Renault Symbol is a front-wheel drive compact sedan, which is built on the platform of the Renault Clio hatchback. The car represents the budget class. A total of 3 generations of the French sedan have been produced. The last family has been shown for the first time in the fall of 2012 during the Turkish auto show in Istanbul. The whole model range of Renault.
- Car History
- First generation (1999-2008)
- Technical Specifications
- II generation (2008-2012)
- Gen II Appearance
- Symbol II interior
- Symbol II Specifications
- Cost and packages
- Generation III (2013-present)
- Features and prices
- Comparison with competitors
- Reviews of owners
- Pros and cons
- Summing up
- Renault Symbol photos
The budget version of the sedan named “Symbol” for the first time appeared in the list of cars from the French company Renault in 1999. The novelty was represented by a three-volume modification of the hatchback “Clio” of the 2nd generation (in general, the car was called so – Clio Symbol). The next family of this car was already supplied as a “standalone” (without “Clio”). The novelty in reality was “a result of a deep restyling of the debut generation”.
The third generation represents the already familiar Logan 2 family, which received small differences in appearance and interior design. The last generation is produced by Frenchmen in Turkey in the city of Bursa at the plant OYAK Renault. Due to this it was possible to reduce the cost of the vehicle.
Renault Symbol is available in a 4-door sedan type body. As a basis, the developers decided to take the so-called “B-Platform”, sharing between themselves Renault Modus, Renault Logan (Dacia Logan), Renault Clio, Nissan Micra, as well as Nissan Note. The car also bears the following names: Renault Clio Sedan, Renault Thalia and Nissan Platina.
First generation (1999-2008)
The French themselves positioned their novelty as a subcompact sedan, which was intended only for developing countries. The car began production in 1999. Interestingly, the car was produced in different markets under its own names (Symbol, Clio Sedan, Clio Classic and others). After 2002, the French specialists decided to update the three-volume car.
The changes have affected the exterior, interior, as well as technical stuffing. Then Renault Symbol was kept on assembly line until 2008, after which the French began producing the successor in the form of Renault Symbol of the 2nd generation.
Judging by the desire of the population to have an inexpensive sedan, the French decided to take a compact urban hatchback Renault Clio 2 and make it a compact sedan, only attaching a trunk to the 5-door. Just for this reason, the car has quite disputable appearance, as the stern of the Renault Symbol 1 looks a little alien.
To reduce the cost of the main production Renault Symbol 1 generation decided to establish in Turkey, and at some time such cars were in good demand among Russian buyers. If the hatchback Renault Clio looks, though unusual, but quite organically, the appearance of “Symbol” is quite contradictory: the sedan looks “hunchback” and clumsy, though quite amusing.
Interestingly, the front headlights of the Renault Symbol 1 are made of polycarbonate. In their physical characteristics, they are similar to the headlights made of glass.
After the update, which affected the car in 2002, the “Frenchman” lost the name “Clio”, as well as improved its available options. Already basic equipment Renault Symbol 2002 was equipped with bumpers, painted in the color of the body, as well as steel 14-inch wheels. The front end has a pleasant appearance, appealing in its friendliness.
On the sides, the light optics are spaced, between which there are two compartments under the radiator grille, separated by the symbol of the French company Renault. The lower part also has a hole in the center for cooling the engine compartment. On the sides of the front bumper are placed small round fog lights. The side part looks quite ordinary, as for a standard sedan.
There are plastic black rails on the doors. The front fenders have a turn signal repeater. Ground clearance height is 155 millimeters average by modern standards. The roof line falling down to the stern is easily noticeable. Sill line is flat. As for the rear of the updated Renault Symbol 1, it also looks unusual.
On the sides of the luggage compartment cover there is a rear optics with rather large elements. Both front and rear bumpers feature black moldings, below which there is space for the vehicle’s license plate. At the bottom of the rear window there is an additional brake light. Many people are attracted to the French sedan by the fact that the body is almost rust-free and the paintwork is of high quality.
