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Long term tests

Renaultsport Clio 200 Cup

Henry Catchpole borrows Dobie's Clio 200 Cup and ends up rather enamoured by it

Just because I felt like it. That’s why I took the Clio for a drive one Saturday evening. No destination, no reason, no excuse. Down a few roads I knew, down a couple I didn’t, twice round the roundabouts. The Clio is that sort of car. It’s simple, but, from the moment you get in, it makes you feel excited about driving all over again. Like you’ve just torn up your L-plates and you’re off on your own for the first time.

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There are cars with more power, certainly cars with more torque, but what the Clio has it wills you to use every last drop of. As soon as you’re off you’re itching to ignore the viscosity of the vital fluids and just rev every single gear all the way to the limiter. There are no gimmicks, just intuitive positioning and weighting of the controls. The gearshift is whip-crack fast, the throttle feels as zingy as if it were cable-operated, the brake pedal is nicely firm and the clutch has just enough spring that you can judge exactly how far you have to dip it to dis- and re-engage gears quickly.

Criticisms? Well, the steering is wonderfully eager but I’d dial it back just a sliver of a fraction so that it felt calmer as you turned into faster bends. But it took a good long drive for no reason at all to notice that.

Running Costs

Total mileage11,672
Costs this month£0
Average MPG29.2mpg
Mileage this month2200
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