to break the bad news to you.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Gosh, I just told my husband about this list, and how helpful Bill was. And....along comes Steve-O and breaks my bubbles. Steve, I was already at the stage of choosing my colors!!!
Seriously though, thanks a lot for your information. You are quite correct, importing one had already crossed my mind, but neiher did I want to spend $$$ like it was going out of style. We have been here for three months this trip, and just heard MA gas has gone to $2.55 in my town. Ugh. $3.00 be 4th of July, of course. Still a bargain compared to Austria, however.
Sigh. Will have to think what else I drive over here and really like. Any ideas on what an Opel would be at home?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 1:15PM
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At the risk of sounding like a flag waving American redneck, I am curious as to why you feel you need to buy a European import car in America. The American market is certianly not short of car purchase alternatives (either American manufacturers or imports). Are you just trying to be different and drive something that very few others drive? IMHO, Renault never sold many cars here because they weren't very good and they couldn't match the competition. Same is true with Opel. You could join the Mini Cooper craze. They seem to be quite popular. Of course you have to remember the more "rare" the new car that you buy the more difficult it is to have it serviced.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 2:31PM
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Any ideas on what an Opel would be at home?

Opel doesn't sell directly in the U.S., either. (Come to think of it, they've been gone even longer than Renault.) The closest you'll come to an Opel in the States is the Chevrolet Cobalt, which is derived from the Opel "Delta" platform (sold in Europe as the Opel Astra). The Saturn Ion also is derived from the Astra, but you're far better off buying the Cobalt. Another choice (a cousin once removed) is the Pontiac GTO (a rebadged and massaged Holden Monaro, which is related to the Opel Omega).

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 9:40PM
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opel shares platforms with a numbet of g.m. cars, the cadilac catera was basically an opel, the cobalt, saturn ion,saab 9-3, etc the new saturn sky, pontiac solstace , is going to be sold as an opel g.t.. the saab 9-3 offers a euro. style and name while being a g.m. standard, you might want to look that direction.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 6:32AM
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Again a huge thanks, and thank you too odello for bringing up why we want European...sometimes I post before I re read and am not making myself very clear.
There is nothing wrong in this world in being a flag waving citizen. You obviously know that.
What I should have said more clearly, is that if you all knew the size of us, you would know that we are looking for a bit of width between front seat passengers, something fairly high off ground and with high interior room, a smaller mini van or wagon. It is simply that these two cars I asked about are the ONLY cars we have ever driven, since 1984 when we bought our first Dodge Caravan- our present caravan is now 9 years old, and in perfect condition with 80K miles, but become a bit hard for me to park anymore- 69 yrs old and bad neck and hubby with severe arthritis.
That is why I have turned to this list for a bit of help in what in America would be SIMILAR Certainly not necessary to have an import. Only looking to find out what is built the same as the two we have some familiarity with.
Thanks so much all for this help. I can see when we return on Tuesday after these three months, we will be doing a lot of leg work looking at each and every oneyou have outlined. T
Thanks so much again to you all.

Haffie; who didn't mean to sound un-American at all! - who spends abot 6 mos a year total in Austria, finds many little things every day, that me me appreciate my country and my citizenship. Especially when good friends try to talk us into retiring full time here in our tiny little Austrian village. :-)

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:15PM
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Have you looked at the Volkswagen van? It's not currently being imported, but it's smaller than most minivans and might offer the room you're looking for. A VW dealer may still have one or two on its lot.

Other cars you might want to consider are the Ford Five Hundred or Freestyle (both built on the same platform used for the Explorer) and the Dodge Caliber (though it's new and I'd be a little shy about buying a brand-new Chrysler product in its first year). These are "crossover" vehicles designed to offer the advantages of a truck while not completely being classified as a truck. You might find one roomy enough and manueverable enough for you.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:54AM
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the 500 and freestyle are built on a volvo platform, not the explorer. the new vw van is going to be a rebadged daimler/chrysler van. and vw would be another one to check into, and dont forget the stand bys honda and toyota, although toyota is getting a bit large for my taste.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 10:42AM
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bill, you're right on the new Fords. Still worth a look, however, for people who want shoulder room. :-)

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 7:20PM
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that 500 really caught my eye, the fact its built on a volvo platform, and available with awd at an affordable price, might bring me back to ford after all these yrs!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 7:59AM
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Back in th 80's when AMC was in partnership with Renaud I bought a nice little automatic convertible Alliance for my wife. Even to this day, no small car has ever had a comfortable ride like the Renault. A week later driving down the highway, gear shifting started to occur all on it's own. Apparently the computer when bonkers and that set me back 700$, steep for the 80's. A new puter, then put the car up for sale. A few months later after it was sold, when I had time to take apart the old computer, which was a black box affair with a 4 screw retainer cover, I took it apart to see just what I paid for. It was packed full of silicon so that no snoopers like me would find out what it was hiding.

