Used test: Renault Clio Gordini vs Suzuki Swift Sport

The Renault Clio Gordini and the Suzuki Swift Sport are both tiny tots that offer driving thrills and back-road pleasure on a limited budget. But which one makes the most sense as a used purchase?

Words By What Car? team

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Our Verdict

There’s a lot to like about the Clio. It might not have the out-and-out oomph of its Renaultsport Clio 200 sibling, and it’s certainly not as sharp to drive as that car, but it’s fun, likeable and even pretty practical, thanks to a spacious interior and a handily sized boot. Its stripes and low driving position help to give it the air of a small performance car, even if ultimately it’s not that quick. It’s also comparatively rare in this lower-powered and insurance-busting 128bhp 1.6-litre Gordini guise.

However, it was the Swift that got our vote when these two cars were new – and it does now, too. It’s more fun, for starters, feeling much quicker and more agile than the Clio; its precise handling makes it a joy on a winding country road. It’s better-equipped and seems to make as much financial sense at this age as it did when the car was new – we thought it a hot hatch bargain then and that seems to hold true for a used version now.

Read our review of the all-new Suzuki Swift Sport

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1st – Suzuki Swift Sport

For Quick; great fun; loads of kit

Against Small boot; lofty driving position

Verdict For this sort of money, no other hot hatch comes close

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full used Suzuki Swift Sport review

Find a used Suzuki Swift Sport in the What Car? Classifieds

2nd – Renault Clio Gordini

For Plenty of grip; practical; cheaper insurance

Against Missing safety kit; not very quick; poor steering

Verdict A good buy, but doesn’t excite as much as the Swift Sport

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full used Renault Clio Gordini review

Find a used Renault Clio Gordini in the What Car? Classifieds

Specifications: Renault Clio Gordini

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new Β£14,000

Price today Β£5995*

Power 128bhp

Torque 114lb ft

0-60mph 9.2sec

Top speed 120mph

Fuel economy 42.2mpg (official average)

CO2 emissions 155g/km

Specifications: Suzuki Swift Sport

Engine size 1.6-litre petrol

List price when new Β£13,495

Price today Β£6,250*

Power 134bhp

Torque 118lb ft

0-60mph 7.9sec

Top speed 118mph

Fuel economy 44.1mpg (official average)

CO2 emissions 147g/km

Price today is based on a 2012 model with average mileage and full service history, correct at time of writing

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