Renaultsport Clio 200 (2009-2012) review
Blending good looks, thrilling performance and excellent handling – the Renaultsport Clio 200 has it all
Styling / Image Blending good looks, thrilling performance and excellent handling, Renaultsport’s Clio 197 was a true all-rounder. But with such a high benchmark, how does its replacement, the slightly more powerful Clio 200 fare? Most of the major revisions have been made up front. With a more aggressive-looking bumper, inspired by the firms F1 front wing, lower front air intake and new headlights the 200 looks even meaner than its predecessor. Five new sets of 17-inch alloy-wheels are available, while around back the twin pipe, diffuser and spoiler combination remain virtually unchanged.
Interior/Practicality Inside, the Clio 200 comes with ‘Renaultsport’ cloth upholstery seats, a leather gear stick and steering wheel as standard. The seats provide a snug fit for the driver as you would hope from a race car but unlike a race car the Clio has room in the back and a boot you can actually use, swallowing up to 288-litres of luggage. Don't expect any radical changes over the standard Clio though, the sport version shares its interior almost exactly with the rest of the range. Available in two versions, the lighter race-geared ‘Cup’ version comes with a stripped down cabin, resulting in a 36kg loss in weight, while the standard car gets sat-nav and a stereo.
Engines/Performance With it’s 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine the Clio 200 manages to deliver a punchy 197bhp in both the ‘Standard’ and ‘Cup’ versions. Reaching its max torque at around 5,400 rpm the Clio is a car that likes to be driven hard, and its 0-62mph of 6.9 seconds further reflects this. The six-speed Clio gets lower ratios for the first three gears now too, to make better use of the revised engine.
Driving experience On the road the ‘Renaultsport’ is a real drivers car. With its punchy, tuneful engine it’s great on the move. And the chassis, which draws inspiration from the firms Formula 1 car, offers tonnes of grip on the windy British B-roads. But equally important the Clio offers lots of refinement and reasonable equipment too making it a more than capable every day car.
Ownership costs At £15,750 the entry-level Clio 200 Cup, does offer good value for money considering what a dynamic package you're getting. It is also more efficient than the previous car, offering a very reasonable efficiency of 34.4mpg.
Safety/Environment A five-star score in the tough new EuroNCAP tests is proof of the Clio’s strength. And for eco-minded buyers emmsions have alos been improved on with the car now rated at 195g/km of CO2.
Our choice: Clio Renaultsport 200 Cup