Scrapyard Gem: 2010 Renault Modus Dynamique

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YORK, England — Car shoppers in the United States haven't been able to buy new French cars since the final Renault/Eagle Medallions were sold in 1989, which means I had to go across the Atlantic to find junkyards scrapyards (as they call them here) with plenty of Citroëns, Renaults and Peugeots in stock (though I do find the occasional Mexican-market French machine in the car graveyards of Colorado). From the same U-Pull-It in York, England, that brought us the Peugeot 307 CC awhile back, here's a tiny-yet-spacious tall hatchback that was forcibly retired at age 14.

The Modus was built for the 2005 through 2012 model years, and it was at heart a taller version of the same-generation Renault Clio.

It lived on the same Renault-Nissan platform as the Cube and Juke, which also makes it a cousin to the Leaf.

This one has the 1.6-liter petrol engine, rated at 111 horsepower.

It appears that the four-speed automatic transmission was mandatory with U.K.-market 2010 Moduses equipped with the 1.6 engine; a five-speed manual was standard equipment in cars with the 1.1-liter petrol-burner or the 1.5-liter diesel. The petrol/automatic combination is a rare one for European-market economy cars of this era.

If you wanted a Modus with the eCO² label, you couldn't get the 1.6 engine.

The 2010 Modus for Great Britain came in two trim levels: Expression and Dynamique. This one is the latter type, which came with 16" alloy wheels, cruise control, "Luxe Carbon" upholstery and a better audio system.

Despite scaling in at under 2,400 pounds, this car has an impressive amount of interior space.

You can open the entire hatch or just the small access panel above the bumper.

Why is it here? U-Pull-It says it came to them with front end damage and 90,027 miles on the odometer.

Because used-car shoppers across the Channel don't want right-hand-drive cars, running British-market French economy cars sell for cheap. U-Pull-It had this runner parked outside with a £695 price tag and a not-too-scary MOT history, and I suspect they'd take less.

The mini-MPV with the clever little boot-chute.

The action never stops in the Modus-equipped workplace.

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