The interior of the 1st generation Renault Symbol has a fairly simple design. In front of the driver is a three-spoke steering wheel of the new type. To the left of it is the deflector of the climate system. Just below is the “light” control. The dashboard in the debut version had three wells, and after received four gauges. On each side were large dials, the left of which showed the number of engine revolutions, and the right speed mode.
Between them there were fuel level and power unit temperature gauges. Below there were indicators of various elements of the car. In the basic configuration, all the windows have only a mechanical drive, the exterior mirrors are also adjusted manually. The seats installed in the front are mechanically adjustable in 4 positions, and the steering column is only adjustable in height.
The center console is now equipped with an information display, hidden under the visor. It displays all the necessary information about the car. Below you can see two large deflectors of the ventilation system. Under them there is a place for the control unit “music”. In the more advanced configuration there is a CD-player. At the very bottom of the central console of the Renault Symbol 1 generation is the control unit “climate”.
This block includes three regulators. The seats are not the most comfortable, but cope with their direct responsibilities – to carry passengers over short distances. The front seats are equipped with hardly perceptible side support. There is enough space for the front passengers. The glove box is of medium size.
The car Renault Symbol 3 is sold only in Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria, Chile and Brazil (in the latter country under the name Renault Logan).
Three adult passengers can sit in the back, but only two can sit comfortably. The design is now two-tone – dark top, light bottom. One of the advantages of Renault Symbol I is the spacious luggage compartment – 510 liters of useful space. If necessary, it can be increased by folding the rear seat backs. However, the opening is quite narrow, so it limits the functionality of the luggage compartment.
In addition, as is customary with many sedans, some space is “stolen” by the trunk lid hinges. Some owners also complain about the opening of the trunk itself, which could be bigger. The trunk can also hold a full-size spare tire.
Under the hood of the Renault Symbol 1 sedan were a total of four types of engines, which ran on both gasoline and diesel. The gasoline list started with the 1.4-liter eight-valve K7J power plant, developing 75 horsepower. This motor was installed on standard equipment.
It has a good service life of 400,000 kilometers. Gasoline consumption is 8-10 liters per every 100 kilometers. Its main problems include attachments and electronics. In particular:
- Ignition coils stop working;
- High voltage wires break through;
- Bendixes on the starter are flying, the voltage regulator on the alternator does not want to work.
Next is a similar 4-liter “engine” K4J with 14-valve timing mechanism. It already produces 98 “horses”. This engine also consumes about 8-10 liters per “hundred”. The most powerful gasoline engine was 1.6-liter power unit K7M, which has a 16-valve timing system, which generated 107 horsepower (148 Nm). It was not produced in Russia, so it is quite rare.
The diesel lineup was represented by atmospheric and turbocharged 1.5-liter engines. They developed 65-82 horsepower (160 Nm). Diesel cars Symbol can be found very rarely, in our country such cars were not produced. K9K engine even in European countries was not considered durable. Because of the low-quality diesel fuel the power unit very quickly failed.
Among the most characteristic problems of this power unit is the appearance of knocking of crank pins under load. Quite often such “engines” have the service life a little bit more than 100 000 kilometers. The maximum speed of the “French” does not exceed 170 kilometers per hour. Power units of Renault Symbol 1 generation are synchronized with manual 5-speed or automatic (DP0 model) 4-speed gearboxes.
All torque is transmitted exclusively to the front wheels. As mentioned above, the French model is based on a front-wheel-drive structure called “B”. It implies transverse placement of the power plant. For the front wheels, the French engineers have provided an independent suspension with McPherson struts, and for the rear – the semi-independent design, which has longitudinal levers.
The rack-and-pinion steering, which has a hydraulic booster in basic version, helps to steer the car. The braking system is represented by disc front and drum rear mechanisms.
From the very beginning, the compact car was developed and designed for people with little money, so the French company Renault has directed all its efforts to make the vehicle cheaper.
But this is not to say that the engineers decided Renault decided to produce an unreliable and flimsy car. Just the car did not have any cool features. From the factory, Renault Symbol 1 came out only two versions – Authentique and Expression. The basic equipment was equipped with:
- Central locking system;
- Driver’s airbag;
- Hydraulic power steering;
- Full-size spare tire;
- Mechanical power windows;
- Side mirrors with manual adjustments;
- Front seats with mechanical adjustment in 4 positions;
- Height adjustable steering wheel.
