2003 Renault Clio 172 Sport 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Excellent car, let down by poor Renault after sales


Engine bangs against the subframe under hard acceleration. Renault don't seem to think it's a fault, but it pulls out of 1st gear on bumpy roads.

Warning to anyone contemplating buying a new or used Clio (of any engine size); get the clearance from the subframe and engine checked, otherwise first gear is useless. Get a written guarantee that the car is okay in this regard, and it will be replaced if not, otherwise if you have the problem, Renault's solution is not to drive it fast (which is just pathetic with a car like this).

General Comments:

Best car I have ever owned. Handles like a dream. Goes like a rocket. Only let down is Renault; they don't honour warranties.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th January, 2004

14th Dec 2004, 15:57

Totally agree I have a clio 172, lovely car, only thing letting them down is the after service.

7th Oct 2005, 15:47

I work at a Renault dealership and drive a 172 myself - I cannot believe how bad you lot say the dealers are! while I cannot speak for other dealerships I would have hoped that they try to help, I would always do anything I can to resolve any issues with customer vehicles however old as its my job! the Clio IS a good car!!

2003 Renault Clio Sport 172 2.0 from UK and Ireland


One of the best cars I've driven under £20000


The exterior passenger door handle wasn't flush with the bodywork.

The drivers side interior door trim had a damaged clip so wasn't in properly.

The drivers car mat has a hole in.

Everything was sorted under warranty and Renault replaced all of the mats, not just the drivers.

General Comments:

Love it. Looks smart, especially in Flame Red. The engine doesn't have much pulling power lower down the rev range, but when it hits 4000rpm the car thrusts forward. It will happily cruise above the legal motorway limit and still return about 45mpg, with power in reserve.

The interior is very comfortable with the alcantara and leather. The climate control is very handy in the summer. The xenons are excellent. Not keen on the auto wipers though. The brakes are very strong with ABS and traction control as standard.

The first service (12000 miles) I got at 11750miles and was cheaper than for my old Fiat Cinq Sporting. It cost £148 which I think is very good for a 2litre car. The Renault dealer I use are also very helpful and friendly.

My car has had an Ecotek valve and a K&N induction kit fitted to provide a it more power and they really do. Modifications also don't invalidate the warranty, but the parts you have had fitted obviously won't be covered.

Originally I was going to get the Mini Cooper S, but that would have come close to £20k to spec up to what the 172 has.

Am well pleased.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th November, 2003

17th Nov 2003, 16:38

Just want to know if anyone out there is battling with the same question as I am..?

I'm undecided as to which clio to go for. Either the standard 172 or the specialist 172 Cup?

Is there a major difference between the two in terms of the driving experience? I'm fully aware that the Cup is a stripped out version - that I can live with. My concerns really are to do with the braking of the 172. I've got a 106 GTI at the moment, and constantly depend on the ABS brakes, so it would seem that id go for the 172. But then, the Cup looks 10 times better than a 'normal' 172...but it doesn't have the ABS. Whats it like in the wet for example?

Any help whatsoever would be appreciated, as I know that you really are the only guys out there that know (apart from the sales people are who are more £££ orientated!)