2003 Renault Clio Dynamique 1.2 from UK and Ireland


Unreliable and a gamble!!!


I own a Renault Clio Dynamique, and bought it brand new at the beginning of this year. The build quality of my car is also appalling.

I have had my car for almost 11 months now, and have had several problems from the start, from minor ones like having to have my gear cover replaced (it was pointed out to me on the very day I picked up the car, that this was broken and this was visible anyway) or my seat railings replaced (the seat was jammed so the runners had to be replaced - this was not pointed out to me and it was also obvious) to the more major problems that I will discuss further.

At first it was just my engine stalling whilst waiting in traffic in neutral gear - so I kept taking it back the the Renault approved dealer where I bought my car. After several humiliating visits (as they blamed it on the way I drove the car - apparently 'I just needed to get used to the car') they discovered the problem and rectified it - they said the car wasn't tuned properly.

The problem ceased for about a month, and then started again - by this point I was fed up and just put up with it. Then it progressed to refusing to start again after I turned the engine off from any length of journey - I'd have to wait about a couple of hours before it would start again. So I booked the car in 3 weeks in advance (I needed a courtesy car and there was a 3 week wait), but not long after I booked the car in, it started to stall in gear!!! And then not start again!!! And it happened so frequently, I had to call for roadside assistance - who informed me that my car kept stalling because my crank sensors were faulty (I don't know what this means - but he did say it was a vital part needed for the car to function properly).

He also looked under my dashboard for wires, which he could not find - there were none. After searching for a while he found them located under my ashtray!!! Very strange. Also on looking under my dashboard - he exclaimed that he would not have purchased my car, as all the metal was extremely rusted in the interior under my dashboard, and the only way it could be rusty is either that the parts were already rusted before the dashboard was put together, or if the parts had got wet before it was used.

I have not picked up my car from the Renault dealer yet, but I have questioned the rusting, and they say that there is nothing they can do about the rusting, and that it is completely normal. Can anyone tell me if this is true? Or should I be concerned about the rusting?

Overall, I may just have been very unlucky. I think it's a gamble whether you will get a reliable car that is usually expected from Renault.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th November, 2003

14th Feb 2004, 15:24

Hello, I would like to comment on the rusting problem.

I am from Mexico, and I just bought a Clio sport, known as the cup172 on the UK. The car has not given me any trouble, but I did find light rust underneath my dash board. Its like a fine coat formed when you leave a piece of metal out on a rainy day.

Good Luck with your car.

2003 Renault Clio Dynamique 1.2 16v from UK and Ireland


A racy, pacy cheeky little minx


The sunroof rattles a lot on uneven road surfaces, probably partly due to the stiffer ride of the sports suspension.

The car has failed to start on a number of occasions.

First gear can be sticky if you attempt a quick change down, and are traveling above 5mph.

Car has a tendency to stall easily in slowly moving traffic if you're not really careful with the clutch, and keep the revs up above 2000rpm.

General Comments:

This car has given me an enormous amount of fun so far, despite a long wait for delivery due to Renault not delivering any cars during August!

Compared to other super minis in the same price bracket, a lot of featured are fitted as standard. The trip computer, sensitive windscreen wipers and headlamps, quality sound system and sports seats are far more than I expected.

The cabin is reasonably well laid out, with the exception of the useless drinks holder in the centre console, and the seats are super comfortable.

The car is far more pacy than I expected from a 1.2 and the 16v gives he engine a lovely agressive tone when pushed above 3500 revs.

Handling is superb, it corners really solidly with little body roll, and the car more than held it's own at a track day, up against some heavily modded competition!

Fuel economy is not as great as I expected, around 40/ 45 mpg on mostly city driving.

I think the car could have benefited from a little more thought going into the design of the cabin. Although a leather steering wheel is standard, the gear stick and handbrake look and feel cheap, they'll be getting changed pretty quickly! Including some styling extras would push this car into another league.

The car looks great! Exterior styling is really well thought out and gives the car a sporty and expensive look.

Generally speaking I love my car, and if you're prepared to over look the slightly French attitude to the finish, it represents excellent value for money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2003