The Renault 4. Every time it provides a surprise. If you are on the road with the modest French evergreen, comfort, a decent amount of space and pleasant good-naturedness will be yours. To a greater extent than you would expect. We were allowed to experience it in a copy from 1985.
Hardly changed to 33 year
The Renault 4 needs no further introduction. We still want to emphasize a few things. Het Viertje is in sixth place among the most sold cars in history. The Renault 4 added mature and functional features to the French basis of driving. Pioneered with its fifth door, accessibility and use of space. Combined that with comfort and reliable technology, such as the four-cylinder engine from the 4CV. It ensured that the striking Renault more than eight million times produced never had to be radically changed. Thanks to sparingly implemented program changes (such as the GTL from 1978, with 1108 cc engine) and a few retouches, he stood his ground for 33 for years. And he always remained himself.
We set off with a basic Renault 4 from 1985 with an 845 cc engine. The influence of the Renault model policy from the 5s is visible. The steering wheel comes from the Renault 4, as do the instruments and control levers. A center console with speaker and space for a radio, as well as a mirror moved to the top of the forward, reveal that we are dealing with a later R4. The colorful checkered patterns on the door trim and furniture also tell us that we are dealing with an eighties example. Yet in the RXNUMX it is especially recognisable. And that feast of recognition is organized by the surprisingly comfortable furniture, the simple finish, the sliding windows in the doors and the practical ease of use.
The technique is also simple. While driving, the proven 845 cc engine (already good for 180.000 kilometers) does its job well. Performance is modest, of course, but the engine doesn't feel fatigued. He does express himself clearly. The four forward gears are operated via the long lever that protrudes from the dashboard and has a normal shift pattern. Operation is child's play, as the Renault is also fairly easy to steer through traffic despite its modest performance. The Renault 4 accelerates relatively easily to a speed of 100 kilometers per hour and then still has a bit of acceleration space left. Nevertheless, anticipation – certainly on the highway – is necessary, but you get used to that quickly.
Excellent course stability, brakes can be better
The operation of the non-assisted braking system requires more getting used to. First, the pedals are close together. Furthermore, it is necessary to start braking in time, because the Renault really needs time to come to a stop. After a few kilometers of driving, we are used to that, but alertness is still required. A set of front disc brakes – or modified drums – would be a good improvement on the braking characteristics. On the other hand, the Renault 4 with its independent torsion bar suspension and telescopic shock absorbers all round offers a lot of comfort, while small bumps are well damped. Furthermore, the stability of the course straight ahead and in the bends is noticeable. The body does become a bit restless at speeds above 90-100 kilometers per hour, and that is inherent in, among other things, the high structure of the body, which is also not self-supporting.
Thumbs up for a nice car
This way we get a good picture of the charming Frenchman who can greet a number of raised thumbs along the way. With the Renault 4 it is possible - in all relativity and modesty - to cover the kilometers in a pleasant way. The example driven by us proves to be a nice car that can be used not only as a hobby, but also for everyday use. Whatever it is used for, it puts a smile on your face.