1997 Renault Clio RT 1.4 from UK and Ireland


A spacious little high performer


My timing belt snapped well below the recommended replacement date, resulting in a hell of a lot of damage to my engine.

General Comments:

This car is a great little mover.

However beware of timing belt replacement recommendations.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th February, 2001

1997 Renault Clio Zoom 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


Very little has gone wrong. The bulb illuminating the hazard warning light is temperamental, but whole switch needs replacing to correct and is not covered by the warrenty.

There is a faint clonk from the front o/s suspension but dealer could not trace it.

Has occasionally cut out at idle for no apparent reason.

Speedo needle wavers at < 30mph.

General Comments:

This is the clutchless manual model, with a 5 speed gearbox and no clutch pedal. Far better than trying to put up with a small auto, although people who drive it for the first time tend to stamp on the brakes (looking for the clutch) when they change gear.

Paintwork on the back panel on the inside of the boot is easily damaged.

Car is not quick.

Automatic clutch can occasionally be confused, and makes gear changes at higher rpm not very smooth.

Performance and economy both improved dramatically after a service.

70mph cruise can be difficult to maintain without constant gearchanging for hills, but 80mph is easier.

Washer fluid bottle is too small, especially when it supplies both the front and rear washers.

Don't loose a key as they include the plipper for the alarm and cost around 100ukp.

The immobilisor is a pain as it activates 30 seconds after opening the car, which is not enough time to load shopping. Easiest solution is to start the car immediately and then pack it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st March, 1999

1st Dec 2000, 12:59

Whilst in the Renault dealer I overheard that there has been an upgrade to the software in the engine management unit to stop stalling at idle. Our Clio was under warranty and we were having problems with normal engine running so had the upgrade free.

30th Aug 2003, 09:41

We have recently bought at 97 year Clio Zoom with 47,000 miles on the clock. It has a poor gear change when cold and always seems to have trouble finding the biting point for reverse gear. This makes reversing into a parking space tricky. (This may be a warn clutch, which when I asked for advice at a main dealer, confused the service manager as he had never heard of the Clio Zoom)

The gear change can also be a little tricky to keep smooth when changing from first to second gear, the other gears feel much smoother.

We are also frustrated with the alarm system which does not give enough time to get the car started before reactivating. The alarm has also left us stranded once. We found that the switch under the bonnet was sticking causing the alarm to remain on and disable the car.

Lastly, totally agree about the key. I have just been quoted GBP141.00 for a new one. A little hard to accept.

Despite the issues with the gear change and the alarm system, for a six year old small car the Clio Zoom does perform its job well as a second car with enough space to accommodate children and all their gear.

1997 Renault Clio RL 1.2 petrol from UK and Ireland


None so far.

General Comments:

Very good, affordable small car. Good after-sales service.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th November, 1997