6th Sep 2006, 15:54

Original author again here:-

After many of the little niggles, and also many test drives of other cars, to see if this really was one of the best drivers cars for the money, it has provided a trouble free few months of driving.

Since the last comment, I have added a Blueflame sport exhaust. Not bad for the £220 or so I paid for it. Not the best, but the best is nearer £1k. Certainly better than the standard item though with larger tailpipes which look better, a deeper, bassier and louder sound and it subjectively seems to free up a couple of BHP and LB FT of torque, making the car seem more eager.

In the coming weeks, I will add a Simota twin charger induction kit - more for the noise than power to be honest, as I feel the engine could still do with growling a bit harder.

After that I will consider a remap. After those mods, and a remap I would expect around the 190 - 195 bhp in power... as much as you can realistically expect without spending a lot more, and certainly an adequate power figure for such a small car.

I still love this car. I have test driven the following since then:-

1. Vectra 3.2 GSI - No faster up to a ton, faster beyond that, nice note, but muted, rubbish boat like handling. Nice cruiser, but not a fun car.

2. Toyota Celica T-Sport - Why could they not make the Clio engine sound like this? Sounds like an F1 car on full chat! Reasonable handling, but not up to overall Clio pace and handling, and poor gearchange (2nd -> 3rd was poor) and not very carefully designed ratios spoiled it. Gutless and a little jerky at low speed too.

3. Hyundai Coupe V6 - Nice looking car, but again sounded too quiet from inside, better handling than the Vectra, but still handles like a boat. Lacks pace, and poor interior.

4. Toyota MR2 Spyder - Nice enough car, good handling too, convertible is nice in summer, but this car just lacked the pace needed to make it genuinely fun. Engine too quiet and refined too.

5. Honda Civic Type R - I found this car a real let down to be honest. Yes it was fast, it corners fast, it's a good car. However, it lacks the sensation of speed of the Clio, the chassis isn't as playful. A clinical experience. Engine also didn't live up to the aural bliss of the Celica T-Sport.

6. Seat Ibiza Cupra 1.8T - Another let down. Front heavy, nervous feeling handling, boring engine which sounds dull and responds like a slightly less gutsy, but more revvy diesel, and poor interior even compared to a Skoda Fabia vRS. Not impressed.

7. Mazda MX-5 Mk2 1.8 - Decent handling car, but just didn't feel right in it, call me shallow, but it doesn't have the image. Also, it felt very slow.

So there you go, the Clio is, IMO, one of the best cars you can get in its price range. Its pretty fast, it handles well, and its fun to drive. You can't really ask much more from a car. Even almost 1 year on its still as fun to drive as it was the day I got it...

16th Sep 2006, 18:51

Hi there.

What are the Renault dealers like at addressing the problems under warranty?

24th Sep 2006, 13:13

My dealer in newcastle is fine... however other people have not been so lucky. You pay your money, take your chances, etc...

14th Oct 2006, 11:07

Hi, I'm just about to take purchase of my 182, '04 plate with 11k and a first service.

Can you advise about fuel, is it OK to use unleaded 97 ron or can you use standard 95 unleaded?

I know the handbook says use 98 ron, but that's not always available.

Your experience would be appreciated.


13th Nov 2006, 09:22

Hi there.

Original author here. To answer your question I would strongly advise to use Super Unleaded or best still Shell V-Power as it gives noticeably better performance than 95 RON unleaded. You also get better fuel economy, so putting cheap fuel in is a false economy.