RE: Shed of the Week: Renaultsport Clio 182

RE: Shed of the Week: Renaultsport Clio 182

Friday 16th November 2018

Shed of the Week: Renaultsport Clio 182

This week's Shed is a sure-fire future classic; David Attenborough told us so.



There's some right weird stuff about. The barreleye fish, for example. Recently revealed on the telly by David Attenborough, these creatures somehow live at depths of up to 2,500 metres and have upward-facing eyes under a transparent dome-head that forms the front third of their bodies. If the lads use the picture supplied by Shed you'll see how very weird it is. If they don't, Google it and be amazed.

Nearly as weird as the barreleye is what's going on in the world of used vehicle values these days. A couple of years ago Shed blew a couple of grands' worth of his war pension on a motorcycle. It was nothing special, just an everyday Japanese homage to something the same firm had built a couple of decades earlier.

Imagine his delight, not to say astonishment, when he had no trouble unloading it for nearly three grand just one year after buying it. Unfortunately that jubilation has now been by replaced by anger as, one more year on from him selling it, these very same bikes are now being advertised at between £5,000 and £6,000. Garn!


What happened there? Nobody knows. But Shed has learnt two lessons from the madness. One is that he might finally be able to flog off the Pratlington Golightly and Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo that have been mouldering in his garage for decades, vainly attempting to acquire value. The other is that cars like this week's Shed, the Renaultsport Sport Renault RenaultSport Clio Sport 182 Sport, represent fantastic value.

As far as Shed can see, which admittedly isn't very far when you don't have a barreleye's see-through head, these feisty little Clio 182s are tough to beat at the money they're going for. Great handling, great performance, runty style, supermini practicality when you need it, and a degree of rarity. They were only on sale for two years - 2004 and 2005 - and now there are less than 3,000 left. That's a healthy percentage of a UK total that never exceeded 5,700, so there's another positive indicator: these cars last.

So, given all that, why is that you can still get a good 182 (like this one seems to be) for just £1,500? Is it a trust issue? Do people find it hard to believe that a small French car that was designed to be ragged to death can possibly be anything other than a bucket of bent bolts 14 years after it left the Renaultsport skunkworks in Dieppe?


They shouldn't. There's a clue in the car's mission statement. Renault knew full well what was going to happen to these Clios. When you're trying to set up a credible performance sub-brand, the last thing you want is a workshop full of busted cars, so Renault did the best it could on the build. Customer numbers lived up to expectations, so the faults that did exist in the hot Clios quickly came to the fore. Now these faults are all well documented, they all have fixes, and there's no shortage of reputable folk around to carry out them out for you.

Nobody should go into 182 ownership without knowing the state of the timing and auxiliary belts, along with the dephaser and the various tensioners. The dephaser pulley is critical to the correct functioning of Renault's version of a variable valve timing system. Driven by oil pressure, it adjusts the timing at around 1,350rpm and again at 6,500rpm. If it's on the way out, it will make itself heard on a hot idle and then go suspiciously quiet again above 1,350rpm.

Replacing all the bits and then setting up the dephaser system demands special tools plus somebody who knows not only what end of the tools to hold but also when to be holding them, as it's very easy to get it wrong even if you're a Renault main dealer, creating big power and economy losses. Oil should be changed at the same time as the dephaser in case there are bits of old pulley floating around in there.


The safe belt/dephaser replacement schedule is every 72,000 miles or five years, but those in the know recommend doing the aux belts on a tighter schedule of 36k/three years as broken ones like to huddle around the cambelt for safety.

This all sounds a bit scary, but we're actually okay on this car - for now at least - because this £600-or-so job was carried out just 17 months and 7k miles ago.

What else do you need to be on the lookout for? Well, today's 182s are highly unlikely to have the original exhaust system still in place. They rotted like pears. Aftermarket exhausts are generally better in every respect.

Gearboxes are robust, or not, very much depending on individual experience. Some reckon the later 197/200 boxes are worse than the 182s. Whatever, if you go for a too-quick 182 change from 2 to 3, or from 3 to 4, your reward may be an unsettling crunching noise. Rev-matching will smooth things out generally, if you can be bothered.


If there's knocking in the first two gears, the gearbox mounts might be shot. 30,000 miles on a clutch is regarded as not bad. Power steering can be noisy. Steering play or a feeling of floppiness or clunking on or off the throttle is probably a failed lower mount or dogbone bushes.

On the bodywork front, ClioSportRenaultSport front wings are plastic. The difficulty of colour-matching these items means they can look like replacements even when they're not. It's more obvious on the silver cars than it is on this blue one, though. A better giveaway of poor crash damage repair is the appearance of rust, unusual on these cars, or the disappearance of the factory details sticker on the driver's door.

