I own the previous model, known over in the UK as the 172. It is one deranged puppy, and Clarkson's thoughts are pretty much spot on. I loved his comments about how the "the car will almost certainly fall apart before it makes you deaf and mad!"! The images of the Clio on three wheels acting as a 'tripod' are nuts.RenaultFreak said:the Clio is sick, I want a puppy too
He might have been just a touch scathing about the interior, but I do agree with him - it is cheap, not up to the standards of fit and finish as seen in the new Mini. However, when it comes to performance, it kicks the Mini square in the balls and bolts off into the distance!
As JC said, for the price, it is impossible to go faster for less $$. The Clio is not much in a straight line, but excels in the hills and twisty tarmac. Because the little bugger is so light (~1040Kg) and possess oversized brakes which never fade (brakes are from the Laguna, a VW Passat sized Renault sedan). Another bonus, over here in Aus, is that it is ridiculously cheap to insure, doesn't attract unwanted attention from idiots on the road (and the coppers) and offers good fuel consumption (8.7L/100Km with 'enthusiastic' driving). Good fun on the track as well, the light weight means that one can brake really late for corners.
TopGear 2003 Clio V6 mk2.mov 21.9MB
If anyone is interested, I've got a vid of the Clio 172/182's big brother, the mid mounted, V6 engined monster that the Stig spun across the finish line backwards when doing his timed lap. Apparently a very easy car to spin in the wet, supposed to be Porsche like. One was written off on the first day of the press launch of the mk2 model last year on a wet track.