1997 Renault Clio RL Panache 1.2L petrol from UK and Ireland


A good car that suffers from poor reliability


In only 16 months and 8000 miles the following items have failed of needed replaced:

Engine immobiliser (twice - see below for more details)

Full set of tyres.

At least 3 each of brake discs and pads.

Timing belt.


Both front wheel bearings.

Also has intermittent front wheel squeal (see more below)

General Comments:

I must start with a few positive comments as the car has not been a complete nightmare. I regularly get between 40 - 50 miles per gallon and the acceleration in the car is very good - just don't try and overtake going up a steep hill. The ride is also very comfortable and the heater is a god-send in winter.

Now for the negatives: As I mentioned above, the immobiliser has completely failed on two occasions. The first time was after a late-night return to a holiday and resulted in an hour and half wait in near zero temperatures, first for the recovery vehicle and second for a lift home. When I say the immobiliser failed, I mean it is impossible to turn it off and the car is completely useless. The second time was just last night and fortunately due to the earlier hour and a new roadside assistance contract the experience was much less painful, although still just as inconvenient. What makes it worse is that while last time the car was OK again the next morning, this time it is still dead. The other point to note is that the car was put on the Renault computer after the last fault and no problem was found.

As for the squeal, this has also been referred to the dealer and again there is apparently nothing wrong here either.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th August, 2003

7th May 2005, 17:43

You are correct, the heater is amazing. like no other car I've ever been in. a few minutes and it it blowing really warm heat. great for early winter mornings.

20th Feb 2008, 12:02

I'm hoping to get a new car soon, but I doubt I'll find one with heaters like my Clio has got - they're amazing!

28th Nov 2008, 05:09

I'm just in the middle of my very own Clio won't start experience. Been told it might be the remote key battery. The light on dash flashes instead of staying on and it just turns over. Serves me right for buying a sub standard car I guess... Mechanic said pop it in... very funny it won't start. Let you know how it goes.

1997 Renault Clio maxim 1.4 from UK and Ireland


Good value hatch


Seats started to wear.

Exhaust fell off.

Dash creaks.

Dash lights tempermental

General Comments:

Cheap car for insurance and tax.

Comfortable seats as it's a limited edition.

Not the fastest out, but looks smart as I have lowered it 50mm added oz wheels, sports exhaust, sideskirts, splitter, totally colour coded plus many extras that makes up for the slow speed as it turns heads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 28th July, 2003

1997 Renault Clio zoom 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Good reliable car. a semi warm hatch


Air bag light will not turn off.

Front wheel bearings going at 47000 miles.

Service is expensive.

Rear break shoes have been replaced at around 42000 miles.

Front and rear windscreen wiper are loud and have a grinding noise.

Creaky roof.

General Comments:

The car is fast when raced, beats most other 1.2 cars.

Handles very well.

Parts are cheap, and plenty of them.

Insurance is very cheap.

Very reliable.

Nice looking.

White or black are the good colors to go for.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 8th March, 2003

1997 Renault Clio RN 1.4 injection from Finland


Small OK car for a woman


Valve cover leaked oil, did not stop until I changed it to the "aftermarket" type.

Front bearings went from both sides around 50 000km.

Exhaust system rusted out from the catalyst to back.

Wiper relay went broken -02. new one costs 110 euros! aftermarket model is ten time cheaper, but does not work so well (wipers do not stop always to "down" position).

General Comments:

Gas consumption high in city driving (8 to 9 litres/100km) but I drive with hard foot. lowest I have reached is 6,1 litres/100km.

OK for a everyday drivin. no special feelings.

Seats are really poor and hard, I can't drive anywhere further than 200km without a pillow behind my back. (i am quite tall)

RN-equipment level means "no accessories" not even the glove box light!

1.4 engine is not a race engine. I recommend some hot rodding for the engine.

The cargo space can take quite much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 20th February, 2003