14th Oct 2006, 13:39

It's too bloated and fat. Save your money and buy a nice used 182.

15th Oct 2006, 09:09

I still don't see how you can write a very detailed & informative review of a car that you've hardly driven. After all, this site is meant to be for reviews by owners of the cars, not future owners.

17th Oct 2006, 02:01

Car mags do it all the time. I have a subscription to auto car and there original review was based on a short drive- wasn't particularly praising actually. I just felt that it was a nice car that needed a nice review. I haven't mentioned anything that I didn't find when I drove it. The thing is I read a few reviews like the other one on here about the 197 and was expecting it to be very slow and disconnected from the driving experience. In reality I found it to be one of the best cars I have ever driven. But I have grown out of straight line speed so I guess for me it is the handling which appeals.

17th Oct 2006, 05:26

I am the author of the other 197 review on here!

I test drove a lot of cars before I made my decision to buy a 197, and maybe the 197 is still the best car for me for its size, comfort, refinement and ease to drive quickly. I also like the look of it and agree that is covers ground very well with its very sharp handling and big brakes.

However I have tested the car back to back with a mates 182 and the 182 is far faster, its not even close in a straight line! This is the slowest car Renaultsport have made to date, its considerably slower than a 172 or 182.

22nd Oct 2006, 10:41

Can everyone just accept its nice? :)

OK so its not perfect, but the MK2 Clio wasn't either.

Also would just like to say how its good everyone here has managed to express an opinion without getting bi*chy.

What this car really needs is to be tested on a show like top gear head to head with a 182. That way the best and worst points of each will show.

5th Nov 2006, 12:50

With regard to comment number 2 ;

Hey, my Scooby is faster than your 197!! Ha ha ha!! Vroom!! Watch me as I scream past in a gale of turbo acceleration.

6th Nov 2006, 03:32

I'm writing from Australia, where the 197 is not yet available... There are no more 182's for sale.

I drive a Nissan Pulsar (Sunny) SSS, with many mods to engine; brakes; and suspension.

I love my SSS (with its SR20DE motor) and would also like a 197, but as I only do 82 kilometers a week, and have owned the SSS for many years, I just can't justify the move...


13th Nov 2006, 09:48

There's one thing that is undeniable, and that is the 197 is a slower car than the 182. The original review stated "this car is capable of pushing you back in your seat, where the old one couldn't". That is just plain rubbish.

The engine in the 197 has been reworked to smooth out the power response, and the car weighs 160 kg more. Many owners who are experienced with both cars claim that the new car has lost its kick, the so called "5k kick" where the cars engine hits peak torque and it surges forward aggressively.

The figures speak for themselves. Autocar's own test result figures put the 197 at 0-100 mph in 18.7 seconds (17.0 seconds for the 182), and 30-70 mph through the gears is done in 7.2 seconds (5.8 seconds for the 182).

Quite how you can come to the conclusion that the 182 is not geared for country roads seems to suggest you have not driven it. I don't doubt for a moment that it would benefit from the 6-speed box, but most of the time the 182 is fine. The only criticism of its gearing I can come up with is that sometimes you can get caught between second and third where you want the acceleration of second, but there is no point as the gear is nearly done, however in 3rd you might be just below 5000 rpm where the engine is on cam, i.e. about 55 - 60 mph. But that's it! And from what I've read of the 197's gearing, the first couple of gears are actually very similar to the 182's anyway, so I can't see it being too much better, but I wouldn't like to speculate on that until I try it for myself.

Many reviews have stated that the car is gutless unless revved very hard, which the 182 manages to avoid - at least mine doesn't feel gutless.

As for cornering speeds, I can believe that the 197 may well be able to corner slightly quicker, because it has larger, fatter tyres, a longer wheelbase, and is wider. However, lateral grip is a different thing to handling. The 197 has electronic power steering like the Civic Type R and there is no weight or feel to the steering at all. Its really disconcerting. Eventually with cars like this, you get used to it, but it's a feeling that you are being somehow left out or uninvolved in the whole experience. And with another 160 kg to handle, in combination with the lifeless steering, I fail to see how this car can be as much fun as the outgoing model.

Its not Renaults fault per se, its just the way cars are going these days. The Clio 182 was the last of the old school hot hatches.

I can appreciate the 197 for being a nice looking, decent driving modern car with better build and safety than the outgoing model, but its difficult to deny that as cars have gone on, they become less fun because the driver is less involved. As I say, I own a 182, but even I can imagine a Williams driver feeling the same way about my 182 as I do about the 197. It depends what you want out of a car. I had an old Golf GTI before the clio which had 110 bhp and I tell you what, that was more fun than almost any modern car I've ever driven. I was attracted to the 182 because at the time, it was the one modern car that actually showed any real resemblance to an old school hot hatch.

I applaud you trying to give a comprehensive and well written review, but I don't agree with your criticism of the 182 which is one of the most well received hot hatches so far this century.

24th Nov 2006, 07:01

How can you say a 197 is quicker through corners than a 182. You must be forgetting about the 182 Trophy with specially developed Sachs Racing suspension and the fact that it weighs considerably less.

Right, now with that off my chest.

I have test driven a 197 and although I liked it and it seemed to be a step forward in many ways I found it dull compared to my 172 Cup. The car felt heavy and slow, I know it was quick it just felt slow, no kick in the back when the VVT kicked in. The steering was also too light and lacked feel. To some it up I would say it is better in every way (i.e. seats, dash, overall build quality, driving position) apart from the driving experience, which was nowhere near a good as my 172 cup. Hopefully they will bring out Cup and Trophy models for the 197 and put the fun back in.