AutosFrench cars debunk reliability myths with top engine picks

French cars debunk reliability myths with top engine picks

2.0 HDI engine
2.0 HDI engine
Images source: © Press materials
1:53 PM EDT, March 17, 2024

About French cars, there are sometimes opinions that they can be prone to faults. However, exceptions definitely refute this. With the right engine under the hood, a French car can compete in terms of reliability with vehicles from Japan or Germany. So, what engines are these?

Gasoline 1.4 and 1.6 PSA - TU family

Naturally aspirated engines from Citroën and Peugeot may not have a reputation akin to their German or Japanese counterparts, but they should be acknowledged for their reliability. Characterized by a simple and durable design from the 90s, these engines prioritize longevity.

Currently, TU units are mainly found in older models, yet the EC5 model was utilized until 2018 in the Citroën C-Elysée and Peugeot 301 as a 1.6 VTi. This model boasts variable valve timing technology and meets the Euro 6 standard, although it has a different design from the Prince series.

This engine is also gas installation-friendly, easy, cheap, and inexpensive to maintain, with readily available inexpensive parts. Some downsides include potential ignition coil failures or throttle contamination and, in severely neglected units, increased oil consumption.

Diesel 2.0 HDi PSA - DW10 family

The French 2.0 HDi stands as a testament to diesel engine success post-2000, noted for its remarkable durability despite often being neglected by owners. This engine underwent continuous improvements over two decades, aligning with customer expectations and emission standards. Ford, along with other manufacturers such as Volvo or Suzuki, adopted it to resolve their diesel issues, attesting to its reliability.

While there are instances of failure, they are far outweighed by thousands of positive experiences. Its economy is another key advantage, proving worthwhile even under heavy use. Although repairs on newer models can be pricey, this engine remains a solid choice for diesel seekers.

Diesel 1.5 dCi Renault - K9K line

With over two decades of history, this diesel had a rocky start but has since evolved into a polished and dependable engine. It's particularly noted for its efficiency, topping its class.

Nowadays, issues like bearing seizure or injection and turbo failures are infrequent. Modern versions are largely trouble-free, and this engine serves not only in Renault and Nissan but also in Mercedes under the designation OM 607 DE 15 LA.

Diesel 2.0 dCi Renault - M9R series

As the successor to the 1.9 dCi series, this engine overcame initial bearing durability issues to emerge as a reliable choice. Still available in recent Renault and Nissan models, it provides strong performance.

While regular oil changes are advisable to preserve bearing life, this engine generally experiences low failure rates and is considered highly reliable. It stands as a worthy option for those in search of a vehicle with a 2.0 dCi engine.

Gasoline 0.9 TCe Renault - H4bt line

Despite its size, this engine is remarkably reliable. Designed a little over ten years ago and used until recently, it is a surprise with durability that exceeds 124,000 miles. Its small capacity and three-cylinder design came during the era of downsizing, yet it managed to sidestep direct fuel injection, accommodating LPG installations. The successor, the 1.0 H4Dt, impresses similarly, designed without the need for a particulate filter. Issues such as coolant leaks or higher oil consumption are rare.

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