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.

1997 Renault Clio Rsi 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland




I replaced the anti-roll bar joint and all the discs when I first acquired the car.

At 60,000 miles the head gasket went, this was turning the water a funny colour and causing it to overheat. Replacing it proved very costly because of the labour involved.

The dash lights behind the heater dials and clock sometimes don't come on along with the electric window illuminator on the drivers side.

The oil level gauge dial has never worked properly.

General Comments:

I love the look of my RSI, especially now I've had it lowered.

This also adds brilliantly to the handling.

Now I've also put a full stainless steel exhaust system and Induction kit it runs better and sounds like a monster.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st September, 2003