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.

1997 Renault Clio 16v 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Keen Hot Hatch Renault should be proud


When I purchased the car it had the following faults.

Faulty speedometer reading. £80 main dealer to correct.

Oil temperature gauge inoperative. £40 main dealer to correct.

The computer is stuck on external temperature. £40 per hour to investigate fault.

General Comments:

Having to down size from a VolksWagen turbo with 210bhp I looking carefully for my next car that would offer me thrills for little money.

Having owned a 1916v 4 years previously I searched long and hard for a good condition Clio or 1916v.

Found a last of the line Clio with Full Dealer Service History in great cosmetic condition for £3600 and thought I'd take my chance.

Great car with basic driving thrills.

Never had a car that pops and splutters like a real racer on the down changing.

Overall I found it not the most comfortable of cars, but I've been spoiled by VW.

Feels fast, but still not sure how fast as nothing ever lines up with me at the lights.

I must continue to keep the Old School hot hatches alive and kicking, not many good ones left. I know, I saw enough dogs before I purchased this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2005