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How awesome are clio 172's? First impressions


DaveT172
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Rhetorical question, because now I know, I just bought one and they're super-awesome to the power rad. :headbang:

 

I've always wanted one, ever since I read the Motor Mag bang for your buck article way back in 2002. I've had an auto alert on carsales for about 4 years and watched prices come down and kilometres and modifications go up. Over that time it seemed most cars were NSW based and the ones that popped up in Vic were more expensive and seemingly not as good. The good and reasonably priced ones that did pop up in Vic were very popular and I missed out on a few.

 

Then a lovely flame red, 1 lady owner, 70,000k 172 popped up on carsales half an hour from me and very reasonably priced, I was there like a shot. It was a trade in at a big Ford dealership with full service history including recent timing and accessory belt change and new tyres. Within 1.5 hours of the alert I'd bought it!

 

I have a 205 gti and before that I've had numerous Fiat 124 spiders/coupes and the odd Alfa so my first impressions of the clio are perhaps unsurprisingly what an impressive overall package it is. Around town it's quiet, practical, refined and easy to drive (apart from the clutch, oh my aching thigh) and finally I have a car with a decent stereo!

 

Then there's the twisty bits. Wow, the same feeling of refinement driving round town translates onto the twisties, it just feels so surefooted and accomplished. Not quite as raw as I was expecting, but that's not a bad thing as it's still great fun, just more comfortable and confidence inspiring. Although I haven't driven it in the wet yet and I've read a few not-so-great reviews about Pirelli P6000's in the wet.

 

Things to do:

- I've tried without success to spray silicone down the ends of the clutch cable to soften it up. Think I'll invest in a new cable. I thought the 205gti cable was stiff, the clio's is in another league.

- I've only got one key, just got a quote from Renault, $285 for another key :shock:

- Polish out the headlight oxidation.

- New thumb grips.

 

Apart from that she's perfect and I'm a very happy man, and happy to be part of this awesome forum.

 

Hoo roo

DaveT

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Hi DaveT,

 

Welcome brother!

 

I was in a very similar situation to you - I noticed that very low K one owner 172 on carsales and called the dealer about it - however, he said it had been sold already. I was fully intending to purchase it! Did you manage to talk them down at all?

 

So I had to wait a little longer to get my hands on a 172. Thankfully the other one I had my eye on was coming down in price and I managed to pick it up the other day, and I'm in love already. It's actually the colour I wanted too, with all the mods I wanted already done, so I'm happy.

 

I too am facing the same headlight / key issues. I managed to talk the Renault dealer in Richmond down to $260 for the replacement key and I've started the process. If you're keen, speak to Brendan and tell him about the deal he gave me, perhaps he'll do the same for you. I did it all over email. His details are: Brendan Wollin [brendan@cityautomobiles.com.au]. The cost is justified I feel given the process that needs to occur, and also keys for other cars are much more expensive than that.

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welcome . nice car history there too

 

the RS cars are pretty special .

 

you in vic ? clutch cable change is a great idea , one of our spinning members here broke his on a run after it got stiffer to operate and its probably time .

 

thumbgrips ? we had walkies 172 s/wheel redone in leather all round , with a little line of red stitching at the top. its nicer to drive that way and maybe cheaper .

 

the headlights are rewarding to restore and not a big job

 

enjoy

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Wow, this forum's active, thanks guys for the quick replies.

 

Thanks Massivechicken for the key recommendation, will send Brendan an email. Did you get the black one that was on Carsales at the same time, looked like a bargain, I think it was in Greenvale? I managed to knock $500 off the dealer with mine, but didn't want to push my luck as he kept saying they had appointments lined up throughout the day...normally I would've called his bluff, but after my past experience I knew I had to jump on it quick.

 

I really think getting hold of a well looked after 172 for under 10,000 still represents the best bang for your buck out there.

 

Last night a fellow RS clio driver pulled up beside and we waved, I'm sure the bogans in utes (who all seem to want a drag race) don't do that. Also noticed the clio gets quite a few looks, mostly from females...I don't have a problem with that!

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I was tempted by the cheap, low k black one in Greenvale, however, he hadn't driven it in 2 years, the rear tyres didn't match, I just didn't trust the situation - my massivechicken sensors were tingling. Someone grabbed it though, I hope they're happy. I think he wanted 6.5k for it, and it had done only 48,000k?

 

I got the silver one that was more expensive, 99000ks - there's a post in the classified's section, you may remember the pics of it in front of a wall of graffiti. I am happy to pay more for quality, and I fully trusted the owner as he's a member here and obviously loved the thing and took great care of it.

 

Driving around - I've noticed other Renault's more, especially the sports - they tend to buzz around me suddenly. Lots of waves and light flashes and general skull duggery.