The more expensive equipment already boasted availability:
- 98-horsepower engine and automatic transmission;
- Trip computer;
- Air conditioning;
- Power mirrors;
- Fog lights;
- Audio system with CD player;
- Power windows on all doors.
As an additional option, you can install an electronic ABS system, an airbag for the front passenger and heated front seats. Renault Symbol 1 generation stands out even regular steel protection under the engine.
The advantages of the first family of the famous French sedan include a reliable design, good steering, a fairly spacious cabin, a large luggage compartment, affordable maintenance, tractive and economical power units, as well as power-hungry suspension. To the disadvantages of owners include poor quality of light from the headlights, weak brakes, unusual exterior, far from ideal soundproofing and not comfortable seats.
II generation (2008-2012)
The second family of Renault Symbol was presented in 2008 during the Moscow Motor Show. The car was not created from scratch, but appeared as a result of a deep modernization of the previous family car. Thanks to this managed to save the overall body structure, but at the same time the appearance of the vehicle has become completely different.
French specialists also worked on the interior. In order to still make the budget version of the sedan as cheap as possible, Renault even decided to start building the car in Turkey, which is also known as the Nissan Platina.
The three-volume model of the 2 family has the “Autobest 2009” award, which is given to the best car in Eastern and Central Europe.
Gen II Appearance
Renault Symbol II looks standard. Because of this, the car does not stand out in any way. Someone can consider it as a minus, and someone as a plus, it all depends on the buyer. The eye catches a bit relief hood, massive halogen optics and small radiator grille, above which the wide chrome insert is located.
The front bumper has an extension of the grille and round fog lights. By the way, the last ones are already available even in the cheapest complete set. Some motorists see in the front part similarity with the Renault Sandero. The side part of the second generation of Renault Symbol can hardly impress something. It is equipped with the usual beveled arches.
A pleasant surprise – the door handles are made of polished aluminum. The height of ground clearance became a little lower – 140 millimeters. The windows became noticeably larger in size, thanks to which the interior space is visually enlarged. The seamless transition from the roof to the luggage compartment forms a complete image of the car.
This perception is reinforced by a stippling around the car, which completes the front bumper. The front mask is simple. It has large headlights, which received halogen stuffing. All this looks nice. In addition, there is a slightly curved lid of the luggage compartment and a massive simple bumper.
There is almost no irregularity in the design of the body of the new car, and it is clearly felt if you compare the novelty with the previous family, which many blamed for the sloppy rear. Now the Renault Symbol 2 actually looks like a 3, rather than a “two-volume and a half” – the body of the car has the right proportions. On the roof of the luggage compartment there is a chrome lettering and company nameplate, which, according to designers, gives the car status and sophistication.
Symbol II interior
With the new generation, the changes have also affected the interior of the French sedan. Here you will find the already familiar good-quality plastic trim, which is complemented by inserts on the front panel of chrome. Color interior received a two-color range, and the rounded visor was put on the torpedo.
As for the layout and ergonomics of the instruments in the central panel, they remained the same. The driver’s seat has not changed much. If the driver has a large complex, he will not be very comfortable, because the height of the cabin and the device of the seat, as well as the steering column will better suit the car owners with average height.
In front of the driver there is still a 3-spoke steering wheel, without buttons. It can only be adjusted in height. As for the instrument panel of Renault Symbol II, it is equipped with 2 large, basic analog gauges, which received a nice frame. In addition, the “dashboard” has an on-board computer and a large number of lights that signal the status of the vehicle.
The interior of the Renault Symbol 2 generation, in general, turned out to be simple and not very roomy. The driver’s seat is represented by fabric seats, which received mechanical adjustments. On the top of the central console you can notice the standard small display of the music system.
Under it are the ventilation system deflectors, below which is the control unit for the radio. Then there is a small “screen” of the climate system, around which the keys for adjustment are placed. A pair of cup holders and a cigarette lighter completes this view.
