1980s / 1990s / French / Future classic / Renault

Is the Renault 25 a future classic?

renault-25-gts-1The Renault 25 was introduced in 1984 to replace both the 20 and the 30. The 25 retained its predecessor’s practical hatchback body style but it wore a much more classic silhouette that Renault hoped would help it steal sales from Audi, Peugeot and, to a lesser extent, Mercedes-Benz and BMW. The 25’s lines were penned by Robert Opron, the same man who drew the Citroën SM, the Renault Fuego and the Alpine A310, among others.

The 25 faced the same dilemma as its predecessors: It had to sit at the very top of the Renault lineup but it had to remain relatively affordable, Renault couldn’t build a competitor to the w126 S-Class. Consequently, the 25 was available with a wide array of engines ranging from a 2.1-liter turbodiesel that made just 64 horsepower to a 205-horsepower turbocharged evolution of the PRV V6. Base cars were about as well equipped as a 21, the next model down in the lineup, while buyers could opt for a more expensive trim levels that offered niceties such as full leather upholstery, cruise control, power seats and a sunroof. The futuristic TXE Electronic model upped the ante with a digital dashboard and a voice synthesizer.

The Renault 25 got off to a rough start because early models were plagued with minor issues. The press picked up on the 25’s maladies but one of its harshest critics was Renault president Raymond Lévy, who famously complained in public that his 25 company car had to in for repairs at least once a month. The kinks were ironed out and sales had picked up by the time a thoroughly facelifted model was introduced in 1988.

The fiasco of the Alliance, the Encore and the Medallion discouraged Renault from selling the 25 in the United States, but a modified version of the sedan’s platform underpinned the Eagle Premier / Dodge Monaco twins.

Today, upmarket models like the V6 Turbo and the long-wheelbase body styles are going up in value but a look in the local classifieds reveals its possible to pick up a rough-but-running 25 like the one pictured below for a handful of euros. Will the 25 become sought-after by enthusiasts?

13 thoughts on “Is the Renault 25 a future classic?

  1. I honestly don’t thinsk so… amongst French cars Renaults are nice when in small size, but for the big ones the styling Oscar goes to Citroën and Peugeot – even when old, they are still nice. Obviously, beauty (desirability) has a great part in giving the status of classic. But maybe I’m wrong 🙂

    • If the fate of the 16, 20 and 30 are anything to go by, I think you’re right. Big Renaults don’t pick up in value, you can buy a clean, low-mileage 16 for 3,000 – 4,000 euros in France. A 30 is worth even less, though those are very hard to find.

      Oddly enough the 604 is not showing signs of going up in value any time soon. I’d have lost money on that bet, that was one hell of a car.

  2. Wasn’t there a Monaco special edition in the UK with all the goodies on it? I had a standard one for a weekend. Very plasticky inside but a super comfy ride. I’d have one for a few euros.

  3. Since the 25 was introduced in 1984, Mitterrand rode in fact to Paris, in 1981, either in a 20 or a 30. I have no more in my memory the car used by Hollande to ride to Paris – that shows in my eyes that modern cars have a deficit of character.

    • Aye, Mitterrand didn’t use a 25 in 1981, but I think he might have for his second term – I’d need to check, I’m not sure.

      Hollande used a purpose-built Citroen DS5, I believe. I remember Citroen sending out a press release about it, but I don’t remember specifics.

      • I think the purpose-built Citroen DS5 was used for his “enthronement”. But what I mean in this case is the car used by the new presidents, just a few minutes after they heard they had been elected or re-elected, to return to Paris. Here Mitterrand in his car (at 25 seconds), on the passenger-seat. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-qGaFQpJ2Q
        and here the video of Hollande

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  6. Well perhaps, in the same way a 9000 Aero is. Wasn’t an AMC-Eagle of some sort based on the 25? They’re neat cars, and I’ve read some period reviews of the 25 Turbo that were pretty positive. Neat car.

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