 

I've also noticed a few Commodores and HSVs especially roaring up behind me and trying to start something :wanker: . I'm pretty sure I could take them, but I tend to just slow down and infuriate them hehe. :rofl:

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Howdy Dave, and welcome to the community.

 

Shameless plug - It'd be great to see you out on the 20th Feb at the Docklands, more detail in the Social events section :wink:

 

Oh, almost forgot - PicsOrBan! :D

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hahaha lads :D

Welcome to you both.

 

Something about that Greenvale car rings a bell, and for the wrong reasons. I think it was discussed a few weeks back.

 

Glad to hear you're both enjoying the RS ownership experience already.

Hoping to catch up at the next Melbourne drive day. Keep an eye out in the social section.

Actually djdeef proposed one for this Sunday but there hasn't been much interest as yet...

 

Cheers, Dish.

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Ah yes I saw the silver one in front of the graffiti wall, after I'd bought mine...very nice car, good job I didn't see it earlier or we'd have had to draw swords at dawn...and I'm not talking 6B greylead.

 

Domlebo, I don't feel quite as connected to the road in the clio as the 205...when you're going fast in the 205 you certainly feel like you're going fast and you get a better sense of exactly what each wheel's doing. The brakes on the clio are a bit sensitive for me, I prefer the feel of them on the 205. So I guess the 205 is probably more of a raw driving experience, super fun on the right road but more work to drive hard. As an overall day to day package the clio is a long way ahead, it feels a lot more solid and refined and is a lot more comfortable on a long trip. And of course it's newer, so bits don't fall off...yet.

 

What about you, what are you're impressions between the two?

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The longer you're with your car the more at home you feel driving it. Give it a few months and I'm sure the clio will feel as capable as the 205 did, maybe moreso.

The Clio is a sh*tton more capable then a 205 lol. Suspension and chassis design has come a long way in 15-20 years.

 

Dave, I agree with everything you're saying. Especially the brakes, which I hadn't noticed, but now I think about it, the Clio definitely has overservoed brakes for my liking. The Clio feels the 200kg heavier in change of direction and the delay it takes for the suspension to take up the slack. I actually find the seats in the Clio a bit uncomfy (seating position isn't too bad for me) compared to the 205's. 80's seats are magical. The biggest thing I miss though, is a cable-driven throttle. Electronic throttle is sooo laggy, and makes heel-and-toeing difficult.

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Yeah you're right Domlebo, the immediate and very linear throttle of the 205 is a winner...the seats too, they look painful but are actually very comfy.

 

I do love the 205 but at the moment I'm loving the clio more...particularly love that woofly induction noise when you give it some beans...I assume it's supposed to make that noise.

 

Reckon I'll pop down to the Renault day at the Docklands...although I'm wary of lusting after Megane 250's and Clio 200's...how much better can they be :D

 

Pics coming, when it stops raining.

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Stiff OEM clutch is all down to the OEM pressure plate... it's diabolically stiff, but doesn't give all that much clamping force.

 

I moved to an Exedy OEM replacement clutch which has dramatically improved the clutch operation thanks to the improved pressure plate design with the Exedy kit (it now requires a 'normal' amount of force to depress to the clutch for a modern 4cyl car)

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Hi hi,

 

Welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your purchase! I too bought my car with only one key, and am trying to find a more economical avenue to getting a second one.

 

I'm actually in Turkey for a couple of months (for work), and then heading to spain to see my family. I asked my cousin in spain if he could get a price for a new key for me. The mechanic said that they needed to have the car there in order to code it, which i don't really understand. Is this what the Renault dealer in Melbourne said too?

 

Ben

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Hi Dave,

Welcome aboard. You've touched on some typical issue with these things. So here's a heads up (btw, for M-Chicken too)

- Thunb grips...no more. Have to buy a whole wheel or re-leather. Can help with new wheel, but may want to look at re-lather costs and options.

- Keys $250 upwards sounds high... are they including the $50 fitment?

- Headlights... yet to find a product that can keep them from going yellow once you buff them out. But given time, i'm sure they will evetually get there. New lights are obviously cheaper through myself, however still cost more than a buff. Not quite as high.

$926 retail, around $626 the pair from me delivered. Try the buff first, yeah.

Anyways, have fun, here if you need me, and see you round the forum.

Cheers,

WOLF

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Hi Dave, grats on snagging the 172.

 

This second key discussion is interesting, I recently bought a 182 and only got one key too. I rang the Mascot dealer and was told $400 for the key and $130 for programming :!: almost passed out :shock: I thought pricing across dealers was fairly consistent..