Among the pleasant innovations in the Renault Symbol 2 can be noted the appearance of third side windows, noticeably improving visibility.
The second row of seats is also not the most spacious. In theory, it can accommodate three adults, but in practice, they will be uncomfortable. The interior is really simple and hardly anyone enjoys it. However, the car is not created for it.
Besides, a capacious trunk which can brag of 502 liters of useful space compensates some faults a little. It is a pity, but it will not be possible to remove the 2nd row of seats. In addition, the luggage compartment still opens uncomfortably, has a narrow opening. Free space is “stolen” by the hinges of the trunk lid.
Symbol II Specifications
It is worth immediately noting that the power units were created only for urban purposes, so you should not expect from them any dynamic performance or buy yourself this car for a fast ride. For Russia, the French have provided only 2 engines, and for other countries 4. They run on both gasoline and diesel fuel.
The petrol list of motors opens with 1.1-liter, sixteen-valve power-unit, developing 75 horsepower. Frankly, such power is very little for the Renault Symbol 2 sedan. Next comes a more powerful 1.4-liter 16-valve atmospheric “engine”, developing 98 “horses”. Such power is enough to reach the speed mark of 100 kilometers per hour in just 11 seconds.
At the same time, the speed limit does not exceed 186 kilometers per hour. As for its “fuel appetite”, the unit consumes about 10 liters of gasoline in the city mode, and this is not an economic indicator. If you go out of town, this figure drops to 5 liters per every 100 kilometers.
The most powerful of the gasoline range is the 1.6-liter power plant, which has already received 102 horsepower. Due to more powerful “engine” conquering of the first hundred reduced to the value of 10.5 seconds. In addition, the index of top speed increased – 190 kilometers per hour.
A pleasant bonus is a reduced gasoline consumption by 1 liter in the city area. In the diesel list there is only 1 engine – 1.5-liter turbocharged 8-valve, producing 64-86 horsepower. Acceleration dynamics is not the best – 12 seconds. The maximum speed will not exceed 177 kilometers per hour.
Although this version of the powertrain is not particularly powerful, it has a modest fuel consumption of about 5 liters per every 100 kilometers. Only the 1.4-liter and 1.6-liter engines are available to Russian buyers. As the connecting link between the engine and the wheels is a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic gearbox.
The entire torque potential is transmitted only to the front wheels. If you take the box “automatic”, then with it the car with a power unit, the volume of 1.4 liters to 100 km / h will disperse only after 16.6 seconds, which is very little, so many drivers prefer a “mechanical”, allowing better control over the process of driving.
The suspension in the Renault Symbol 2 generation is the same as in the previous version of the car: the sedan not only smoothly passes rough roads, but also has stability in the corners, entering which gives a small roll. For the front wheels, the designers have provided an independent suspension, and for the rear – the semi-independent.
Cost and packages
When this car was still on sale, you could buy it from 4142.50 euros. But today you can not buy Renault Symbol 2, because the car is no longer in production. But you can pay attention to the market of used cars. Already in the basic configuration Renault Symbol 2008 there is the presence of climate control, electronic ABS system, hydraulic power steering.
Many experts do not recommend buying the second generation of the “Frenchman”. The car is not of the highest quality and its power is barely enough. For the same money you can find a much better offer.
Generation III (2013-present)
Renault Symbol 3 was officially demonstrated in the fall of 2012 during the Istanbul Motor Show. The third family of budget three-wheelers is delivered to the Russian market and the explanation is quite simple – this car is a modified Logan 2.
In addition, the company’s specialists slightly changed the interior design. But not to create unnecessary competition to “Logan”, it was decided to leave only Renault Logan in our market.
The exterior of the third generation Renault Symbol is very similar to the exterior of the Renault Logan of the new family. However, at the same time the car is equipped with a number of distinctive details, which, according to design experts, were able to make the new car more attractive than its “donor”. Especially for Renault Symbol 2019 designers have developed a new front bumper, which has a large air intake.
