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Renaultsport Clio 197/200: Buying guide and review (2006-2012)

Renaultsport Clio 197/200: Buying guide and review (2006-2012) Classic and Performance Car
Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200
When the Renaultsport Clio 197 arrived in 2006 to replace the much loved Clio 182 it had big shoes to fill. Thankfully Renault has consistently managed to stay at the top of its game in the hot hatch sector, and the new car – now based on the Clio mk3 – was no exception. Despite its added weight, a more powerful engine and shorter gearing gave it an edge in acceleration. On the limit handling was perhaps a bit less engaging, however suspension upgrades and a mid-life update soon addressed these issues. 

By the end of production the Clio 200 had matured into a class leading hot hatch, it is still a viable daily driver and being the last manual shifting, naturally aspirated Renaultsport Clio makes it a tempting second hand buy for any nostalgic petrol head. 

Which Renaultsport Clio to buy?

The first Clio 197s were available in one specification level, a big step up from the previous generation, items such as keyless go, cruise control and air conditioning were all standard fare. Available in three-door body style only, the roomy Clio 197 was still a fair bit more practical than its predecessor, but tall passengers should still stick to the front seats. 

A year after launch the F1 Team R27 special edition was launched, other than unique red brake calipers and anthracite alloy wheels they also came standard with the newly released Cup chassis which transformed the handling dynamics. This became an option on all cars later in the year. The 197 Cup was also released the same year and was a stripped out standard car making do without most of the interior luxuries, it featured the Cup chassis and was £1000 cheaper as a result. 

Gearbox ratios were changed across the range in 2008, providing for less buzzy motorway cruising. Uprated synchromesh rings were also phased in as early cars could exhibit issues engaging third gear. A lux model was made available in mid-2008 most notably featuring leather seats, climate control and unique alloys.

A mildly face-lifted Clio 200 was launched in 2009 and introduced detail changes that amounted to a much improved car. Cosmetically, new bumpers, paint options and updated interior trim were introduced. Under the skin power was up by a marginal 3bhp but more crucially midrange torque was improved providing for a more flexible driving experience. The suspension received a major overhaul, with new front suspension geometry virtually eliminating torque steer and revised spring and damper rates providing a more supple ride. 

For a well-resolved car that offers a great blend of what makes so many Renaultsport hatchbacks great, the face-lifted Clio 200 is hard to beat. The earlier 197 cars should not be dismissed though as they are still a lot of fun and can be found at a substantial saving over later cars. Although for our money we would look for one with a Cup chassis and make sure that the gearbox is in good fettle.

Performance and specs

Renaultsport Clio 200
Engine 1998cc 16valve DOHC I4 
Power 197bhp @ 7100rpm 
Torque 159lb ft @ 5400rpm
Top speed 140mph 
0-62mph 6.9 seconds 
Fuel consumption 34.4mpg 
Gearbox Six-speed manual

Dimensions and weight

Wheelbase 2585mm
Length 4017mm
Width 1768mm
Height 1484mm
Curb weight 1204kg

Common problems

• The gearbox synchros came in for some criticism for being a bit fragile on earlier cars and 2008-on models featured revised components but issues can still crop up. Changes should generally be smooth on both version once the gearbox oil has warmed up.
• Engines are robust however be wary of aftermarket modifications as gains are small and free flow exhausts and modified intakes can make the cars very noisy. 

• Cars approaching the 72,000 mile mark will require an expensive cambelt service, factor this into the pricing. 
Fuel consumption is right foot dependant although don’t expect modern day levels of efficiency.

• Look out for warped rotors, front tyres that are excessively worn on the outside edges and excessively stone chipped front ends. These all indicate excessive track use.

• Suspension systems and brakes can wear out quickly if a car is tracked regularly. Knocking noises from the front of the car may indicate a failing steering rack but are not too pricey. Steering link rods can wear out regularly and are also not prohibitively priced.

• Interior trim can wear around the seat bolsters and on the steering wheel. Creaks and squeaks are generally normal but anything louder should be investigated.

Model history

2006: Renaultsport Clio 197 launched
2007: F1 Team R27 special edition released with standard Cup Chassis, Cup Chassis optional on standard cars. Stripped-out 197 Cup released featuring fewer luxuries and a Cup Chassis
2008: Lux version introduced with leather interior, climate control and auto-on lights. Gearbox ratios revised across the range
2009: Renaultsport Clio 200 launched with revised bumper, headlights and interior trim. Improved mid-range torque, uprated front suspension including softer settings on standard cars. Satnav and sunroof become available as optional extras
2012: Final Renaultsport Clio 200 rolls off production line

Clio special editions

Silverstone: Cup Pack, silver paintwork with black roof.
Gordini: Unique blue paintwork with white stripes
Raider: Leather seats, Megane R26.R alloys and red or matt grey paintwork

Owners clubs, forums and websites

www.cliosport.net – Enthusiast site for all Renaultsport Clio models
www.clio197.net – Enthusiast site for 197/200 Clio models
www.renaultsport.co.uk/forum – Renaultsport forums for all models

Summary and prices

The earliest cars start at £3500, admittedly a very tempting entry point that will see you behind the wheel of a high mileage Clio 197. For a few thousand more though you can get one of the face-lifted Clio 200s which offer a more polished drive. The lowest mileage 2012 cars can be seen for between £9500 and £12,000, with limited edition versions generally commanding a few hundred pounds more. 
Cup chassis equipped cars are more planted though even standard versions handle well and can offer a more compliant ride. There is a lot of choice out there so take your time and get the car that is right for you.

