RE: Renaultsport Clio 200 | PH Fleet

RE: Renaultsport Clio 200 | PH Fleet

Monday 26th August 2019

Renaultsport Clio 200 | PH Fleet

It seems the world and their dog loves the Clio 200 - so why hasn't it won Ben over?



While this is only my second fleet update on my Clio 200, it's also my last. I had been told that going from a 320hp Megane 250 to a Clio 200 would be a big adjustment, but I was convinced it was the right decision - roll on the 'I told you so' comments. Very much like the R26 Megane 230 F1 Edition I owned for a similar period of time, I liked it but I didn't love it.

In isolation, the 200 is a seriously impressive car and has come a long way from the older generation of Renaultsport Clios. It delivers wholeheartedly on my philosophy that the best cars for UK roads are roughly 200hp and 1,200kg. I'll leave Sam to tell you in detail how it drives, but for a daily that'll trundle to the station quietly and then come alive when you take the longer route home, there isn't a rival from its generation of hot hatch that I'd rather own.


Let's remind ourselves of the basics. The 200 used an evolved version of the 197's 2.0-litre four-cylinder that had more low-down grunt - the same 159lb ft came 150rpm earlier - and a higher 200hp ...

My issue with the 200 is the same issue I have with our Megane 300 Trophy long-termer. Both cars are faster than their predecessors, a nicer place to be and easier to live with on a daily basis but they've lost the adjustability that I've grown to love so much over the past few years in my line of Renaultsport ownership. Of course manufacturers need to make progress, but there are some recipes that can't be improved. I'm sure Mary Berry would agree.

A Clio 182 is just hilarious to drive. The way it moves around on the road and the sense that the car is really responding to your every input is lost on the 200; it's much more forgiving. On track, trail braking into a corner with the rear end rotating around the apex is a skill to hone in a 182, whereas the 200 refuses to play ball. It's so planted and feels incredibly capable for it; I have no doubt it's the faster car on the road and track but it's just not as entertaining.


It's not all doom and gloom though. Around Brands Hatch the 200 felt every bit as capable as my old Megane 250. It may be down on power and that glorious mechanical LSD, but the pace and its ability to show up more powerful cars is something to behold. And that's as a completely standard road car too, bar braided brake lines. Whereas a 182 will need a few more modifications to give you confidence on circuit, the 200 is outrageously capable as a standard car and really highlights the progress that Renault has made over the years.

If you want a modern naturally-aspirated hot hatch that looks fantastic, is a nice place to be on a daily basis and the fastest N/A Clio ever made, then the 200 is a very good choice and should be on your shortlist. But if you don't mind a bit of spanner work, a stiff clutch and being a bit slower, then get a 182. The latter is a fraction of the cost, more entertaining and for me, it really is the best N/A hot-hatch money can buy.


FACT SHEET
Car:
2010 Renaultsport Clio 200
Run by: Ben Lowden
On fleet since: May 2019
Mileage: 27,840
Last month at a glance: Hang on, has Ben found a Renaultsport product he doesn't like?

Previous reports:
Ben says hello to another Clio

Search for a Renaultsport 200 Clio here






Author
Discussion

davyvee

Original Poster:

178 posts

84 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
My thoughts entirely.

Too capable and lost the 182s character.

Maldini35

2,287 posts

137 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Every time I think of upgrading my hot, noisy, rattling 172 Cup I end up coming to the same conclusion. I would miss it’s raucous fun.
It’s not slow either especially with a few minor tweaks and new bushes all round.
I love the idea of a 200 though. Perhaps if I need to do more miles in the future I might swap.

Tickle

3,479 posts

153 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
I think I preferred my 200 Cup over my 182 Trophy paperbag

thenortherner

1,213 posts

112 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
I've owned many hot hatches over the years and the Clio 200 with Cup pack was without the best handling and entertaining.

Only let down by the fuel economy - 30 mpg on a run - and engine revving its nuts off at anything about 70 mph in 5th.

Oh and kangarooing from every junction no matter what I did to prevent it.

soad

30,529 posts

125 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
What’s the gear change like in these?

Hot_Hatch_Fan

845 posts

146 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Maldini35 said:
Every time I think of upgrading my hot, noisy, rattling 172 Cup I end up coming to the same conclusion. I would miss it’s raucous fun.
It’s not slow either especially with a few minor tweaks and new bushes all round.
I love the idea of a 200 though. Perhaps if I need to do more miles in the future I might swap.
I’ve got a 172 Cup and a FF 200, best of both worlds! Wouldn’t swap either!!

indestructible focus

42 posts

37 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
thenortherner said:
I've owned many hot hatches over the years and the Clio 200 with Cup pack was without the best handling and entertaining.

Only let down by the fuel economy - 30 mpg on a run - and engine revving its nuts off at anything about 70 mph in 5th.

