Research, magazine reviews, and word of mouth confirmed this Clio would be insane fun. Evo, Car and many other UK car mags that I had read years ago loved the Clio, and the first test drive of one confirmed all of the quirks and awesomeness. The particular colour (French Racing Blue) was a big pull, as were the aftermarket wheels and Koni/Eibach suspension combo. Oh, and REMUS exhaust…
This was my first ever car that I bought. Though I remember fondly our numerous French Cars (Citroen AX, C4, GS, Xantia) and the familiarly poor build quality and unbelievable charm.
The car’s exterior is very simple, a small hatchback to most people but to those who know it’s (almost) a rally car. I like this. Interior design is simple and sparse, surprisingly comfortable seats combined with quality materials that you actually touch (i.e. wheel, pedals), though the rest is pretty cheap, but good for the price.
Infotainment is lacking in comparison to modern cars but I think this is a positive. The simplicity allows the driver to get on with the job at hand. The A/C is very simple but effective, cruise control ‘functions’…
The car is built to have fun in! Most of my day-to-day travel is done on a bicycle or public transport, as such the car serves its purpose admirably. The boot space is usable, I can fit two bikes in without much trouble, and more than enough bags for a weekend away.
Loud, stiff and yet never tiring. The playful handling is always a joy and I have yet to tire while driving it, and although the suspension is short on travel it is perfectly controlled. This may not be the same for all drivers though! The car averages 6.3L/100km on the freeway and about 7.5L/100km in town, so quite respectable for an older car.
One thing I should mention – rain, the cold and R-compound tyres don’t mix! It’s always a little exciting when you’re putting around the city and the mind wanders, to then suddenly find your arms frantically grasping to correct a spin at 40km/h!
I would (and have) recommend this car to anyone who wants a great value, fun, and fast car that is great on the road and track. I would happily buy another one, and maybe it will actually end up a rally car.