This Renaultsport Clio 197 is a sound example of an exciting hot hatch, with a wonderfully engineered chassis, and presented in strong mechanical condition. It is powered by a 194bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, driven through a six-speed manual transmission. The car has been used and enjoyed as intended, and the odometer indicates 95,300 miles from new.
An original right-hand drive UK car, this Clio 197 has just two previous registered keepers on the V5C log book. The present keeper has owned the car for the last two years, and has used it as a regular driver, covering some 12,000 miles in that time.
The bodywork is all in good order, as is the Deep Black paint finish. There are some small stone chips at the front, a few light scuffs on the front and rear bumpers, and one larger scratch above the badge on the boot lid. Otherwise, it presents very well, with a smooth and glossy appearance around the panels.
All of the light lenses are original and undamaged, and the rubber window seals and body trims remain in great shape. There is no damage to the rear diffuser, and the car rides on the standard chassis. It is fitted with the 17-inch 12-spoke alloy wheels, which all have kerbing scuffs, so would benefit from a full refurbishment.
The interior is in excellent condition, and generally belies the mileage. There is very slight discolouration of the cloth upholstery on the driver’s side bolsters, and one or two stains on the rear bench and headrests, but in general the seats present very well indeed. The leather trim around the gear knob is worn, with some fraying of the stitching, but the Renaultsport steering wheel is still in great shape.
Above the seats, the headlining is sound, with no sagging, and the rest of the interior trim around the dashboard and door cards remains undamaged. Factory-fitted equipment includes air-conditioning, push-button start, cruise control, and the optional Cabasse Auditorium stereo with six-disc CD changer.
The last scheduled maintenance was carried out in December 2019, consisting of a standard annual service. The seller reports that the car drives very well on the road, with a smooth-shifting gearbox that does not have any of the common synchro crunching.
Its most recent MOT test was carried out on 9 August 2019 at 94,643 miles. The car initially failed on worn front tyres and a faulty front sidelight. Both issues were rectified immediately and the car was re-tested, resulting in a pass with no advisories. There is Continental SportContact rubber on the offside rear wheel, but the other three are more recent budget tyres, all in size 215/45 R17.
Accompanying the car is a complete book pack including driver’s manual and quick-start guide, as well as a raft of old service and maintenance paperwork.
Driving the Clio 197 at its launch in 2006, CAR magazine reported: “On tight, twisty roads the engine is easily exploited and enormous fun. It feels punchy and endlessly keen to rev until the change-up light's blinking at you just below the 8000rpm redline.”
This Renaultsport Clio 197 is a great example of a highly entertaining hot hatch. This car is not a low-mileage garage queen, but has rather been enjoyed on the road as intended, and remains in very good mechanical condition. Its next owner could smarten up the exterior if they wish, or simply use it as-is, revving out the engine along their favourite B-road, with a huge smile on their face.
Summary of MOT history:
- 18 Jul 2011 - 21,705 miles
- 21 Jul 2012 - 28,238 miles
- 13 Jul 2013 - 35,200 miles
- 18 Jul 2014 - 44,144 miles
- 23 Jul 2015 - 58,718 miles
- 6 Jul 2016 - 65,642 miles
- 12 Jul 2017 - 77,074 miles
- 10 Aug 2018 - 87,445 miles
- 9 Aug 2019 - 94,643 miles