2006 Renault Clio Dynamic S 1.5 dci 106 from UK and Ireland


Perfect for my current needs, frugal, quiet, comfortable and well built



General Comments:

My last car was a clio 182, but my new job is too far away to justify a hot hatch, and so the diesel was bought. I test drove lots of other superminis, but the part ex for my 182 was much higher from the Renault dealer, and the specification and engine I wanted were best matched with the Clio 3.

The car is quick when overtaking, and has more torque then my old clio. It lacks the exhaust note and urgency, but in return is much quieter and more comfortable.

The steering is OK now I have got used to it, but it is very light, especially at low speeds.

The biggest difference is inside the cabin, quality levels have greatly improved. I added climate control, the comfort pack (6 cd player, electric sunroof and keyless entry) and xenon lights to the already large list of extras.

The climate controls have been moved up the centre console, so are much easier to adjust when driving, and the cd player moved down, since there are steering wheel controls for it. The xenon lights are excellent for my early morning drives, and the keyless entry works perfectly, only opening the car when I put my hand near the handle, the card stays in my wallet at all times, with a cool start button.

There is lots of space inside the cabin, the boot can hold the weeks shopping with ease, and the seats fold flat for moving larger items and the rear seats lift upward to place tall items such as plants without resting them on their side.

A slightly sad side note, I have driven many many cars, and this car has THE best windscreen wipers of any of them.

Downside, slow acceleration from a standstill, mpg is not yet as high as I hope at around 54mpg, and the door handle was designed by an idiot, it is too close to the hinges, and as such you cannot get as much torque to close the door from the same amount of pulling, i.e. in a gale, it is harder to close then the equivalent car door, and my nan has trouble closing it with no wind.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th November, 2006

2006 Renault Clio 197 2.0 16v from UK and Ireland


Clio 197- Ignore those who can’t drive saying its not as good as the 182. It’s far better!


Close Ratio Gearbox is fun when you going fast, but is likely to prove tedious in everyday life.

Fuel economy is not great.

General Comments:

The motoring press has hailed this car as one of the best handling hot hatches ever. However a read of some motoring forums and reviews on sites like this say otherwise. They complain about it being slow. This simply is not true. The 197 has been designed to compliment the existing Megane 225. The Clio has been designed specifically for blasting around British B roads. The cars handling is perfect for fast county drives. The ESP and good suspension travel ensure that the usual poor surface of these roads doesn’t spin you into the nearest tree. The close ratio gearbox, whilst annoying in everyday driving ensures the power is always available whilst rushing through country roads. One thing which I have noted is that 6th gear in the 197 is a lower ration than 5th in the 182. This is why the car has a lower top speed of 132mph, but I feel that it is a good trade for acceleration which throws you into your seat! For most people buying a fast car it is the acceleration they want. Very few of us have the space to exceed 70mph so Renault has made a wise choice by dropping some top speed in exchange for acceleration.

I test drove one of these a while ago for about an hour. I took it on a range of roads. These included country lanes, dual carriageways and town driving. Below I have detailed my opinion of how it drove in these different situations:

Town Driving:

The car was well behaved, quiet on idle and the controls were light. It is much larger than the older cars, but it’s not that noticeable. The only point I will make is the dash is higher. I believe this is due to new pedestrian impact legislation which comes out soon. The cars bold styling also looks pretty dam cool. The older 182/172 was always a very dull car to look at. It was different to the normal Clio, but wasn’t something which you would get excited over. The close ration gear box was a little annoying. You really need to be in 4th or 5th when going at 30mph+. That’s not the problem, but going through 3 or 4 gears then having to stop at the traffic lights is a bit tedious.

Dual Carriageway:

There is good visibility through the door mirrors making overtaking safe and easy. At 70 the power is always on tap, even in 6th, but that won’t make for good fuel economy. Ideally this car should have been geared long in 6th. This would have then enabled you to use 6th as a cruising gear to save fuel on the motorway and also given it more top speed. The car was however very stable even with harsh lane changes. If you really go for it the car offers incredible acceleration. It is quite capable of pushing you into your seat which the older shaped cars could not have done. There is also a shift light which is a nice touch.

