Don't worry. Lots of first posts are a question
Earlier examples are plagued by
failures and gearbox problems, though it's accepted that the worst of these problems were ironed out sometime around 2003. As the one you're looking at is a late 2003 model, it should be a lot less prone to
failure than the earlier ones. Also, due to the age, mileage, and the fact that the
is a recognised weakness, you should get a significant contribution from Renault if it does fail, even though you're not the first owner.
The good news is that the cars are more reliable than they used to be, but they've yet to shed their reputation for these issues, so second-hand values are reduced accordingly. You'll get a lot of car for your money, and if you pick a good 'un, you'll be more than happy.
For complete peace of mind, you can extend the warranty up to 5 years from new with Renault, even if you're buying privately. It'll cost you a few hundred quid, but at least you shouldn't have to budget for anything more than routine servicing during that time. Having said that, the timing belt will be due at the next service (72K) and that's not a cheap job on any car these days.
The Phase 1 Lag 2 (single part radiator grille, Renault badge on the bonnet) only ever had cruse as standard on the Initiale (autos and manuals) and (I think) the Privilege when ordered with automatic transmission. On the new Phase 2 (2 part radiator grille with Renault badge in the middle) most of the range has the cruise and limiter.
The best advice if you do buy is to chance the
and filter more regularly than the recommended 18K interval, and use a good quality
. Go for 9K if you do lots of motorway driving, and 6K if it's mostly around town stuff.