Amazing hot hatch
Make sure you buy a mint one, otherwise they don't run nearly as fast as they should, and it will fall to pieces.
Having previously owned a Clio 1.8 RSi for little over a year, which was beginning to show its age quite badly, I decided to upgrade to the 16v.
Having modded the RSi with a full Mongoose system, de-cat and induction kit, I didn't think there would be any difference between the RSi and 16v performance wise, due to the torque and gearing of the RSi. How wrong I was! I bought the 16v a couple of days ago, modded slightly with Magnex full system, K-tec de-cat, K&N induction kit, 20 groove brakes with braided hoses all around, and refurbed Williams wheels with brand new Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres.
The performance of this car is quite amazing, and is simply in a different league compared to my RSi, and though it does lack the low down pull of the 8v engine, as soon as you hit 4500 rpm, you are hit with a surge of torque, and then again at 5000 rpm all the way up to 7000 rpm with the full 137+ bhp.
Also having been in other hot hatches like a Honda Civic VTi, 205 1.6 GTi, and 106 Rallye, I have had the experience to compare, and I can safely say that having the Civic VTi's straight line speed and close to 205 GTi handling shows how amazing this car is. Not to mention the awesome brakes.
The car is also mechanically sound, with only 84000 on the clock with a full Renault service history. It sounds smooth, and rides quiet and responsive. The steering is firm and precise, as is the road holding, making for some serious cornering.
Watch out for the back end in the wet, as it can become twitchy.
Quite spacious inside, but not as roomy as the RSi for some reason, but I am 6ft6 and can manage to fit in without affecting the comfort. Seats are very supportive with height adjustment, and being a phase 2, it has the nicer of the interiors I think.
To sum this car up, it sounds nearly as nice as a Golf VR6, and has excellent all round ability, making it a true hot hatch, and it's still very fast at high speeds, making motorway driving fun as well, maxing out at 135, and pulling very quickly to 110 in fourth. VERY FAST! BMWs and co beware!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 19th May, 2005