In addition, the novelty has a modified radiator grille, an updated hood molding and redesigned pattern of stop lights. There is chrome on the radiator grille. For safety the French have provided a more rigid structure of the body, and decided to increase the front cross-member.
The entire front of the body has a high percentage of strength, the protective panel, along with the struts have been modernized and strengthened. There is a curved line of daytime running lights. The exterior mirrors have also changed its image. The side part received chrome trim, which improves the exterior. In the wheel arches are installed 15-inch “rollers. This car was designed specifically for our conditions.
Modifications of the vehicle are supplied to Russia, which received special training. The ground clearance was increased – 2 centimeters at the front and 1 centimeter at the back. Also, different shock absorbers, powertrain protection and wax sealed cavities were installed. The Renault Simbol 3 has a plated bodywork treatment. The side mirrors got turn signal repeaters.
The rear of the French sedan creates the effect of reliability and practicality. The bumper painted in body color and the stylish rear optics look nice. There is also a chrome overlay on the rear. The updated car has a small spoiler, which adds dynamics and personality to the car. The license plate is located on the rear bumper.
The interior of the “French-Turkish” Renault Symbol 3 almost completely repeats the interior of Logan. The interior is two-color – the upper part is gray, and what is below the windows is beige. The driver is faced with a steering wheel with many functions. The instrument panel has received a beautiful framing, which has smooth lines, which looks quite chic.
The dashboard in addition to the tachometer is equipped with control indicators and on-board computer. There are a total of three round dials on the dashboard. The leftmost dial is responsible for the number of revolutions of the power unit. The central, largest one is for the speedometer.
To the right of it in a circular frame is a rectangular small screen that shows all the necessary information of the on-board computer. The steering wheel is chrome framed and adjustable, as is the driver’s seat. There is an armrest, which can be retracted or lowered as required. Only the driver has this advantage, which is a little frustrating.
The center console has the latest multimedia system with a 7-inch touchscreen display and navigation system. Above this display there are nice deflectors of ventilation system. And directly below it, the multimedia system screen of the Renault Symbol 2019 has a control unit for the climate system, which has a rather non-standard appearance.
Below the “climate” block there is a place for two cup holders, which are near the gearshift knob. Nearby you can also notice the cigarette lighter. It is interesting that for the rear passengers there is also a cup holder, but one, and a cigarette lighter. Glove compartment though not the biggest, but it is roomy and has been illuminated.
The second row can accommodate three adult passengers, but again, only two people will sit comfortably. Provided headrests. Free space above your head is enough, but in the knees, sometimes you may not have enough, especially if you fully move the front seats. The sofa itself is flat and deprived of any additional conveniences.
The third generation Renault Symbol has the same luggage compartment as the last generation Renault Logan – 510 liters of usable space. More expensive options have an opportunity to fold back the backrests of the sofa in certain proportions, which allows better use of the trunk. However, you should not expect a flat area here. The raised floor is equipped with a full-size spare wheel.
Unlike the new Logan version, the 3rd generation Renault Simbol does not have such a wide range of powertrains: only two gasoline-powered and two diesel-powered engines. Of the petrol ones, the “Turkish-French” sedan has a brand new 3-cylinder turbocharged 0.9-liter power unit that produces 90 horsepower and 135 Nm.
The main advantage of the motor is its fuel efficiency. The French claim 5.0 liters per every 100 kilometers. The next one is the 1.6 liter 102 hp engine. As for the diesel units, they have the same volume of 1.4 liters and are built on a common design platform. The differences are only in the degree of boost, which makes the power units respectively 75 and 90 horsepower.
All power units Renault Simbol 3 generation work together only with a 5-speed manual gearbox. The appearance of an automatic transmission is not even discussed in the near future. All torque forces are transmitted through a manual transmission only to the front wheels.
With regard to the suspension and running gear, everything is completely taken from the “donor” car – Renault Logan of the last generation. In the front it was decided to use independent design on McPherson struts platform, and in the back – a torsion beam. The braking system is represented by ventilated disc brakes in front and simple drum mechanisms at the rear. The car also has hydraulic power steering at its disposal.
