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Clio RS in Oz.


Jamie
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Hey guys,

 

Obviously I am from the uk, as your probably aware. Small hot hatches and hatches are very common over here. I can't imagine it's the same in Oz.

 

What sort of reaction do you receive from other road users? I can imagine there are a lot of bigger cars over there, than nimble hot hatches.

 

Also, what made you all buy the cars you drive over these other more stereotypical cars, I'd imagine a normal Australian drives?

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Pretty nonchalant really. Not many know what they are. If you're a car person in Australia, you're either a fan of Japanese cars or Aussie muscle; after that it'd be VW/Audi then all the 4X4 fanatics, then maybe us!

 

The popularity of the RS250 in aussie motoring media has woken the brand up a lot, however the Clio, especially the 172 (The 182 rear pipes are a bit of a give away), is very much a sleeper on Australian roads.

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Pretty nonchalant really. Not many know what they are. If you're a car person in Australia, you're either a fan of Japanese cars or Aussie muscle; after that it'd be VW/Audi then all the 4X4 fanatics, then maybe us!

 

The popularity of the RS250 in aussie motoring media has woken the brand up a lot, however the Clio, especially the 172 (The 182 rear pipes are a bit of a give away), is very much a sleeper on Australian roads.

 

I think was exactly the answer I was expecting. It's bizarre because I'd probably say its nearly exactly the opposite of that.

 

Does it cost a lot more to buy & run, say a jap car or Aussie muscle over a say a Renault rs250 / r26?

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Aussie muscle is built locally, so parts are cheap. The cars are also simpler in both configuration and design and so easier to service, thus relatively low service costs to the European brands. The jap cars are abundant and have a strong dealer and part network.

 

I'd say the RS would be more expensive to run. Parts take weeks to ship in, timing belts and other parts are labour intensive to replace etc etc

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As Tommo said the release and popularity of the 260 and 265 will open there eyes to previous models.

 

They don't call it the RS bug for nothing. :).

 

I also find there are a few OZRS heads here that have part UK in there blood and have seen the popularity or driven the cars while living/visiting OS!!

 

There Not that bad or expensive to maintain a lot of parts can be sourced off wrecks or genuine OS from Wolf at knock down price.

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Yeah - the main downside to having anything Euro here is the cost of parts. I've imported most of my parts (in the <1yr of ownership!) from the UK - works out much cheaper. You guys definately have a better market!

 

On the road I am barely noticed by others - males driving small hatches are generally dismissed here in Oz - people figure you either don't care for cars, or you're driving the missus' car. Suits me fine as I don't want to be noticed really (except when I give the ricer boys in their WRXs a scare :P ).

 

The reason for me getting an RS Clio II were: It was a cheap, small, economical (hot) hatch (second hand prices are actually quite low) with good features & safety (other options were Suzuki Swift Sport, Fiesta XR4/2.0L, or a Mazda 2 Genki). The Clio was a couple of grand cheaper, has leather, A/C, ABS, ESC, & 4 airbags as standard and ran rings around the others in performance terms (closest being the Fiesta). And my wife approved - in fact I have to fight her for the car - which she simply sees as cute... so it was a win all round really.

 

Downsides are it isn't that cheap to run or maintain - which my wife is now complaining about... but I have come to really love the little beasty, and I drive her to work everyday, and try to head out on a few weekend jaunts.

 

I'm envious of you guys in the UK that have so much choice, and such dirt cheap pricing on cars in the second hand market. And access to some great roads on the continent. Anyway....

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its not all peaches and roses for the UK car owner though. astronomical insurance prices, crazy parking prices, high fuel costs and insane amounts of compulsory maintenance (MOT) and government taxation very quickly offsets the cheap purchase price of used cars in the UK (in fact, all those factors probably explain why cars dont hold their value well at all over there).

 

that said, id kill for some more hot hatch options - to be able to get a lupo GTi for ­£1000, a seat leon cupra r or a twingo RS.... :drool:

 

i dont really get noticed much on the roads. sometimes i give a bit of a nod when i see an RS250 driver (quite a few of them i see around prospect, where i live), but the few times ive seen another RS225, its always been a middle aged woman or a middle aged man driving it!

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I may be wrong but I think one of the biggest reasons some euros are often overlooked in Oz is because throughout the 80's and 90's imports of many of them were managed by agencies that had an all to frequent habit of packing up shop when conditions didn't suit them anymore, leaving owners with new car warranties in the lurch. In the last 15 years tariffs have been stripped away and it has become more viable for the factories to run their own local operations, but it will take time for the perception to vanish completely when the locals and Japanese have such a big head start.

 

Also while RS cars are obscure - no one other than a couple of mates even know what my 172 is when they see it - hot hatches generally have had a pretty large place in the Aussie car culture for a long time now, we just have not had much choice available, so those that were here (Swift GTI, Pulsar SSS etc) picked up most of the market.

 

There are also plenty of us who love the big heavy RWD sedans as much as the light nimble hatches, I had narrowed my choice down to a 1997 VS Clubsport or the 2005 172. In the end the 172 was a bit more practical as a second car, I'm totally in love it with, but I would have been just as happy with a Clubbie, different type of driving experience but both rewarding in their own way.

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