1998 Renault Clio RN 1.2i from Portugal

Summary:

Nippy, great runabout. Economical and very pleasant to drive. Interiors lacked build quality

Faults:

* Disc brakes were bent when I bought it. (You'd only notice when stuck in traffic though...)

* Airbag warning light came on for no reason. 60€ to switch it off. Yikes! :/

* Key fob wasn't working when I bought it. Got asked 160€ by a dealer for a replacement, so I just used the key to lock/unlock it. Shortly after, BOTH door locks went (which seem to be made of the worst materials ever known to man). This is a common fault affecting probably 99% of all Renault Clios II ever made.

* Car must have suffered a blown head gasket in the past. It burned about 1 litre of oil every 1000km and valves rattled a bit.

* LCD radio panel was also "kaput" when I got it. Never bothered with it as I installed an aftermarket radio.

General Comments:

The Renault Clio II phase I is, like its predecessor, a very nippy and practical small car to drive. It's VERY economical. Mine didn't have power steering so it made it even more frugal on petrol. I drove it slowly and often got less than 5lts/100km, no joke.

With its 60HP, it's far from being fast but it's actually not too bad! It drives really well and it has more than enough power for overtaking. It goes on the motorway easily above 120 km/h.

On a lesser positive note, the room inside isn't brilliant compared to other B-segment cars, and if you're above 1.75mt, you can easily get to touch the roof with your head.

Another aspect I found to be rather poor and where Renault fell short, is the general quality of plastics and lacking a more sturdy build. In my opinion, I've owned a '92 Clio I and found it to be better built in this respect.

Overall, it's a great city car, with more than enough power to get you from A to B, extremely comfortable and easy to drive, and it delivers fantastic fuel economy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd December, 2017

1998 Renault Clio from Argentina

Summary:

Dangerous sack of over-ripe potatoes

Faults:

Exhaust pipe leaks.

The dashboard is falling apart because the plastic is embarrassingly low-quality.

The valves have started to click, and the engine is starting to sound like a diesel after about 900 kms.

Horrible smell of gasoline in the car.

Seats don't adjust well, they stick on their rails, so it's almost impossible to move them back or forwards.

The driver's side door sticks, and it's very difficult to open from the inside.

The hood lock has broken loose from its housing, so half of the time, we are unsure whether the hood is properly locked in place or not.

Both rear-view mirrors (on the doors) have broken off their base, but seem to stay in place due to the power of gravity.

The clutch is jumpy and over-sensitive.

General Comments:

The car is powerful and fast, but has neither the weight distribution nor the suspension to support such power.

It's dangerous around corners, and looks like it's going to flip over if you push it too hard.

Anonymous styling and boring to drive.

Small and uncomfortable overall. Plush seats, but zero legroom.

The dashboard looks like it was designed by someone with a severe back injury. Nothing is easy to reach, nor has it the slightest sense of ergonomics.

The horn is on a stick on the turn-signal switch... What??!!

No power steering... feels like you are driving a dead elephant. The handling is equally stodgy.

Tiny narrow tires make the car feel like it's going to swerve out of control any time.

Too dangerous or unsafe to go above 80 kms/h, unstable. The high center of gravity, and lack of proper suspension make this an accident waiting to happen.

If you have a chance to buy this car...

... DON'T!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 31st October, 2010