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  • Confidence inspiring body control; nicely weighted steering; super sharp turn-in; RS-mode wizbangery; fun and exciting to drive; entertaining paddle shifters; real-time telemetry cool
  • Ordinary cabin plastics and interior quality; frustrating and unreliable USB input; should be available as a manual; R-Sound Effect RS system disappointing; real-time telemetry somewhat gimmicky

OUR RATING
8 / 10



2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two

We’re two months into our French affair with the Renault Clio RS. But like many relationships, things haven’t all been smooth sailing…

Ensuring everyone in the CarAdvice Melbourne office – and those north of the border who drop in for extended stays – gets time behind the leather-wrapped wheel of our Renault Clio RS200 Sport Premium, it’s been doing the rounds.

Palmed off to Mike to check its tall-man credentials, our petite yellow explosion then got some time alone with our resident tech guru Scott, live-in shooter Tom and Mr All-to-happy-to-steal-whatever-looks-fun himself, James Ward.

And here’s what they had to say…

Mike Costello:

Thanks to its ‘Sport’ chassis, the Clio RS’s body control inspires preternatural confidence.

Its turn-in is sharper than a pack of fresh Gillette razors (and the car costs less than said razors, too), and the blips you get on downshifts when in ‘RS’ mode make you feel like a pro.

The cabin plastics are pretty ordinary, though. Over a bumpy road, the door trims are creakier than Nanna’s knee on a winter’s morning.

2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two

Also, plug your iPhone into the car via its USB input and it spasmodically charges, and then fails to pickup the device, at precise one-second intervals. Enough to drive one loco. Sadly, this isn’t the first Clio I’ve experienced with a flawed multimedia system.

Scott Davison:

My first drive saw me head all the way from Cremorne to Collingwood for a meeting. For the uninitiated, that’s less than four kilometres and I barely got out of second gear. But I was quite excited to drive it.

Being small and fun, it definitely feels like it should be a manual but that said, I enjoyed using the paddle shifters and they seem more at home in the Clio RS than in some other paddle-equipped cars.

I love the conspicuous colour and found myself intentionally leaving the radio off to better appreciate the sound – and pops – of the turbocharged engine.

I like the little thing because it’s fast, sporty and unique – I haven’t seen many others on the road – and I haven’t yet noticed anything I don’t like about it. I’ll be sure to pay more attention next drive…

Tom Fraser:

In general, I find it a really fun thing to drive – especially in RS mode.

2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two

The heated leather seats hold you in well and the steering is nicely weighted. Having all the real-time vehicle telemetry data is cool too, even if, at times, it feels like a bit of a gimmick.

Like Mike says, inside, there’s lots of plastic around… and I despise the plastic gear-shift button.

The cruise control system is silly too. Having a button down near the handbrake instead of having all controls just on the steering wheel is fiddly and unintuitive. Adding to frustration, you can’t use it when in RS mode – naff.

I’ve also had the passenger window get ‘stuck’ a few times.

James Ward:

Believe it or not, I’ve barely driven it. But I want to like it.

I love the optional ($750) Liquid Yellow paint and the whole car’s overall look. I wish it was manual though, and, while I wanted it to be cool, for me, the R-Sound Effect RS system is simply poorly executed and disappointing.

Thanks to my age and years of muscle memory, it’s also only a matter of time before I snap the poor little Clio’s phone/audio control hub – mounted to the back of the steering wheel – clean off thinking it’s the key slotted into the ignition barrel.

2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two

I really want to spend more time with it and get to know it better, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep laughing at the funny torque steer/wheel spin gauge.

We’ve so far notched up 2918km and averaged 9.5 litres of premium unleaded fuel per 100km – or 9.8L/100km according to the car’s own trip computer – with a best recorded fuel consumption figure of 8.5L/100km (2.2L/100km behind the Clio’s 6.3L/100km factory claim).

We’re planning on hitting the circuit sometime soon to test out the RS200’s on-track capabilities and possibly its unique launch control system. At the same time we’ll look deeper into its practical side – it is a five-door after all – and see if the Renault can bounce back into some people’s good graces.

Stay tuned…

Read our 2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report one here.

Click on the Photos tab for more 2015 Renault Clio RS200 images by Tom Fraser.

Renault Clio RS200 Sport Premium
Date acquired: February 2015
Odometer reading: 5491km
Travel since previous update: 2918km
Consumption since previous update: 9.5L/100km (actual); 9.8L/100km (claimed)
Fuel cost since previous update: $363.74


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RENAULT CLIO BREAKDOWN

2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review :: Long-term report two
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  • 8.5
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Renault Clio Specs

RS SPORT PREMIUM : X98 : 1.6L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
RENAULT
Model
CLIO
Variant
RS SPORT PREMIUM
Series
X98
Year
2015
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$26,180 - $29,750
Dealer Retail
$27,200 - $32,340
Dealer Trade
$20,600 - $23,800
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
1.6L
Cylinders
TURBO 4
Max. Torque
240Nm @  1750rpm
Max. Power
147kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
120.7W/kg
Bore & Stroke
79.7x81.1mm
Compression Ratio
9.5
Valve Gear
DUAL OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
45Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.3L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1218
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1448mm
Length
4090mm
Width
1732mm
Ground Clearance
118mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:0  Unbrake:0
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
10.9
Front Rim Size
7.5x17
Rear Rim Size
7.5x17
Front Tyres
205/45 R17
Rear Tyres
205/45 R17
Wheel Base
2589
Front Track
1504
Rear Track
1500
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Torsion bar, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control
Control & Handling
Air Suspension, 17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Holder, Sensotronic Brake Control, Sports Suspension, Traction Control System
Driver
Adjustable Steering Wheel - Tilt & Telescopic, Cruise Control, Leather Steering Wheel, Mobile Phone Connectivity, Parking Distance Control, Power Steering, Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, Trip Computer
Engine & Transmission
Electronic Differential Lock
Entertainment
Radio CD with 6 Speakers
Exterior
Side Door
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels
Exterior
Metallic Paint, Metallic Paint Special
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  10,000 kms
Warranty
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
RHS - On Floor in Boot Comp
Country of Origin
France