The little Renault 5 was in many ways ahead of its time. Not because of its technical features, but because it was the first small three-door hatchback.
At the introduction in 1972, the Renault 5 was a considered a very smart, very modern small car.
For instance, it didn’t have the usual chromed tubes for bumpers, but large plates of polyester, that could actually absorb a little bit of impact while parking.
Also, the car had no real grille in the front, just a gap between the front bumper and the hood.
The body of the car was slick and smooth, there weren’t even door handles, just a button to press and a recess in the steel, where you could grab the door.
Wide model range
Mechanically, the Renault 5 was pretty much the same as the 4 and 6, which meant that there was a longitudinal 845 cc engine and a gear lever sticking in the dashboard.
The 956 cc engine from the Renault 8 was also available, this was combined with a shifter on the floor.
But during the 12 years that the 5 was in production, the model range was extended in many different ways.
Bigger engines became available, with floor shift. Sporty models were introduced, luxurious trims and automatic transmission.
A five-door version also became available, that was to replace the 6. But also the monstrous R5 Turbo was introduced, and the R5 Alpine was, in fact, one of the early hot hatches on the market.
And yes, there was even an American version, the Renault LeCar, which was sold in the USA by the American Motors dealer network.
It became pretty popular in the USA.
The Renault 5 TL in these pictures is for sale in France, in Andernos les Bains, to be precise.
It’s from 1976, with 97,000 kilometres on the odometer.
The paint job is relatively new, the car looks good and the price is very modest, at just EUR 1,990.