1994 Renault Clio 16v 1.8 F16 i.e. from UK and Ireland


The original high-revving hot hatch


The sources of problems generally encountered with the 16v can be encapsulated by two facets:

1. It has a big engine in a small place. many jobs require the engine to be taken out.

2. It puts down a LOT of power for a 1.8 and the ancillary components take a beating - especially engine mounts.

Other than this, it is a well built car that will naturally vary in condition according to care of ownership.

General Comments:

Forget the CTR et al as pioneers of high revs...

This car was the hottest of the hot in the 1990s - and will still not be left wanting by a 172 or V6 Clio. Moreover, it is mechanically almost identical to the Williams - which gained 13bhp by boring the engine to 2.0 litres.

To drive, the dominating characteristic is its tendency to pick up after 4500 rpm. If you get one, DO NOT be afraid to rev the living daylights out of it. If you can keep it between 4500 and 7000 rpm, very little will keep up. But if you get caught below 4500 rpm you might lose to one or two cars!!

Very smooth as standard and quiet - though the engine howl at 4500-5500rpm is the best noise made by any car this side of a TVR. Lowering works really well too. Induction kits make more of the sound and whistle at 2500 rpm on this engine, but offer minimal performance benefits in hot weather/town.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th May, 2002

1994 Renault Clio Oasis 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


Basic, but stomach-able


What has gone right...?

Well, lets see, I've replaced the bearings on the front wheels 3 times, The brakes are fine when new, but 5K miles later, I've had to say a quick prayer, before trying to slow down because they seem to loose effectiveness. The exhaust needed replacing after 50,000 miles.

Problems with the steering rack.

The car handles like a bar of soap.

Windscreen washer switch failed.

Starter failed. Heating failed. Too much body roll.

General Comments:

On the positive side, the 1.9 diesel engine has put many a car to shame. It is got a lot of power which when added to the fact that the car is so small and light, provides a nice amount of speed.

Fuel economy was also very pleasing. I once put £20 worth of fuel and managed to cover 230 miles before having to refill.

The cabin is quite simple and plain (Boring) then again, if its only a cheap run around to get you around town, it'll definitely do. Try and get one with power steering though. Mine was the basic model which didn't have that luxury.

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

Review Date: 7th May, 2002

1994 Renault Clio Williams 1 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


One of Renault's finest hours


Electric windows at the front are slow, almost stopping at the mid point when rising.

Rear wiper plays up now and again.

Slight wheel bearing rumble round left hand bends at pace.

Oil pressure sender reports false oil pressure readings on the dash guage.

General Comments:

Only had the car a month and 1500 odd miles, but I absolutely love it. It goes well, handles brilliantly and attracts a lot of attention.

Call me a poser, but for me that's what owning a car like this is all about. The fact that people turn and think "there's one of them Williams Clios, ain't seen one of them for a while!". Not forgetting of course the fun you have behind the wheel. The engine is torquey, although first gear is pretty much unusable at full pelt as the front wheels tend to light up much too easily. Mid range pull is excellent, and whilst motorway cruising isn't the quietest, it is certainly effortless to overtake and pull up hills.

Inside is comfortable, well put together, although the dash creaks and squeaks a little when turning the wheel. The blue dials, numbered plaque and snazzy blue seatbelts and carpet serve as constant reminders of what you are actually driving.

Under the bonnet is tight as you might imagine, very difficult to do much work under there, which is of course reflected in garage servicing and repair costs. I am fortunate enough to be able to do much of the work myself, but patience is required in abundance.

Complete service history is essential on cars like these, and adds to the value greatly. Cambelts should be changed well before the recommended 72,000 and if neglected will relieve you of half the purchase price of the car.

Williams are a rarity these days and the prices of the Williams specific parts reflects this. You will find that scrapped ones for breaking are virtually non existent and new parts prices are thoroughly extortionate. Having said that, a lot of the parts are shared with the Clio 16Vs, and these of course are available from many of the well known parts outlets. In previous experience though, it is advisable to use the OEM parts which Renault use. They are of a better quality and will inevitably last longer than the pattern parts on offer. These "genuine" parts can be sourced from many companies around the UK, cheaper than Renault themselves.

It goes without saying to watch out for accident damage on cars like these. Get an HPi check done on the car before you buy, they're invaluable.

Most importantly, if you are considering one, take the time to look at a few to compare notes. And budget for a cambelt replacement (£200) and an HPi check (£35). Once you have it, look after it, service it regularly, and it will return reliability and most of all, pure driving pleasure.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th December, 2001