Features and prices
From the beginning, it was possible to buy the Renault Simbol 3 generation only in Turkey. Then the car began to be sold in Tunisia and Algeria. The cost of the French sedan was about $16,300. The basic package Renault Symbol 3 has:
- Rather modest passive safety (1 airbag);
- Hydraulic power steering;
- Crankcase protection;
- Steel wheels;
- Heated rear window;
- Light toning on glasses.
Additionally, you can buy a radio and two small speakers, as well as the electronic ABS system (in addition comes an airbag for the passenger sitting in front). The more expensive version already gets:
- Air conditioning;
- 4-speaker stereo;
- 3 head restraints for rear passengers;
- Fog lights;
- Headlight washers;
- Power windows for the front windows.
In addition to the above, the most top-of-the-line configuration is equipped with:
- Vertical adjustment of the driver’s seat;
- 14-inch alloy wheels;
- Height adjustable steering wheel;
- Electrically adjustable mirrors;
- Heated exterior mirrors;
- Central locking.
It is very strange, but even in the top configuration there is no ABS, it is necessary to buy it. On top of that, not a single version is equipped with floor mats. Perhaps this is done to reduce the cost, but buying the most top-end configuration, you want to have everything you need in it.
Comparison with competitors
Renault Simbol competitors often include Volkswagen Polo, Kia Ceed, Chevrolet Aveo, Lada Vesta and others. If the budget is modest, you can turn your attention to the domestic Lada Vesta, which, although not different quality assembly and interior level of the Germans (as, for example, Volkswagen), but can offer good comfort for its money. The Korean cars will suit style lovers. In any case, you need to rely on your financial account and personal interests.
Reviews of owners
Judging by the reviews of the owners of Renault Simbol, the car drives softly, all the bumps swallows. The suspension works out well. Inside the car a little noisy, as there is noise from the wheel arches, but after 130 kilometers per hour, which is not very critical. The sound of the engine starts coming after 140 kilometers per hour. Some drivers accelerated their cars up to 180 km/h without much difficulty.
The sedan keeps the road well. Consumes Symbol with air conditioning about 12 liters (with gas equipment 4 generation), and 8-10 outside the city, depending on what speed. The cost of spare parts is not much different from the Russian vehicles. Owners of Renault Symbol also note the galvanized body from the factory, well held against corrosion, provided that the car has not been in an accident.
Dynamics in general is enough, in fact it is not a high-speed car, but an inexpensive family “sedan”. Very pleased practical people spacious luggage compartment. Also the car stands out for its reliability and high resource of power units. Inside the Simbol is narrow, although the Logan has more space. The power of 75-horsepower motor is frankly not enough.
Pros and cons
- The latest generation looks more stylish and modern;
- Acceptable ground clearance height;
- Improved interior;
- There is a 7-inch touch screen multimedia system;
- Large luggage compartment;
- Safety level;
- Good dynamics (if we do not take into account the weak motor);
- Low fuel consumption;
- Good, power-consuming suspension;
- Good assembly;
- Good body, not afraid of corrosion (provided that the car has not been beaten).
Cons of a car
- Not for sale in Russia;
- There are weak engines in the lineup;
- Inside, the quality of finish leaves much to be desired;
- Only two adult passengers can sit comfortably in the back;
- Level of equipment;
- Not the best noise isolation;
- The complexity of some repair works;
- Not ideal controllability.
So, what can we say at the end? Renault Symbol 3 generation was able to transform well. The list of engines has been well improved. Level of equipment has become noticeably better, “chassis”, the technical part is more reliable and perfect. Although in Russia this car is not sold, you can buy a very similar Renault Logan, which even has an improved suspension.
In addition, judging by the reviews of the owners of the “Frenchman”, in the Renault Logan there is significantly more space inside than in the Symbol. But statistics shows, that the Symbol in the countries, where it is sold officially, sells quite well.
As a result, we have quite good, practical car with a moderate clearance, power suspension. With the third generation of the Renault Symbol, the French will be able to continue to confidently compete with other car companies in this class.
We advise you to read the article: History of Renault Company