1997 Renault Clio Panache 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Fine - if you can fix your own brakes!


Brakes failed MOT every year.

Brake cable ready to snap after 30000 miles.

Exhaust fell off twice.

Struts needed replaced.

Mystery noise forced me to get rid of it.

Every time I got a service or MOT something seemed to need replaced.

General Comments:

This is not a high performance car, but it was OK for running up and down to work in.

I didn't do a lot of miles or mistreat the car, but it seemed to have a disproportionate amount of problems.

I had to get 3 new sets of brake disks in 3 years and the brake cable was ready to snap after only 30000 miles.

I was forced to get rid of it when it started making a weird noise. It sounded like a wheel baring, but 3 mechanics said they were fine and they had never heard a car making that kind of noise before after years in the business.

This was disappointing because my last car was a Nissan which had done 112000 miles and only cost me £20 in repairs the whole time I had it.

However, it did start every time in the morning.

It looked not bad with the standard alloys and sunroof etc.

It was very cheap to tax and insure and was easy on the petrol.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 14th June, 2004

10th Apr 2006, 03:15

Hi my car also has started making a weird noise. it is a Renault Clio 1.2 1997. however the car is a very nice car to drive I cannot seem to pinpoint the source of this weird noise!

16th Jun 2006, 13:51

Your probably looking at the front wheel bearings as they are liable to general wear and tear after the years. I have just found out that that mystery noise at the front of the car is the left wheel bearing : (that will cost me £60 inc labour cost aswel. Apparently it's a fiddly job I would not know... Its the first time this has happened, I noticed it on the motorway talking to my friend and I realised I couldn't hear what she was saying?? I was told to get it changed asap because now this noise appears at 50mph and if I leave it any longer I could end up with a 3 wheeled car!

21st Jun 2006, 16:07

Better you change bearings as soon as possible. I had the same make, model and year. It started the same noise, but I ignored. Now I have truly a 3 wheel car. Front left wheel is broken and disintegrated.

1997 Renault Clio zoom 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Great idea pity they didn't train some mechanics!


Head Gasket blew on driving home from garage.

Doesn't like going into reserve gear.

Will "bang" between first and second gear when cold.

Cuts out constantly on idle.

Sunroof has leaked since first day.

General Comments:

I still have two years left on the finance, but I am handing this car back next week!

I cannot trust it anymore because of the fact it cuts out whenever it goes into neutral. I have had this car seen by at least seven separate mechanics and nobody can find out whats wrong!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th January, 2004

20th Nov 2007, 16:17

Sorry you didn't understand what I was saying... driving the car along motorway building up speed, change gear from 4th to 5th for example and as soon as the lever hits the center of the gearbox (neutral) it stalls! On a trip to town approximately 7 miles away the car had to be restarted 12 times!!!

The mechanics have accepted this was a dangerous problem having driven it themselves, but could offer no help in fixing it.

I hope that helps you understand?

1997 Renault Clio RL Panache 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


It sometimes requires a computer to start it.


Brake hose and ball joint faults have caused 2 MOT failures, but the most inconvenient fault is with the immobilizer.

I only received one plip with the car so when it failed to turn off the immobilizer, car and plip had to be taken by recovery vehicle to a dealer for reprogramming the lost software. A new plip was ordered and payed for at the same time. It took 3 months to arrive although the driver manual says 48hours. The reprogrammed plip has just failed again 8 months later. The dealer said he would reprogram it under guarantee, but after trying said it could no longer be programmed. He could order a new plip for over £100. A bit expensive for a key he said with a laugh. I took it to another dealer who did manage to reprogram the 'broken' plip.

Total spent on immobilizer so far £170. It may happen again. The recovery vehicle driver told me the Laguna is worse. He gets an average of 1 a week. Renault UK told me it wasn't a recognised fault so they can't help.

General Comments:

In general the car is good, but my main point is that it doesn't matter how good the car is if you can't start it. Both Renault and their dealers seem to be disposed to make money out of the poorly designed plip rather than put the situation right. I say poorly designed advisedly since Read Only Memory (ROM) has been available for many years. It does not lose its software and cannot be reprogrammed. Why don't Renault use that technology? Why design a device so that the original software can be reentered unless it's known to 'forget'?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th December, 2003

5th May 2009, 19:36

I can sympathize totally with this review. I too have had innumerable problems with the immobilizer on my Renault Clio 1.2. I have replaced the unit twice in one year and it still causes problems nearly every day. My local main dealer told me to keep clicking the automatic door locking button! I have also asked about by-passing the immobilizer completely and was told it would be impossible on this car. I would not buy another Renault either!

17th Jul 2010, 08:26

My sympathies too. However, your dealer was correct when he advised you to click the remote (automatic door locking button). I need to 'double click' the remote, ie lock then open again with the button on the key while sitting in the drivers seat probably 80% of the time. Though, this resets the immobiliser every time and the car starts no problem.