This Clio's extra weight and stronger bodyshell dents the performance of the base 1.2 engine. Like the diesel-engined 1.9D, it has to be worked hard to progress briskly. 1.4 and 1.6 models are quicker, more satisfying and better suited to Clio’s sturdy body - 1.6 16v versions are the liveliest. The punchier 1.9 dTi replaced the 1.9D in 2000; economy is good at 54.3 mpg combined.
The RenaultSport 2.0 16v and 3.0 V6 arrived in 2000 and offer 172 and 230bhp and top speeds of 130 and 147mph respectively.
From the start, Clio has been easy and comfortable to drive. The Mk 2 may be less nimble than its predecessor, but it has precise handling, good grip, and bodyroll that’s acceptable unless you’re really pushing it.