The Clio 197/200 models are sporty all-rounders, offering a raw analogue driving experience that some enthusiasts still prefer over the current, refined, paddle shifting, turbocharged Clio RS models. A future classic in the making, now is the time to get one. 
Words: John Tallodi 
Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200 Renaultsport Clio 197/200
Last updated: 19th Aug 2016
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Renault Clio cars for sale

21 Search results
Renault Clio
2950 22995 GBP
  • RENAULT CLIO 1.6T 16V Renaultsport Lux 200 EDC Auto

    £12,000 £12,000

    Type: Used Year: 2013 Make: RENAULT Model: CLIO Trim: 1.6T 16V Renaultsport Lux 200 EDC Auto Body: Hatchback Trans: Automatic Mileage: 6888 Engine Size: 1600 Ext Color: RED

    • Mileage: 6888 mi
    • Engine size: 1600
    For sale
    County Motor Works
    01242858082 VIEW CONTACT NUMBER

    £4,895 £4,895

    Clio 197 Cup, LOOKS AMAZING in RACING BLUE A Very Desirable Optional Upgrade from new, GENUINE LOW MILES, FULL SERVICE HISTORY and Portfolio of Receipts, CAMBELT REPLACED, 12 MONTHS MOT, HPI CLEAR Professionally Refurbished Alloy wheels, Looks and Drives Fantastic **FINANCE AVAILABLE** Any Inspection is Welcome!!;;CHESTERFIELD MOTOR SALES is a friendly, family run independent car dealership, we pride ourselves on only selling only the best quality of stock and we provide a full range of facilities such as finance packages tailored for the individual, nationwide delivery and we supply national warranty packages that range from 3-36 months!;We take credit/debit card payments, offer drive away insurance and ALL our cars are HPI checked and clear!;You can even take advantage of our hassle Free Part exchange Service.... We are confident in what we do and ANY inspection is welcome, potential buyers can view the car of their choice in our indoor showroom and we are certain you won't be disappointed!;For more information on this car or to arrange a test drive don't hesitate to give us a call today.;Please Note viewing is by appointment only.

    • Mileage: 62625 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • RENAULT CLIO sport 197 bhp.3 door 2008

    £3,750 £3,750

    Need the space for my vans, so this little pocket rocket has to go;;Selling at trade money;;TAKEN IN PART EXCHANGE,;DRIVERS LUMBER SUPPORT HAS WORN, (SEE PICTURES);SLIGHT WHEEL BEARING NOISE FOR O/S/REAR.;;APART FROM THE OBVIOUS STONE CHIPS AND ALLOY SCUFFS, THIS IS A FUN CAR TO DRIVE;;Standard Fit;Central Door Locking (Remote);In Car Entertainment (Radio/CD);Seating Capacity (Five Seats);Mirrors External (Electric/Heated);Alloy Wheels (17in);Alarm;Seat Lumbar Support (Driver);Adjustable Steering Column/Wheel (Rake/Reach);Seat Height Adjustment (Driver);Head Restraints (Front/Rear);Electric Windows (Front);Speakers (Two);Deadlocks;Immobiliser;Anti-Lock Brakes;Power-Assisted Steering;Cruise Control;Body Coloured Bumpers;Steering Wheel Leather;Front Fog Lights;Seats Split Rear;Electronic Stability Programme;Upholstery Cloth;Air Bag Driver;Air Bag Passenger;Centre Rear Seat Belt;Seat Belt Pre-Tensioners (Front);Computer (Driver Information System);Electronic Brake Force Distribution;Tinted Glass;Air Bag Side (Driver/Passenger/Rear);Air Bag Anti-Submarine (Front);Seat - ISOFIX Anchorage Point (Three Seats - Front and Rear);;Technical Data;Engine type4-Cylinder;Valves per cylindern/a;Engine power147kw/197bhp;Engine size1998cc;Top speed134mph;Drive typeFront wheel drive;Transmission6-Speed, Manual gearbox;Fuel typePetrol;Body typeHatchback;No. of seats5;Wheelbase2585mm;Acceleration (0-60 mph)6.9s;Length3991mm;Width2025mm;Height1484mm

    • Mileage: 80600 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • Renault Clio