Inside, there will be creaking. The Clio equivalent of the barreleye's transparent head is its notorious melting steering wheel. According to Renault, it never happened. This one's got it, but you'll find chaps on cliosport.net who will do top-notch retrims for between £95 and £150.

Apart from that, it's all good. 182s have none of those pesky turbos to fret about, and they're simple enough to encourage DIY mendage, with loads of affordable used parts available from the likes of cliosport.net. Coilpacks are inexpensive and nicely accessible. Another ownership bonus is the fact that a 182 will yield mid-to-high 30s mpg figures all day long (as long as that day isn't on a track).


Some will say they'd prefer one of the earlier 172 models, either a 2000-2001 Phase 1 or a 2001-2004 Phase 2 facelift. In performance terms, there's very little to choose between the 172 and the 182, not unexpectedly perhaps as the engines are practically identical apart from the exhaust manifolds, ECU calibration and rocker cover breathers.

On sensible dynos, 172s produced a 'real' 165hp and 182s around 173hp, and mileage is no indicator of power: leggy 182s could show over 175hp, low-milers less than 165hp. Our Shed falls nicely between those two stools. Peak power on the 182 was delivered around 1,000rpm higher than on the 172, changing the nature of the drive and reducing the 182's real-world 0-60 advantage to just 0.1sec (7.1 v 7.2). The 182 is obviously newer than the 172, which will appeal to distrustful types, but either car will make you feel like a better driver than you probably are. They are brilliant, brilliant fun.

The number of UK registered 182s is still dropping, but the interesting thing is that the rate of drop is slowing up. For those who like to dabble in market futures, that's a clear indicator of growing interest in a car - and tells you that values must start to go up as the scabby ones fall by the wayside and the percentage of good and/or restored examples increases. Get 'em while they're cheap. You'll thank yourself later, and you'll be able to brag about your clear-headedness - just as the barreleye does.

Here's the ad.

Author
Discussion

alorotom

Original Poster:

5,557 posts

124 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Oooooh yes please and I’m stunned the steering wheel rubbers aren’t destroyed!

neutral 3

2,887 posts

107 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
We have been looking on and off for a 182, but lots of old shunters out there.

kellyt

158 posts

56 months

Friday 16th November 2018
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Fun little cars. Road & Race on YouTube did one up for track and it looked mint underneath for it's age. If you don't mind rattles, nice car.

Itsallicanafford

1,895 posts

96 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
IMO, pound for pound these are the best trackday cars you can buy...quick enough if left standard but genuinely rapid when modified, having spent half a dozen laps running with a pair of these at Cadwell Park in the Mégane, they were mightily impressive.

Turbobanana

1,211 posts

138 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Fun fishy fact: the footage of the Barreleye shown in Sir Dave's "Blue Planet" was actually of an animated dead fish as it didn't survive being brought up from the depths to be filmed.

Good shed.
Advertisement

Maldini35

1,897 posts

125 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Like most performance cars they run well when looked after. Buy a shed and you’ll probably spend the same again to get it running right.

Thanks said even at £3k they offer incredible value.

They are like a more modern 205GTi - but with an NCAP rating so your missus won’t mind the the kids in the back (actually maybe that’s not such a good thing)

Last of the old skool N/A hot hatches.

Mega fun.




Jinjur

11 posts

71 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
What is going on with those wheels?

Are they 15's off one of the non-sport models or are they 16's with tractor tyres?

Anyhoo.....finally a good article. And as has been said, timing, timing and timing.

Also, don't skimp on tyres. These really, REALLY benefit from good shoes and its the difference between a good handling car and one that feels supernatural.




Also, any ownership of these should factor in a small cost of subscription to Cliosport...........the wealth of knowledge, specialists and spares on that site have helped me out with my 172 so many times.

J

sjabrown

1,243 posts

97 months

Friday 16th November 2018
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Good looking shed. They’re good wee cars, now if I can find a good one..

daveco

3,624 posts

144 months

Friday 16th November 2018
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180hp and just over a ton in weight...

Probably not bad on fuel either hehe

BFleming

815 posts

80 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Decent shed this week. I am waiting for an expert to come along though & give the real world advice / experience about running one. Before buying my recent track toy, I did consider one of these, but then Clio 197's start around £2.5k. Then you have the hot Meganes, which (in my experience) are a lot more stable on track.

Limpet

3,197 posts

98 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
After a 2004 Scenic and a 2005 Megane, I vowed never to have another Renault product on my drive for as long as I lived, but these are so tempting. Quick, light, simple, brilliant handling and dirt cheap. What's not to like?

Hard to imagine having more fun for £1500.

TheAntics

23 posts

79 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
I'm trying to scoop up good ones before prices (proportionately) rocket. For desirable cars and combinations its already happening. try and find a clean, un-abused racing blue 182 cup (non-ff) for less than £3.5k...actually don't as I'm trying to find it.

