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.
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
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!
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.