1996 Renault Clio RL Paris 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland
Smart, reliable small car
General wear and tear problems, the car has the Energy engine which is known for being very robust and reliable, it is however a lot noisier than the Diet 1.2 engine found in later models before the 16v versions came in. This model of Clio does suffer with rust at the rear arch so be sure to check this.
The Clio is quite a decent small car, the RL is very basic and Paris edition removes the rear opening window on the 3 door models and also removes the sunroof. However both of these options are generally more trouble than they're worth. This model does not have power steering!
Inside the Clio is very well laid out, it's quite basic in this model, however if you can source a higher model all these parts are interchangeable, so you'll be able to replace those god awful dials! The seats in this model were terrible and gave me back ache on long distance, if you can source a set of seats from a higher model (1.8 16v Clio) do it if you spend a lot of time in your car.
Outside this car looks very bland with its black bumpers and trim. This however can be dealt with quite easily by having your bumpers colour coded or the RT bumpers fitted, or if you can source them the sporty 16v bumpers look much better.
Around town this car is decent and you can get some decent MPG out of it, however take it on a motorway and it'll just scream in agony if you push it much over 70mph.
It drives pretty well, and is pretty decent round town, but I don't find it's very appealing unlike my 1.8 16v Clio was, but it is very cheap to insure, cheap to run and cheap to repair and superb run about, especially if you had a little accident in your last car. For the new driver this car would a be a good buy, as they're going for peanuts right now, but if you can afford the extra insurance opt for the more equipped Clio 1.4RT and if you want speed opt for the 1.8 16v Clio as this is the top dog Clio of this model, and is superb fun to drive.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 17th October, 2004