An exciting car to drive; great handling and loads of torque
When I first bought my Clio, it had quite a few faults. I would expect have expected these on any car with a mileage of 130000, so I won't bore you with the details.
Apart from the general wear and tear, the thing that is so unreliable is the clutch cable. I have changed this twice on my Clio, and three times on my wife's 1.4 RT. I can now replace the cable in about half an hour!
The steering rack and column are prone for MOT failure. When I purchased my car, the rack had excessive play. After fitting two new track rods, this was eliminated, but required removing the entire rack from the car as access is diabolical.
There is a lot of excess play in the centre engine mount. This is noticeable as you can feel the gear lever moving about under the car, back and forth, when the engine is on and off the throttle. My wife's RT is identical, but as the RSi has more torque, the movement is far more aggressive. I replaced the centre mount with a poly bushing and this has fixed the problem. Now I just get more engine vibration through the chassis, like an old diesel!
The exhaust front-pipe seems to leak at the joint when you reverse, as the engine moves in its mountings.
The alloy wheels corrode around the rim. I changed the wheels for a set of genuine Renault alloys, that were new old stock, and were very cheap.
The bodyshell is prone to dents, and the bonnet is prone to stone chips. The rear arches corrode, although when I bought my car they were very good. I have managed to keep them in check since owning the car.
The clips on the scuttle panel can break, if you have to remove it to have say a windscreen replaced. The clips are only available with the scuttle panel, and they are over £60 each, so a trip to the breakers is the only answer.
The induction hose between airbox and throttle body can split from the oil vapours spilling in from the breather hose. I had to replace mine, which cost me £70 from the dealer. I now run a breather catch tank!
The engine has plenty of torque, making overtaking a breeze. Excellent fuel economy. The gearbox is smooth, but the clutch is heavy. This can be annoying in traffic.
The handling is excellent. The brakes aren't brilliant, but I think this might be just my car!
The seats are comfortable, and the interior, though very grey, is well designed. I didn't like the radio controls on the column, so I threw that away and replaced the column shroud from a basic model.
The body guards well against corrosion apart from the rear arches, so is easy to maintain.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 17th April, 2010