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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

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Renault Clio
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  • Renault Clio RenaultSport 172

    £950 £950

    172bhp Clio, 69,000 miles, 12 months MOT, 2003, all handbooks and previous MOT's, climate control/aircon, leather/alcantara interior, auto lights and wipers, adjustable steering column, anti-lock brakes, trip computer, all the normal electrics and features, Sigma thatcham spec alarm, cambelt replaced at 42k. No silly modifications, so no insurance problems. I have owned the Clio for the last 9 years, but now need a bigger car. 01323 35164907979 988932

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    • Engine size: 1998
    For sale

    £4,995 £4,995

    2007 (57) Renault Clio Sport, 2.0 Petrol, Manual 6 Speed Gearbox, 197 BHP, Only Covered 90,000 Miles With Full Service History, Two Owner Car, Good Condition Inside and Out, Drives Very Well, Radio/CD, Adjustable Steering Column and Wheel, Front and Side Air Bags, Alarm , Alloy Wheels, Anti Lock Brakes, Body Coloured Bumpers, Remote Central Locking, 3X3 Centre Rear Seat Belt, On Board Driver Information System, Cruise Control, Deadlocks, Electric Windows, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Electronic Stability Programme, Front Fog Lights, Immobiliser, Electric and Heated Mirrors, Power Assisted Steering, ISOFIX Anchorage Point, Drivers Seat Height Adjustment, Split Rear Seats, Factory Fitted Tinted Glass, 5 Seats, Sold With 12 Months MOT and 6 Months Warranty, Part Exchange, Finance and Extended Warranties Available, For More Information Please Call 01472 488029 Or 07871 627974 Or Visit www.camelotcars.co.uk For Full Stock Listings ;;Service History;01/10/2008 Sutton Park Renault 11,086 Miles;30/09/2009 Shakespeare Service Centre 19,634 Miles;21/01/2011 Sutton Park Renault 29,691 Miles;17/01/2012 Sutton Park Renault 37,684 Miles;07/03/2013 Sutton Park Renault 49,043 Miles;14/07/2014 Heneage Motor Company 57,321 Miles (Inc Cambelt);14/07/2015 John Smith Autos 70,509 Miles;23/06/2016 John Smith Autos 83,314 Miles;

    • Mileage: 90000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • RENAULT CLIO 2.0 Renaultsport 197 3Dr 2007

    £4,450 £4,450

    getaround in the ultimate Renault Clio. This 2.0 Renaultsport is the sought after 197 BHP model that looks stunning finished in the best colour of black with contrasting dark sport cloth interior. The car has a full and comprehensive service record and a long MOT. It comes with remote locking, electric windows, CD player, air-conditioning and immaculate alloy wheels. It come with the owners book pack, fully stamped service booklet, two key cards, locking wheel nut and HPi certificate. Phone, text or email for an appointment to view this car soon.;

    • Mileage: 44685 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • RENAULT CLIO RENAULTSPORT 197. From GBP 151 per month. 2007

    £4,995 £4,995

    Red / Black cloth sports seats;3 owners in total;Full service history;V5 doc;New MOT;Supplied with a cambelt replacement;Service book and handbooks;Part exchange welcome;Low rate finance arranged;;Finance Example: 36 Month Contract;Total Cash Price of Goods: GBP 4995.00;Less Deposit / Allowance: GBP 495.00;Amount of Credit: GBP 4500.00;Total Charge for Credit: GBP 935.28;;Total Balance Payable: GBP 5435.28;Total Amount Payable: GBP 5930.28;ANNUAL PERCENTAGE RATE (APR) 13.5%;Repayment Schedule: 36 Monthly Payments Of GBP 150.98

    • Mileage: 69000 mi
    • Engine size: 1.998
    For sale
  • 2011 RENAULT CLIO RENAULTSPORT 200 Petrol Manual

    £7,995 £7,995

    RENAULT CLIO RENAULTSPORT 200 3 DOOR MANUAL Finished in Glacier White with Grey Cloth Recaro Seats, Only 31,000 miles from new. This Fantastic example comes complete with Service history, 2 Keys and has just had 2 new tyres fitted. ;;Features include Service History, CD Player, V5 Reg Doc, Electric Windows, ABS, Six Speed Gearbox, Colour Coded, HPI Clear, Air Conditioning, Spare Key, Cruise Control, Passenger Airbags, Alarm, Spoiler, Driver Airbag, Power Assisted Steering, Alloy Wheels, Sports Seats, Electric Mirrors, 3 Month Warranty.;;Only GBP 7,995;;

    • Mileage: 31000 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

    £18,980 £18,980

    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
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