1997 Renault Clio Williams 2 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


If you get the chance, buy one


Plenty has gone wrong with the car:-

Clutch went at 45000, now has an up-rated 'Black Diamond' clutch.

Sump gasket went at around 55,000 miles.

The electrics are absolutely shocking, found this on all old Clio's though.

Immobiliser went leaving me stuck for 10 hours on a Sunday night.

Front wheel bearings went at 50,000 miles.

General Comments:

Despite all the above the car is seriously quick, with the super-chip, induction kit, full s/s exhaust, up-rated manifold, up-rated plugs and ignition leads.

Would not swap the car for anything in the world, sad as that sounds it's true.

The handling has been improved further by adding coil over suspension and lowering 60mm. The car now sticks to the road like glue.

The last thing that needed work was the brakes. For the performance I didn't feel these were anything special. Now running a set of up-rated brakes and the difference is incredible.

Seriously though despite the problems this is an amazing car for the money, I'd recommend to anyone..

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th February, 2006

1997 Renault Clio RL Panache 1.9 diesel from UK and Ireland


A very comfortable, torquey, cheap to run, good looking, small car.


Nothing has gone wrong with this car in the 14,000 miles or 9 months I have owned it upto the current 110,000 miles.

It is sometimes slow to start, although after a short initial try, it usually fires instantly on the second try.

There is a small amount of bubbling of the paintwork at the bottom of the passenger door, but this is not currently a problem and could be easily fixed.

General Comments:

Firstly, I think this is a great car. I know it's history as it was previously my mothers car (I'm more than 10 years past my teens..) and so far, her idea of 'occasional' servicing has not resulted in any problems.

To be fair, as a precaution, soon after I received the car I had the cam belt and pulleys replaced, a new water pump put in, full coolant/oil/filters/brake fluid & pads change. I don't thrash the car or rush the gears/stress the clutch and I find the normally aspirated diesel engine has enough torque for good relaxed progress.

I intend to replace the glow plugs at the next oil and filters change to cure the starting hesitancy.

I find the car very comfortable for motorway cruising or town work.

I'm a chauffeur for a living, driving top line cars and can honestly say that this little diesel is never disappointing to get back into after work. I average 48-50mpg and the running costs are around 11p/mile including insurance, servicing, fuel etc This figure should fall the more miles are put on the car after the aforementioned 'big' service.

One annoyance is the occasional activation of the immobilizer requiring a double click of the 'pip' key to deactivate it in order to start the car.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st August, 2005

6th Aug 2005, 17:05

Forgot to mention that the brakes aren't great; 'wooden' feeling - despite the new pads and fluid at the last service. Might try some boy racer 'sintered' pads at the next change. To be fair I simply adjust my driving style to suit, but more initial bite would give greater confidence.

Just washed and polished it today and it still looks new from 10 yards!

29th Dec 2008, 17:57


Now at the end of 2008, this car has covered 135k miles. Still no major problems. Bubbling around the rear wheel arches, easily tidied up when I can get around to it! Under-sill seams showing signs of rusting also, will probably need attention/replacement of sills to get through next MOT.

On the whole, still a reliable, fun and cheap to run car. Also, own an '06 BMW 730Ld SE for my work - still love the little Clio, though it could be coming towards the end of my tenure as I may need it for more distance work and would like a safer car (looking for NCAP 5 stars, maybe a Megane?) and one which will do motorway cruising a little more easily.