Renault Clio Hatchback 1998 - 2001

Renault Clio Hatchback 1998 - 2001

Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016

Pros:

  • Attractive looks
  • Affordable running costs

Cons:

  • Small cabin space

Overview

This new generation of Clio has inherited all the charm and class of the original Clio, but with improved build quality. It was built with comfort in mind rather than being a hot hatch and with its smooth ride and good handling they've pulled it off again. Renault have also managed to include large powerful engines in the form of a 2.0-litre and a 3.0-litre V6 that should provide enough speed for most boy racers as well as there being multiple diesel engines that offer a combination of performance and economy.

Exterior and Interior

The Clio is one of those cars where you either love or hate the looks of with its small size and attractive lines. However, it's the small size that proves so useful in cities and towns that impacts negatively on the interior space. The back seats are especially cramped and the boot is the smallest in its class with only 255litres of space, but it should be enough to some luggage in for a weekend away and there is the added option of folding down the 60/40 split folding back seats. The seats are soft and comfortable for short drives but can become extremely uncomfortable on longer drives due to the lack of proper support. The dash is well laid out and easy to use even if it is plain looking. The quality was improved in 2001 with the revamp as was the amount of standard equipment you got. The standard models came with ABS, remote central locking, air con, alloy wheels, four airbags and a CD stereo. Higher trim levels came with improved options such as a sunroof, a height adjustable driver seat and electric windows all round as well as an electric sunroof.

Performance and Economy

The small 1.2-litre with 75bhp is a great little car for short distances and travelling around town managing 47mpg, but the heavy body of the Clio does hold it back on the motorways. The 1.4-litre is better for motorway speeds but it's the 1.6-litre producing 110bhp that is able to handle the motorways without feeling taxed. The fuel efficiency isn't too bad managing up to 39mpg and it's also fairly quick off the line at 9.3 seconds from 0-60mph. The 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre engines are aimed at people who care more about speed rather than fuel efficiency with them going from 0-60mph in 7 seconds and 6.2 seconds respectively. The fuel efficiency is poor though with the 2.0-litre coming in at 35mpg and the 3.0-litre at 25mpg. The 1.9D diesel engine that was phased out in 2001 is worth avoiding. The 1.5-litre dCi are a big improvement on the 1.9's with the smallest output producing 65bhp and managing 65mpg while going from 0-60mph in just over 14 seconds. The 80bhp and 100bhp engines are closely matched as the 80 comes with a better economy of 67mpg compared to the 100's 65mpg, but the 100 goes from 0-60mph in just over 10 seconds, more than a second faster than the smaller 80bhp engine. Most of the models fall into insurance categories 2 and 3 as long as you avoid the more powerful engines which will cost a lot more.

Like to Drive

The Clio is aimed for the comfort rather than the hot hatch market and although it may not handle as well as its predecessors it does have good grip and handles neatly with accurate steering. There is some body roll in the corners, but it's not excessive unless you're really pushing it. It always feels safe and composed and is fun and easy to drive which is probably why it has been such a hit.

Faults and Repairs

Over the years the Clio has emerged as Renault's most reliable vehicle with only a few problems cropping up. These did however include the engines, suspension, brakes and electrics with a few owners complaining of the sunroof rattling and poor service from Renault dealers. When things do go wrong they can also prove to be extremely expensive compared to rivals, but Renault do have one of the lowest hourly rates at least.


Overall Rating:
Review by Guest
Monday, May 16, 2016

Overview

"My Clio"

Exterior and Interior

For an older car it's not in bad condition. Interior is OK, exterior there is a small dent on the bonnet. Nice shaped car. Looks nice. Has the usual instruments and all are close at hand. Smart little car to look at.

Performance and Economy

Excellent performance, it is good on fuel, but for long distance journeys it's not to my liking. Others may find it okay. Good value for money car, and excellent as a first car for a young driver.

Like to Drive

Very nice to drive but I would not go a long distance in it. It is a good little run about and this is what I use it for. It is a comfortable little car, but not a family car. With it being only a 1.4 it is a little sluggish on steep hills and it can only manage 2nd gear up certain hills. <

Faults and Repairs

I have had electrical faults due to most of the wiring being under the drivers seat. One slight knock and then something goes wrong, e.g the air-bag light comes on even though there is not a fault. I have had no repairs, only a new battery.
Quality
Performance
Comfort
Value