2008 Renault Clio RS 197 2.0 petrol from Qatar
Amazing driver's car, but it's made out of chocolate
1) All the engine mounts, and some of them got changed twice. I changed them all to a Vibratec set, but they are awfully stiff.
2) Starter motor refused to stop and burnt itself.
3) Thermostat failed twice.
4) Alternator was changed because it did not produce sufficient electricity at full throttle.
5) Clutch gearbox master cylinder was changed thrice, and the clutch driver compartment master cylinder was changed twice.
6) The clutch was changed once.
7) The knock sensor was changed twice.
8) Engine rebuild at 45000km caused by the oil pump relief valve sticking open. The parts changed on this occasion were the crank shaft, connecting rods, piston rings, oil pump, oil cooler, water pump, all the bearings, all the engine seals including the head gasket, and the timing belt.
Amazing to drive, but a bit too stiff.
The normal seats are better than the Recaro ones.
The interior is poor and plasticy.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 8th April, 2013
At 51K, the gearbox ate up the 3rd synchro. I was delighted! At that time I stopped driving the 197 because I was too scared of it breaking on me again. I drove it 1K in my last year of ownership just so it would not breakdown from sitting too long. Thankfully it was sold with a bit more than 51K on the clock. Although it went for cheap, I was happy to be revealed of such burden!
Because the 197 spent most of its life at the dealership, I bought an old Skoda Fabia and modified the suspension with coilovers and polyethylene bushings. After some work tuning the dampers, I got the old Skoda to handle much better than the 197. In other words, I pull back my comment about the 197 saying that it is amazing to drive, because my 11-year-old Skoda turns in much better, communicates more vividly, and breaks away gradually. On the other hand, the 197 loves to understeer on slow corners and snap suddenly on high speed ones. Moreover, it has very heavy steering.
I can't say anything good about the 197, because it isn't good at being a commuter car for the lack of reliability, and it isn't a performance car when a slightly modified old economy car can give as good numbers on a tight course.