Fonzey

463 posts

64 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
When my missus' last lease car came up, she wanted a Clio 182 so she could get back into a car she was fond of. The Corsa VXR she had on lease was very cheap over the 2 years we had it, but she just didn't gel with it.

We went to see an arctic(?) blue one, one night in the dark with a bit of rain and it was a bit of a nail to be honest. He wanted £2k for it, the missus for some reason loved it so we had a whispered conference and decided to offer £1700 for it - which he took without taking a breath, which made me even more worried! 104k miles, no real service history but receipts of a few questionable DIY jobs like clutch.

After a week she came home and said "this car keeps going sideways" and she's not a fast driver... so we swapped the four mismatched ditchfinders for a matching set of rainsports.

Car ran "fine" for about 3 months, it's rattly (heatshields) and the cat is dragging along the floor almost - with a load of exhaust blows. It felt down on power, but still she loved it.

She then had her first "breakdown". The car was misfiring and she pulled over to be safe and called me, unfortunately she left the lights on which did the battery in so we had to get recovered. Another injector later and the car ran through another winter.

I was topping its oil up, a lot - so this summer we took it to a specialist to see how it was, and whether it was worth spending any money on it. I was hoping we'd be given its death sentence... but no, somehow £1k later it had a full belt/dephaser service, loads of consumables changed (CV boots, balljoints, reseated sump, all sorts of crap) and it properly came back to life - and for the first time ever I can honestly say that I'm feeling the full potential of a Clio 182 - it pulls bloody brilliantly and just feels really strong.

Unfortunately it seems we're now stuck with the car for the foreseeable future, it owes us around £3k now and we're just over a year in - so extending the Corsa VXR lease would have seen us £600 better off... so far! She loves it though, no substitute for that I guess. One thing for sure, we're highly unlikely to sell it - it'll either die, or I'll track it to death when she replaces it.

drewos

53 posts

121 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
TheAntics said:
I'm trying to scoop up good ones before prices (proportionately) rocket. For desirable cars and combinations its already happening. try and find a clean, un-abused racing blue 182 cup (non-ff) for less than £3.5k...actually don't as I'm trying to find it.
You aren't the chap that put a letter under my door trying to buy mine are you?!

pSyCoSiS

2,370 posts

142 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
That looks like a cracking buy, and at this price point, 12 owners and no history shouldn't really put people off.

I've been tempted by these for a while, kind of a scratch that needs itching.

MajorMantra

745 posts

49 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
Good shed but if you buy it, you'll be the 13th owner. I don't normally pay that much heed but it seems a high number even for a 14 year old car!

W12JFD

355 posts

102 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
What a tremendous shed - cracking on track.

Were these the focus of the fantastically dodgy Papa / Nicole ad campaign? Daughter and father sharing a knowing wink about their sex lives? How very French.

TheAntics

23 posts

79 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
drewos said:
TheAntics said:
I'm trying to scoop up good ones before prices (proportionately) rocket. For desirable cars and combinations its already happening. try and find a clean, un-abused racing blue 182 cup (non-ff) for less than £3.5k...actually don't as I'm trying to find it.
You aren't the chap that put a letter under my door trying to buy mine are you?!
wasn't me but if you're ever selling....my IO Cup needs a buddy


J4CKO

26,089 posts

137 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all
MajorMantra said:
Good shed but if you buy it, you'll be the 13th owner. I don't normally pay that much heed but it seems a high number even for a 14 year old car!
I was the 13th owner of my TT, and that was a hound but sometimes it can mean 13 people with new enthusiasm and money to spend, can have one tightwad uncaring owners or 13 halfwits, my TT was the latter.

I tried one of these but didnt really like it but I still want one for some reason, I dont think their charms and talent can be fully found on a three mile test drive, it felt fairly gutless despite only being low mileage and two years old, I dont think it was but I was used to turbo power delivery, I do believe you need time with a car to get it and lose the feel of your last one.

As the article alluded, these are nailed on for a rise in value, well received at the time and ReanultSport has motorsport pedigree.

Still regarded as a cheap fast banger, they are dwindling now as they get scrapped due to low value and them becoming track cars.

greenarrow

1,490 posts

54 months

Friday 16th November 2018
quotequote all

So where are all the whingers this week who were last week calling for an end to SOTY?!

Great choice shed. Funnily enough like the previous chap I wasn't bowled over by the 182 I had on a test drive in 2004, but that was probably due to an absolute tool of a salesman who decided to try and kill us to prove he knew how to drive it and we didn't. Unfortunately he just showed that the Clio feels a bit wayward when you get it all crossed up on a roundabout! The later 197 was far more stable in that respect.

Anyway, for some reason I really want one. It absolutely is the spiritual successor to the 205 GTI (I had one of those) and the last of the French pocket rocket hot hatches. Sorely missed.