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The $285 key quote I got was from Essendon Renault Vic. That was $35.40 for the shank. $175 for the uncoded plastic remote bit and $75 for them to code it...which yes does require taking the car in. Massivechicken managed to get this down to $260 all up I think from a Renault dealer in Richmond Vic (see post above).

 

Re the stiff clutch action, would love to hear from anyone who's replaced just their cable and had a much softer pedal as a results? As far as I know the clutch has never been replaced on mine (70,000k's) and apart from the action the clutch is fine, so I'm hesitant to replace the entire clutch if I can get away with a new cable. The action on mine is quite smooth, it's just incredibly hard...I took the 205 out yesterday after not driving it for a week...and was amazed how soft the clutch felt, I used to think the 205 action was very stiff...it's nothing compared to the clio. I have a slightly dodgy left knee so I need to get this fixed as it's affecting my enjoyment of the car...if that means a new clutch, so be it...Break can you give me an idea how much to replace with an Exedy clutch?

 

Bought one of those Invision headlight restoration kits on the weekend, with the UV protector stuff, oooh exciting, will let you know how I go.

 

Wolf, thanks for the recommendations. Re the thumb grips, naively I thought they'd be one of those things you can pick up for a few bucks from Renault! After a bit of googling it seems they're very difficult and/or expensive to get hold of. I'd really like to keep it as original as possible so not sure about having them covered in leather, are there any photos anywhere of an example? Found mention of K-tec doing carbon fibre repro's but can't find any listing on their website and don't really fancy carbon fibre look anyway.

 

Thanks guys for your advice and recommendations...this forum is fantastic and will go a long way to keeping the passions and the cars alive for many years to come.

 

DaveT

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Welcome DaveT!

 

Glad you're enjoying the car: they are pretty awesome 8)

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Wolf, thanks for the recommendations. Re the thumb grips, naively I thought they'd be one of those things you can pick up for a few bucks from Renault! After a bit of googling it seems they're very difficult and/or expensive to get hold of. I'd really like to keep it as original as possible so not sure about having them covered in leather, are there any photos anywhere of an example? Found mention of K-tec doing carbon fibre repro's but can't find any listing on their website and don't really fancy carbon fibre look anyway.

DaveT

 

My car has it's steering wheel retrimmed. Looks ace.

dsc2633s.jpg

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Hi Dave,

Welcome aboard. You've touched on some typical issue with these things. So here's a heads up (btw, for M-Chicken too)

- Thunb grips...no more. Have to buy a whole wheel or re-leather. Can help with new wheel, but may want to look at re-lather costs and options.

- Keys $250 upwards sounds high... are they including the $50 fitment?

- Headlights... yet to find a product that can keep them from going yellow once you buff them out. But given time, i'm sure they will evetually get there. New lights are obviously cheaper through myself, however still cost more than a buff. Not quite as high.

$926 retail, around $626 the pair from me delivered. Try the buff first, yeah.

Anyways, have fun, here if you need me, and see you round the forum.

Cheers,

WOLF

Update: Forgot about the cluch cable... yes it helps. Depending how bad yours is, it reallly helps. Especially if it's the old 172 cable that has be discontinued. The 182 cable does all Ph2 models, including the trophy.

Worst case scenario about the steering wheel, they are about $650(ish) delivered as opposed to over $1000 Retail.

Cheers...and aren't you glad you got a Clio! :wink:

WOLF

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Wheel was done by Jimmy - Willshire Motor Trimmers South Road Adelaide. Highly recommended. Pablo had it done when he owned the car. He had this to say:

 

Jimmy - cost is about $250. The leather they use is excellent, makes the stock leather feel like vinyl. It also matches the stock leather colour and texture perfectly. As you can see I had a small piece of red leather placed at top dead centre for aesthetics. If your wheel is in good condition they re-cover over the original material, it makes for a slightly thicker wheel and thumb grip contour is retained. Also turned the job around in 24 hours.
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Best thing about a retrim is that it will be durable, whereas getting a new wheel you will probably just have the same issues again down the line. I would get mine re-trimmed if it gets damaged, but for now trying to delay it by always using a sunshade etc.

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You nailed it in the Azz, use a sunshade. On day in the hot Aussie Sun (eg QLD) and bam!!, it begins.

There's a brilliant Re-Trimmer up here in Brisneyland, but i assume you want a local guy.

 

WOLF

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Best thing about a retrim is that it will be durable, whereas getting a new wheel you will probably just have the same issues again down the line. I would get mine re-trimmed if it gets damaged, but for now trying to delay it by always using a sunshade etc.

 

Azz, right about the replacement wheel. mine has been replaced and you can only delay the damage by covering the wheel with a towel, using a sun shade and driving with gloves. but eventually will happen and I'll need to get mine re-trimmed too. looks like the aussie sun is too strong for the european spec stuff.

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