After a lot of chiseling, it turned out 3 wires led to a connection inside the box, that's it!!! No fancy integrated circuit, nothing. It was a 4inch by 2inch box crammed full of industrial silicon which hid a 3 wire connection, and that was worth 700$.

Never again Renault. But best ride for a small car and quite a looker too.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2006 at 9:55PM
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My Renault 5 was a brilliant design -- lots of room and a very comfortable ride for a car that was only 12 feet long. Unfortunately, the car was never designed for American conditions and the build quality was absolutely indifferent. Too much vin at lunch, I suspect. My brother managed to total mine at around 20,000 miles. Oh, well -- spared me from having to deal with Chrysler anymore. No loss there....

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 9:54AM
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I loved and still love Renault. Yes they are a different design, yes the parts are expensive, and yes they may not be as dependable as some other cars. Well.... I had a total of 5 LeCars that ran, let's say I bought a parts car for every other LeCar I owned, I had a '69 R-10, a '66 R-8, a '84 Encore s,and an '85 Sportwagon. The engine for the R-8 was easily carried in my arms. the R-8 and R-10 both had cranks for when the starter went out, My Sportwagon had an A/C you could freeze yourself in, coldest A/C I ever felt in a car, Some of these cars were well used, and still ran strong, after over 100,000 miles, but they all had something very few other cars have. Personality and charm. I got hooked on these cars like drugs. The R-5's could be driven in such a way, where if you needed speed, it would exceed the 85 MPH mark on the speedometer. But if you needed economy, you could maintain 50 MPH on the interstate (provided you let everybody pass), and get an incredible 45 MPG!Not bad for a french car built 25+ years ago, and the little unusual things about them, like stowing the spare in the engine compartment, a low profile hatchback compartment in the R-5 you could easily fit a washing machine in....I don't care much about the bad rap Renaults got when they were availiable here, I just knew that in the 15 years I drove them, I had a hell of a lot of fun working on, AND driving them. they will probably be sold here again soon, and GM will most likely be thier U.S. distributor.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2006 at 5:17AM
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If one needs the room and economy in a reasonably sized package, nothing beats the VW TDI (but the dealers themselves).

VW does not control their dealers, any more than GM does, and that is their weak link, particularly from a service and sales stand point..

Renault would be better at designing cars only, and having the Chinese build them...

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:29PM
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Volkswagen hasn't exactly cornered the market on quality, either (window regulators? coil packs? mass-airflow sensors?)

The shame of it is that there are many great cars out there in the Golf (Rabbit) TDI class, but only rarely are they exported to the U.S. I like the Golf (Rabbit) fine, but there are some cars out there which give it a real run for the money (like the Peugeot 20n series and the European Ford Focus).

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 9:12AM
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isnt the volvo s40 and the mazda 3 the same as the euro focus? now when is ford going to bring us the falcon and the falcon ute? those fords kick butt! and we cant get them.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 10:40PM
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isnt the volvo s40 and the mazda 3 the same as the euro focus?

They're all built on the same platform, yes, with at least half an attempt made to make them look like they belong to their respective brands (GM, take note).

I know that certifying a car for sale in the U.S. and making sure parts and service are available are not trivial matters, but it would be nice if cars built on these common platforms could be built certification-ready so that short runs of them could be sold in the U.S. just to test the waters. While Ford is busy shutting down the Ranger plant here in St. Paul because no one wants to buy a truck that's so long in the tooth, they could offer the Falcon Ute for people who need a little pickup to move their stuff or whose ego requires a pick-'em-up but whose budget requires some thrift. If it sells, great -- make more! If it doesn't, try another one, like the Ranger Ford sells in Europe.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 10:13AM
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yeh g.m. take note! quit trying to stuff a pickup or suv down my throat, i want an el camino, you make it. why cant i buy it here? bring me my ute!

    Bookmark   August 6, 2006 at 12:08AM
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That Euro Ranger looks like the Honda.
Ford's #1 strength IMO is they know how to make a great looking car. I wish Toyota's designers could learn a thing or two about style from Ford.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 4:06PM
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It appears that this is an old post. If anyone is listening, the Renault is now a great car. There are many great models that are both economical to purchase and economical in fuel economy. It seems they are available in every country except the US. The closest place to try to purchase one is Mexico.

I don't know if they can be brought over the border. I was in Northern Ireland and saw so many Renaults on the road it was amazing.

For some reason their new owner does not want them in the US, to compete with their existing brands. Over the other side of the Atlantic there are many models that are not offered here. Emissions aren't part of it, the cars are mileage machines and are affordable.

Considering gas prices are now $9.60 per gallon in Northern Ireland, it is easy to figure out why they have them. It seems that in the US they just want to sell us what they want, not what the US customers want.

