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.

General Comments:

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

1996 Renault Clio RSi 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Great fun for the price


CAT failed at 10k miles, replaced by previous owner under warranty.

Started "overheating" at speed. It turned out to be faulty temperature gauge. Gauge unit replaced, but over the last year both temperature gauge and rev counter have become intermittent.

Radiator fan thermostat failed at 60k miles.

The odd lamp inside the dashboard doesn't light unless you bash it!

Voltage regulator failed after about 65k miles (this showed up as a faulty airbag indicator, and a main dealer needlessly replaced the computer - beware! The AA replaced the regulator on the roadside for £40)

One key no longer works the central locking.

Might change the shocks, it doesn't feel as firm as it used to.

General Comments:

Loads of fun with a lot of power for the money.

Insurance relatively cheap.

Fuel economy good if driven gently.

No problems with reliability until about 60k miles, then the electrical funnies started, but nothing serious.

Feels like a larger car from the inside, very comfortable, have driven many long m-way trips quite happily.

Also good in town with PAS and good brakes.

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

Review Date: 24th August, 2004

1996 Renault Clio RSi 1.8 injection from UK and Ireland


Quick, Reliable and Cheap


The driver's electric window only works if you push down on the button really hard. Apart from that, nothing's gone wrong, although I've not had it long.

General Comments:

I believe the RSi is a very good alternative for the 16V version. My particular model is one of the latest mark one versions, and comes equipped with ABS, power steering, and all the usual electronic features.

I've also recently fitted it with a K&N induction kit. It is now very quick for such a small car (around 8 seconds, possibly less), and makes a great sound when you put your foot down over 4000 revs.

The gear ratios seem very short for such a quick car.

For only £1600, I think this was a great buy. See some of my pictures at http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/663208.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th August, 2004