1994 Renault Clio RN Liberte 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Superbly economical and practical little car


The head gasket blew at about 150000miles, probably my own fault as I tried to doctor the antifreeze mixture with some calgon scale remover. The blown gasket resulted in loss of coolant, but I was most impressed that the Clio still ran OK for some 200miles before a repair.

The cabin heater matrix failed after about 150000miles, just got clogged up. Winter driving was dicing with ice!

The water pump went at about 250000miles.

Damp affecting distributor at about 200000miles. This required occasional stripping and spraying with WD40.

Clutch cable ratchet mechanism playing up at 280000miles.

General Comments:

A superbly reliable and cheap car to run. My 1.2lt petrol model did over 281,000miles and returned 50.6mpg.

It was practical, the hatchback allowed superb amount of boot space for all sorts of luggage/baggage.

The front tires usually lasted some 50000miles and the rear at least twice as much, apart from puncture repairs/replacements.

I changed the oil and filter religiously every 6000miles and this must have contributed to its phenomenal longevity and reliability. It was still on its original clutch, although the actuating cable mechanism was starting to play up.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th November, 2004

28th Dec 2004, 09:08

Your heater matrix lasted a long time, mine has gone at 115,000 miles.

1994 Renault Clio RL van 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Reliable, fun, if inadequate van


Rear passenger-side shock absorber mount broke (the poor van was regularly overloaded, so hardly its fault).

Other than that, utterly faultless - I can't see where Renault gets its reputation for unreliability from.

General Comments:

The whiny 1.2 litre engine is utterly gutless - please, whatever you do, buy the 1.9 Diesel version of this van. I drilled some holes in the air filter box which seemed to make it a little more free-revving (and fruitier-sounding) - unless you can't stand boominess I recommend this free modification. The engine is extremely reliable and has never let me down, even in temperatures down to -20.

It's a very neutral-handling and fun car to drive, but the larger wheels (195/45/15s) someone had put on it before I bought it completely spoiled the steering feel - larger wheels might look better, but they do nothing for driveability, or handling adjustability on such a low-powered car - if only I'd swapped back to the original skinny 13" wheels and tyres.

Interior-wise it's okay, if very Spartan. As a van, the load capacity and room just isn't enough - more for pizza deliveries than tools and materials. The interior is relatively well put together, with few rattles; the BMW E36 3-series I drove wasn't all that much better.

All in all a very good supermini, but probably not cut out as a van. If you're buying the car version try to get at least a 1.4 as the base engine is dreadful - and another thing, don't over-tyre it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th April, 2004

1994 Renault Clio RSI 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Small speed demon


The front shocks have burst, causing the handling to boat a bit.

Have also got a leaking sunroof, but that's common fault with Clio's; heard it can be caused by a loose aerial seal.

Also found that it eats wheel bearings, mainly due to the amount of wheel spin.

Lacquer has started peeling off the bonnet, but that was because I had the 16V bonnet scoop put on, which was done badly.

Sometimes idling badly; just need to clean the idle control valve.

General Comments:

Apart from some of the minor problems stated above, I still love the car. Acceleration is excellent, and having previously owning a 2.0L Sierra DOHC, I had high expectations, but the Clio will surprise anyone who drives it.

I like fast cars, and being only 18, I wanted to find a car that is fast and that I can get insured on, and the Clio was the perfect car, offering 110 bhp and 0-60 in 8.9 seconds, which is quite adequate. I have had 123 MPH, but it could do a little more.

I have raced many cars already, and fared well against most cars. My brother has a 205 GTI, and our cars are equal all the way up to 110 mph, although his car handles and brakes slightly better. This is due to having the special edition 205 with power steering and ABS discs all around.

I have also raced a 205 XS, Focus 1.8 Zetec, BMW 520i, and my dad's 130 bhp Passat, and many others that are pointless to mention, because the Clio made an easy meal of them.

I managed to get insured for £1100 with Elephant, and for an 18 year old that's not bad at all.

Lovely noise from the induction kit, and can't wait to get more mods and raise the bhp up to 130+. It will fly.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th March, 2004

26th Apr 2007, 10:21

How did you get to insure it that cheap, So far I'm a 18 year old and everywhere I go, it's over £3000..

26th Aug 2008, 08:29

Hey. I've just gone and bought myself a 1.8 Clio RSI on an M reg. Just wondered what I can do to it to give it that bit more power? And what air filter do you recommend?

Oh if anyone has one or is getting a Clio, I would put some Megane standard alloys on it. They're just short of 7 inch wide. Brilliant fun around corners and roundabouts.