2015 Renault Clio RS200 LT2-1

2015 Renault Clio RS200 Review : Long-term report two

Rating: 8.0
$16,000 $19,030 Dealer
  • Fuel Economy
  • Engine Power
  • CO2 Emissions
  • ANCAP Rating
Two months into our French affair with the Renault Clio RS200, things aren't all rosy...
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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.

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.

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.

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