Oh and kangarooing from every junction no matter what I did to prevent it.
Kangarooing for all of a minute in my clio 197 and I got 38mpg on a run to chepstow this weekend at 70mph. 30mpg is on a fast b road trip.

Trip around brecon beacons, the level of grip and chassis stiffness made it an epic drive for 3k spent four months ago, bagged recaro seats and cup pack with it. Air cons broke so sweaty weekend in it...



TomTVR500

248 posts

110 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Iv'e had a 182 Cup, a 182 Trophy, a Clio 200 Cup and a Megane 275 Trophy in the past among many other fast cars and the only one which disappointed was the Clio 200. I sold it after 6 months. I even had it fettled and mapped to 204 bhp at RS tuning in Leeds but despite this it always felt painfully lacking in get up and go compared to the older lighter 182's and as this article says, lost a lot of it's lower speed adjust-ability. Not to mention how enormous those A pillars make the car feel on the inside.

The only time I ever really enjoyed driving it was up in Northumberlan on a very technical, twisty B road with sharp depressions and adverse cambers. I drove it harder than perhaps is socially acceptable on the road, quite literally like I had stolen it (only smoothly) and it was the only time it really shone or impressed me. Which is pretty much useless if you like having a driving licence, have a social conscience or you don't live in the middle of nowhere and have access to deserted stretches of well sighted B roads.


iceicebaby1980

97 posts

47 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Always had a thing for these after seeing the auto car video . We’re they put a alien green Clio 200 . Up against a mk2 focus rs . The Ford was a bit quicker on the straight . But in the bends the guy in the Clio had to let off as not to go in the back of the focus . Might end up getting one in the near future . From what I’ve heard very underrated cars .

Deep Thought

24,118 posts

146 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
iceicebaby1980 said:
Always had a thing for these after seeing the auto car video . We’re they put a alien green Clio 200 . Up against a mk2 focus rs . The Ford was a bit quicker on the straight . But in the bends the guy in the Clio had to let off as not to go in the back of the focus . Might end up getting one in the near future . From what I’ve heard very underrated cars .
I dont think they're underrated, but overlooked.


Deep Thought

24,118 posts

146 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Pic of ours.

Was a pure Cup model. Really need aircon though if a daily driver and ours hadnt.




Deep Thought

24,118 posts

146 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
If someone is thinking of buying one, bear in mind they are quite difficult to resell, so make sure you buy at the right price in the first place.

Leicester Loyal

1,468 posts

71 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Maldini35 said:
Every time I think of upgrading my hot, noisy, rattling 172 Cup I end up coming to the same conclusion. I would miss it’s raucous fun.
It’s not slow either especially with a few minor tweaks and new bushes all round.
I love the idea of a 200 though. Perhaps if I need to do more miles in the future I might swap.
My thoughts exactly but I have a 182 FF. I've decided to stick with the 182 and do the cambelt, waterpump etc. It'll do me for another two years minimum while I purchase a house in the meantime. By far the best car I've ever owned, I really am going to struggle to replace it.

Deep Thought

24,118 posts

146 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Leicester Loyal said:
Maldini35 said:
Every time I think of upgrading my hot, noisy, rattling 172 Cup I end up coming to the same conclusion. I would miss it’s raucous fun.
It’s not slow either especially with a few minor tweaks and new bushes all round.
I love the idea of a 200 though. Perhaps if I need to do more miles in the future I might swap.
My thoughts exactly but I have a 182 FF. I've decided to stick with the 182 and do the cambelt, waterpump etc. It'll do me for another two years minimum while I purchase a house in the meantime. By far the best car I've ever owned, I really am going to struggle to replace it.
I think they're very different beasts and i can see why you'd not want to change. I had a 172 Cup and then a 197 in between. The 172 was by far the most engaging.

It certainly wouldnt be an "upgrade" to go from a 172 / 182 to a 200, but the 200 is a good car in its own right, albeit for different reasons.

Notanotherturbo

352 posts

156 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Have had 172, 182 Cup and 197 Cup and nothing to choose between them in out right speed. 182 Cup best road car , 197 best track car. Short gearing and extra weight make the 197/200s about 20% worse on fuel and an absolute pain on the motorway.

Andrewtg

2 posts

53 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Love my 200 cup, but i can't brimg myself tp sell my 172 cup, although i should

Chalk

79 posts

94 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Deep Thought said:
If someone is thinking of buying one, bear in mind they are quite difficult to resell, so make sure you buy at the right price in the first place.
Any truth in this ?

soad

30,529 posts

125 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Chalk said:
Deep Thought said:
If someone is thinking of buying one, bear in mind they are quite difficult to resell, so make sure you buy at the right price in the first place.
Any truth in this ?
Perhaps similar to a Megane? Cups more desirable? Happy to be corrected.

thiscocks

2,145 posts

144 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
Nah, a S1 106 will make both seem like buses



thiscocks

2,145 posts

144 months

Monday 26th August 2019
quotequote all
soad said:
What’s the gear change like in these?
Not that great to be honest