Even a Mercedes Smart car is available in Northern Ireland for the equivilent of $18,000. Here they want $36,000 or double the amount...I just don't get it.

I am thinking about shaking the tree and seeing what it would take to get a dealership here. With today's logistics, parts cannot be that far away if they are being sold in Mexico. With NAFTA it is a short drive over the border. Again...I just don't get it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2008 at 4:30PM
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We're looking forward to leasing the new model Renault Lagunna III in Europe this summer, 6 speed manual diesel with all the bells and whistles. Will report back on the experience in September. It seems to have gotten great reviews from the English.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2008 at 9:26AM
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Apologies for back-tracking to earlier posts here. It is interesting to see that Opel disappeared from American markets at the same time they disappeard from the UK market, and that Vauxhall disappeared from the rest of Europe. Probably down to GM buying Vauxhall and Opel and only using the brand names where they would do most good. The same cars are sold in all markets, maybe with slight exterior changes to cater for local tastes, but underneath they are the same whether badged Vauxhall, Opel, Saturn or even Holden for those down under. Think about it, GM, a global car manufacturer, has access to the basic structure of a car that works well, performs well in safety tests, and also sells well in some markets. Why waste money developing a completely new model when they can use an existing design with proven track record? Indeed, the Opel Vectra built in Germany since 2002 is made in the same factory, so I heard, as the Saturn Aura which I read in a magazine won the car of the year award recently in the USA. All they do is scribble out the Opel badge and write Saturn over it in pen. Then ship it across the Atlantic.

This is in contrast to the likes of VW/Audi, Mercedes and BMW who must be the only ones making cars for the man on the street barring the Japanese & Koreans to have the same car sold all over the world with the same name. Even Ford can only give this flag to the Focus, Escort and Model T.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 8:09PM
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Bonebloodyidle, I like your posts - you have a great sense of humor. Good visual image of them scribbling out that badge.

The car that comes closest to that right now is the Saturn Astra. It's made in Belgium and is pretty much an Opel Astra with very few changes except, as you observed, a new badge. Plans are to transfer Saturn Astra production to the USA but continue building the Opel Astra in Belgium, I believe.

The Saturn Aura is actually made in USA (in Kansas City) on the GM global Epsilon platform that it shares with the Opel Vectra (not sold in USA) and Saab 9-3 (sold in USA). In the U.S., other cars on that platform are the Pontiac G6 and Chevy Malibu (which for 2008 is now on an extended version of the Epsilon platform). I believe the platform was originally engineered in Germany, which may be why you heard the Aura was built there, but I don't think it ever has been.

But what you have suggested is pretty much what they're doing - using these "global architectures" as the underpinning of several similar models that are "tweaked" to local tastes, or at least what the auto executives think are local tastes.

I read the UK car magazines often, and I always find it interesting that Japanese and Korean cars do not seem there to be afforded the same respect, almost reverence, with which so many people here regard them. To me, GM's Epsilon cars are far better driver's cars than comparable Toyotas, and somewhat better than comparable Hondas.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 10:53PM
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There is no other hybrid van being produced in the world, why can I not purchase one to use here, nothing else even comes close. Is there no one in the United States that sees the value of a hybrid Van like the Kangoo, that is where we need hybrids, not in little cars. Wake up you car sellers, please contact me regarding the Kangoo hybrid Van it sells for US 26,000 in europe and with the US gov rebate it would cost around 20,000 arthur.cerasani@verizon.net

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 8:42PM
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The Nissan Versa is built on a Renault Clio platform, and is the closest thing you can get to a Renault in the US (both companies share a CEO, Carlos Ghosn). That may be why it sort of feels more like French car than a Japanese one, with its big seats and soft ride.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2011 at 6:42PM
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Have 1963 Renault Caravelle for sale. This is a restoration project. It is not running... The car is all up in dark red primer. Have many spares, including complete transaxles, body panels, etc.
The car is four wheel disc brakes. Hard top convertable. Has 58,000plus miles. Purchased from origional owner 1965.
Prefer to sell in the Los Angeles - So. CAL area

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 12:03AM
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Hi i happen to have a garage kept 1985 renault it was my mothers and it only has 20,000 miles on it it is in beautiful shape no damage of any kind my mechanic is amazed let me kno if you are interseted

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 7:10PM
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You can now buy a Fiat and next year you will be able to buy a Alfa..

    Bookmark   August 29, 2011 at 9:28PM
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Hello, if this helps you can rent a car or lease Renault brand new in the US but drive it in Europe. I've used http://RenaultUSA.com
they have a nice selection of Renaults: sporty Megane convertible, Megane Berline, Clio, Kangoo, and many others.

Good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: RenaultUSA

    Bookmark   May 4, 2012 at 5:47PM
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