Product Type: Renault cars
Newest Review: ... which is what I used it for. It basically did the old A - B job. I would not recommend this car if you are planning on using it for re... more
Cheap French hatch with a lot to offer!
Renault Clio 1.2 3-door
Member Name: EKO1
Renault Clio 1.2 3-door
Advantages: Cheap to run/maintain, great handling, a lot of feature for the money.
Disadvantages: French build quality isn't brilliant, a few common problems and niggles, not the best for motorways.
When I passed my driving test I was looking for a cheap and easy to drive car. The Clio 1.2 is both of those things and a lot more. Iv found it to be a great first car and wouldn't hesitate in choosing it again.
To start with the engine, its a 1.2 16V lump (there's also a 8V version, which is a bit slower) and produces 75bhp. You're not going to be beating any Ferraris in it, but its plentiful for around town and on country roads. Its main downside (probably not a problem with the 8V version) is that low end torque is pretty poor and it doesn't really come alive until you go above 3K RPM. Not a major, but the engine does need to be worked to get the most from it. On motorways its fine cruising at 70, but any overtakes needs good planning.
For me the engine has been pretty reliable, only issues iv had is with the throttle body, but that only needed a clean. The car is very easy to service and parts for it are pretty cheap so anything that does need replacing, usual wear and tear parts won't cost too much. If anyone is looking to buy one of these, ensure the cam belt has been done before you purchase the car or use it to lower the price if it hasn't because its not something you want to fail on you!
MPG isn't too bad either whilst not brilliant compared to its diesel counterparts, it'll easily do 38mpg around town and 40-45 cruising on the motorway, the 50 liter fuel tank helps a lot and makes fill ups less frequent.
By far one of the best bits about this car is the handling and is always a blast to drive on twisty back roads. The car weighs just under a tonne making it very light compared to other cars of the same class. Its very agile around corners and the steering wheel provides good feedback. The car grips well and if you treat it to a set of good tyres (running Michellin Pilot Exolto 2s) itll be even better and you can take corners confidently.
The outside style of the car might not be to everyones taste, but car the looks very nice in most colours. Subtle mods can improve the look of the car, Renault Sport front grill, clear indicators etc.
The inside, whilst lacking in that German build quality is fine. There are a lot of cheap plastics, but nothing too bad. The dashboard is pretty basic and provides the basic functionality you expect. One of the great things about this is even though its cheap, its packed with features (depending on spec) bar a from models the best ones to go for are the extreme and dynamique. These give you the comfier seats, some have A/C, auto lights, auto wipers and a trip computer.
I'm 6ft1 and have no problem getting in and out of the car, the seats are especially comfy and hold you well as theyre bucket styled. Whilst I have no problem getting in the front the back is a different story, just about have enough head room, but its diffidently not the most comfortable car if you have 3 fully grown people sitting in the back. This hasnt been a major issue for me as I rarely use the rear seats.
Iv found the boot to be plenty big enough and have never required anything bigger, the back seats are very easy to fold down should you need the extra room.
This car is a great choice for anyone look at a first car buy or someone who just needs a cheap run around. Its cheap to run, insurance is cheap and compared to some of its rivals at the time you get a lot more for you money. With that said, if you're a person doing a lot of motoway miles but still looking for a cheap run about id recommend the DCi 65 or 80 Clios. They're £30 to tax a year, do more MPG and a nicer placed to be if you spend most of your time on motorways and A roads.
Summary: Great little car for anyone whos looking into a first car or just a cheap run about.