Country Roads:

It’s a bit big when compared to the old Clio Williams and the lesser 1.8 16V however these are probably the best cars to compare it to. The 1.8 is a car which needs to be revved hard to get the most out of it. The 197 is the same. Most people who complain about this car being slow are probably just not that good at driving. Having owned a 1.8 I have learnt how to get the most out of the engine. It takes time to get used to trashing the car, but the rewards are very noticeable. Like the old 1.8 the bulk of the power is only delivered towards the end of the rev range so it you don’t push until the shift light comes on it will feel slow. Country roads are where is car is in its element. You can fly up to each bend at stupid speeds, jump on the brakes with full confidence than the big Brembo’s, will slow you down. Failing that the amazing chassis together with ESP will allow you to carry a surprising amount of speed through the bend. This car is capable of making anyone a fast driver. After driving it for just half an hour I felt confident enough in it to really push it. I took it down a country lane I had been down in before. The last time though was as a passenger in a Clio V6 255. What impressed me most was the 197 felt as fast through this country lane as the V6. It holds the roads just as well if not better, it accelerates quickly due to the close ratio’s of the gear box and thanks to the non-fading Brembo’s it stops as well as the V6.


Don’t listen to people putting this car down. It may not have the straight line speed of the Focus ST or the Megane 225 but they are a different sort of car. If you like going for a blast through the B roads this is the car for you. I know will be buying one!

If you are also considering the new Corsa VXR with it’s promised 0-60 in 6 seconds and top speed of 150mph don’t believe all the hype. Firstly there are very few Vauxhalls which can actually go around corners fast (Lotus models not included) and considering the new Corsa weighs more than the new Clio, and the VXR is only meant to have 200bhp (6 more than the 197 with 194bhp), those figure smell a bit fishy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2006

13th Oct 2006, 06:29

How can you write a 'dissertation' about the car and disagree with disappointed owners (who have covered thousands of miles), when you've only done a 25 mile test drive.

Buy the car, drive it for a few months, and then write a review.

13th Oct 2006, 12:43

Just thought I would say I'm not looking to buy a new car or that I'm even very fond of clio's, but love reading peoples reviews and comments on this site and just wanted to praise you on taking the time to write a very informative and complete picture of the car. Not just the performance figures (which most people look at to judge a car) but what it's like to live with every day, the thing that most people looking to buy a new car really care about. wish there were more reviews like this on this site rather than the "my car is faster than your car" attitude.

Well done!

2006 Renault Clio 197 Renaultsport 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Save £6K and buy one of the last 182s!


Nothing, car is only 1 month old, delivered in perfect working order.

General Comments:

Poor standard equipment, this car is the equivalent of the old cup spec cars with cloth seats, halogen lights, 15watt stereo and manual air con.

Handling is sublime, goes around corners better than any front wheel drive car I have ever driven. So smooth on bumpy surfaces, so much grip on B roads!

Straightline performance is poor, the engine has not been uprated enough to carry the lardy 1200kg bodyshell. This is really noticeable on the road, it is not a good car for safe overtaking.

It is more refined than my old Clio 182, and the engine note is nice, but it is a gutless car that is easily beaten by all other hot hatches in a straight line.

Before anyone statistics heroes start quoting the improved 6.9seconds 0-60 time, let me tell you that this is acheived by lower gearing, this car is the slowest Renaultsport creation to date.

I am going to sell this and buy a 2005 182 and hope Renaultsport bring out a faster and better equipped version very soon before they end up like Peugeot as hot hatch has beens!

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

Review Date: 23rd August, 2006

28th Aug 2006, 14:50

Sorry to hear you are dissappointed in the 197.

I sat in one at the London motor show and was impressed by the comfortable sport seats (I suffer terrible backache in some cars so seat comfort is important to me). I have just read another review of the 197 and the writer complained that the seats gave him backache. How do you find the seats?