Product Type: Renault cars
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New car for me, and a new review!
Renault Clio 1.2 5-door
Member Name: Thebaker50
Renault Clio 1.2 5-door
Advantages: cheeky, fun, stylish
Disadvantages: Build quality, rear passengers
Hello, this is the review of the renault clio 1.2 My version is a 2005 expression 5 door, and this is the review (I have now owned the car for little over 2 weeks, so this review will be more centred around the car design, I cannot comment on the reliability of the car). The car i have has around 50k on the clock, and was bought for £1500ish
Design: I think the car is very cool compared with other cars of the era. If like me you are a bit broke, and your insurance is a bit high because you are a student, you are really looking at this car, an old vauxhall corsa, peugeot 206, toyota yaris, vw polo or a ford ka/ old fiesta. I think this car is either the best looking, or the second best looking in terms of external design alone.
Size, this car is small, but it has a very small backpassenger space. I have been in corsa, fiestas etc, and the clio does badly for its external size in this part. My friends yaris, which although is a smaller car, feels like it has more rear passenger space. I cant comment on the others except the ford ka, and the two are about on par.
Economy: This is great, with this car i average around 50-60 mpg. To be fair I am not a fast driver, but i feel that this car has very low running costs, which is great. My friend in the yaris doesnt get mpg that good (more around the 40 mark), but he does drive a lot faster than me, so this may be a factor. But to be fair, my engine is a 1.2, whereas his is a 1l so how much an influence the speed is i am not sure.
Feel: The car inside feels like in places that the plastic is a bit cheap. Epecially the indicators stalks. This car has a lot more gadgets that competitors, and at a cheaper price (electric windows, AC, electric mirrors, sunroof, radio wheel controls). BUT in the yaris my friend has, they feel of way inferior quality. THe indicator stalks feel like they are made of the plastic you would normally buy milk in. To be fair it doesnt bother me that much personally, but if you think this is going to be a BMW with leather seats, IT AINT!
Also the car has a "cheeky feel" to it. FOr example, becaue the car is french, and they drive LHD, the key to entry the car if you are not using it remotely is on the left door. In the uk we drive in the right. It might never be a problem for me, but its just a funny little quirk of the car that if the battery ever died on my keys, I would have to go round to the passenger side, unlock the car, then walk back around to the driver side. But it doesnt make the car feel badly well, as its overridden by the driving experience and the cheekiness of it all.
Another thing about this car is the drive. THe drive feels very involving, but not to the point where it is wearysome. Unlike other cars I have driven, it feels well engage, and very light, like a go kart. WIth a 1.2, (12 valves), the engine is very responsive (but the gear changes I found are a bit bumpy, but then i might just still be getting used to the gearbox and clutch). The ride is no where near as good a that in the yaris (sorry i wish i had driven some other similar cars, or been in other similar cars, but sadly none that i see as a direct rival to this car). But then this car is more exciting to be in, which means the ride doesnt matter so much. ALso this car has a HUGE boot for its size. It sort of explains why the rear passengers must amputate their legs to even get in the back.
The all round visibility of the car is fair. It has small wingmirror to make it more city friendly, but overall its very acceptable levels of vision around the car. Another side note is that the clio has a very high NCAP rating for a car of this class. I have not tried this out personally though...
The driving comfort in all fairness isnt that good, although it has full adjustable seats, the suspesion and eat do not rival the japanese or germans, or maybe even the americans in terms of comfort. But they add a sporty feel. For me personally I couldn't give 2 figs about the comfort during driving, but then I am fairly young and these things become more of an issue as you age i guess.
In summary then?
A cheeky car, with a sporty feel (for only a 1.2), but probably isnt actualy all that fast in the real world. Good fun to look and drive, with a big boot and lots of gadgets, but not as refined, well made, or practical as japansese competion (yaris has fold down rear seat, I have no idea how to do this on the clio). I would really recommend giving this car a test drive if you are thinking of getting something in this catogory, but again i cannot say it will be reliable, i haven't had ti long enough to have bad experiences, and even if I had, it doesn't mean that yours will have same or no problems.
Summary: Nice car i think