I have a 2001 (51) Clio, and purchased it used in February 2004. I cannot fault the car one bit. It's fantastic to drive, really comfortable on a motorway and has a nice interior.
The only problem I have is every winter around September up until May time every morning it doesn't even attempt to start, you turn the key and...nothing. If you keep turning it it will eventually start but the case is when.
I have had the car to 3 mechanics and no-one can find a fault with it.
It only happens on the first start of the day. No matter what time it is then after that it is fine.
I have just brought my Renault Clio Expression a few days ago. I must say that the Sunroof is very noisy and the handling in the wet is not the best... but the rest of the time the car is first class!
It's responsive and actually sticks to the road, the 1.2 16v engine is extremely capable and suprisingly quick for a renault. The clio is on a 03 plate and the car is faultless other than the above. Petrol costs are very reasonable and I seem to get around 180 - 190miles on £25 of petrol. All in all it is a very fun car, and seems sturdy and reliable.
This is a cheap and cheerful car. The 1.6 engine has plenty of poke and it is very light making it fun to drive - even motorways are tolerable, as it is quite capable of keeping up with any motorway traffic.
It also has a quite funky fingertip control for the stereo which is unusual for a small cheap car this age, as well as air-con, electric front windows and a sunroof, so it is well equiped.
However, there are some basic issues. Rear legroom is a joke - it's OK for kids, but not for adults. The windscreen wipers go the wrong way, though this was rectified on more recent models, but is indicative of the lazy attitude of the manufacturer.
The auxilary drive belt is really loose, even with the pre-tensioner and after replacing it twice, and having to stop and pick it up off the road on a number of occasions, I had a modifed pretensioner fitted which seems to have solved this, but it is basic and just shouldn't happen.
Also, somehow mine has chewed its way through three sets of front discs in just 42,000 miles! I accept that I drive the car (rather than just operating it), but they should last longer than that.
Essentially this is a car that will reward you from a driving point of view - just don't expect the sort of build quality and attention to detail you might get on something German like a Polo.
If you are young or old and want something to drive around town that you can use occasionally on motorways, this will do a job.
I bought this model in October 2005 from a car supermarket. I saved nearly £3000 on the book price as it was an import.
Overall it is a quick, well handling and go-kart like drive. It is subtle with its twin tail exhausts and has a long pedigree in the small hot hatches. The seats are comfy and side hugging and the Alcantra is pleasing on th eye.
Now for the bad points: The interior build is average, with poor fitting doors and hinges. The lock to lock turn is poor. The vehicle needs a load of revs whilst reversing - otherwise it will stall.
And thats it really.
Maybe I'm picky, as the handling and high-revving engine are a delight.
You can really throw it around and it sticks like glue.
It's thirsty if you drive it hard, but that's what it was made for.
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