    £2,995 £2,995

    Air Conditioning, Alarm, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Remote Central Locking, Cloth Upholstery, Head Restraints, Height Adjustable Seat, Folding Rear Seats, Rear Headrests, Adjustable Steering Column, Cruise Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel, Power Steering, Traction Control, Trip Computer, ABS, Isofix, Multiple Airbags, Colour Coded Body, Front Fog Lamps, Rear Spoiler, Rear Wash/wipe, Automatic Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Electric Windows, Push Button Start, CD Player, Radio, Cambelt Changed, 17'' Alloys, Service history Renault Clio RenaultSport 197, Just received a New MOT, Service + Full Health Check from the garage. Air/Con, Multi Function Steering Wheel, Cruise Control & More.2 Remote Keys + All Manuals. Cambelt changed: 18/10/14. NEW CLUTCH: 10/07/14. Only- £2995Check out our website we have over 40+ cars for sale to suit all budgets www.purbrookcarsales.co.uk**We pride ourselves on selling good quality cars at great prices. We are experts in offering car finance to customers across the UK.**If you have had trouble getting a used car elsewhere then give us a call, see if we can help, we have flexible finance deals with monthly payments to suit all budgets,Fill out extended finance form on our website

    • Mileage: 93170 mi
    • Engine size: 1998
    For sale
  • Renault Clio

    £19,750 £19,750

    Variant name:1.6T 16V Renaultsport Trophy Nav 220 5dr Auto ,Derivative:Renaultsport Trophy Nav ,Variant: 1.6T 16V Renaultsport Trophy Nav 220 5dr Auto 5 Star NCAP Rating,ABS,Alloy Wheels,Anti Theft System,Automatic Gearbox,Automatic Headlights,Automatic Wipers,Bluetooth Prepared,Climate Control,Cruise Control,Electric Mirrors,Electric Windows,Engine Immobiliser,ESP,Front Assist,Front Fog Lights,Heated Mirrors,Heated Seats,iPod Connection,Isofix Seats,Keyless Entry,Leather Steering Wheel,Leather Upholstery,LED Headlights,Manufacturer Warranty,MP3 Connectivity,Multiple Airbags,Onboard Computer,Parking Camera,Parking Distance Control,Power Steering,Satellite Navigation,Traction Control

    • Year: 2016
    • Mileage: 5000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.6
    For sale

    £2,950 £2,950

    THIS FANTASTIC RENAULT CLIO SPORT 16V 182 HAS JUST ARRIVED INTO STOCK WITH US HERE AT GETACAR,SOURCE - We are fortunate enough to of purchased this vehicle from a customer who has renewed their vehicle and has been maintained without compromise. CONDITION - It has been superbly well looked after by its previous owners from new. SERVICE HISTORY - It is offered with Service History having covered a guaranteed 64,000 Miles from new, and will be Serviced prior to sale. PRESENTATION - It looks Stunning presented in Silver. It boasts an excellent condition Half Leather interior that hasn't been smoked inside or abused in any way. SPECIFICATION - It has Fantastic specification including Alloys, Climate Control, CD/Radio, Sports Exhaust, Electric Windows plus much more. GETACAR - We offer fantastic part exchange valuations, industry leading extended warranties, and all of our vehicles are HPI clear. All cars fully prepared to a high standard and will be fully valeted prior to sale. Please call to discuss this fantastic car in more detail. Family run business, open 6 days appointments on a Sunday only.

    • Mileage: 65000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • Renault Clio

    £4,995 £4,995

    Air Conditioning, Adjustable Steering Column, 17'' Alloy Wheels, FULL SERVICE HISTORY, Upgraded Exhaust, Cambelt Changed, 6 Month Warranty, 12 months MOT, 12 month AA breakdown cover, Thatcham Alarm, Finance Available, Front Fog Lamps, Trip Computer, Traction Control, Multi-function Steering Wheel

    • Mileage: 74000 mi
    • Engine size: 1998
    For sale

    £9,500 £9,500

    BUY WITH COMPLETE CONFIDENCE ESTABLISHED OVER 50 YEARS This car is owned by us and has been looked after to the highest standard with a full service history (Including replacement Timing Belt), Genuine Mileage, Finished in Glacier White, Renaultsport 200 Cup Chassis (Lower Ride Height and Stiffer Springs and Dampers), Red Brembo Brake Calipers, 17" 5 Spoke 'Renaultsport' Wheels In Anthracite, Ride Height Lowered By 7mm, Cruise Control With Speed Limiter, Automatic Climate Control, Renault Hands Free Key Card (With Spare), Electric Heated Door Mirrors, Front Fog Lights, Curtain Airbags, Automatic Headlights and Rain Sensitive Wipers, Electric Front Windows, Body Coloured Side Mouldings With Satin Finish, Renaultsport Leather Steering Wheel, 4 x 20W Radio CD MP3 Reader With Fingertip Remote Control, RCA Socket, Drilled Aluminium Pedals, Renaultsport Extended Front Wings With Integrated Side Air Extractors, Extended Rear Wings and Sills, F1 Style Front Blade, Thatcham Category 2 Insurance Approved Immobiliser, Renault Anti-Intruder Device, ABS With EBD.

    • Mileage: 16342 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
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