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197 vs 182 Report part 2
not part 2 but in fact Part 3 !
Believe it or not this is yet another thing that’s surprised me in a good way.
I don’t like the steering wheel with its silly red stripe to indicate which way is up, or north, all it does is tell you when you are cornering too hard and when your wheel alignment is cocked! And a red stripe looks daft on a blue car
The wheel is smaller than before and its made from some soft spongy material that’s supposed to be for extra grip…. All I managed to do was gouge it with my finger nails and catch my ring on the stitching… easy to damage with use and time but wont melt in the sun like the MK2 sports
They have made the wheel far fatter though, its much more like a German sausage steering wheel as seen on Audi’s and VW’s rather than the hard skinny French hotdog sausage it always used to be on the other Clio’s.
The actual steering rack is now electric rather than the hydro / hydro-electric systems of the past, and again like the gear box is fantastic! Sat still in the car park and you can go from lock to lock with your little finger! And the car doesn’t even make a sound when your doing it (unlike the new mini that sounds like a mouse in a blender)
Its very very slick, not heavy at all and so easy to handle, parking with one hand even a single finger is so easy and nice. The system stiffens up nicely too at high speed, so unlike earlier systems a little twitch and you won’t be off on the other side of the dual carriageway.
Turning circle is also vastly improved, we’ve all been embarrassed when we have dived into a junction to try and spin round quick in the 182 only to be let down by a crap turning circle that makes you look like you cant drive, for a little car it had a ridiculously big turning circle.
Not so on the 197, you can quite happily turn it round between curbs and in junctions, you could even go as far as being able to circle round and round on the spot like some demented spinning top.
This was a huge disappointment really, having been outfitted with Brembo 4 pots on the front, TWR callipers and some seriously big thick discs on the back that are usually seen on much bigger cars, the breaks were pretty poor.
A soft spongy pedal and absolutely no bite whatsoever! There was no feed back and no feeling of actually slowing down until you pressed the pedal really hard.
The Citroen C4 has really grabby breaks at all speeds, so much so its to the point that it gets tiresome nearly being thrown through the windscreen every time you dab the pedal, the Honda CTR has grabby breaks low down but anything over 80mph and it doesn’t want to know.
The 197 just doesn’t want to know!
The 197’s breaks are totally dull and unresponsive, ok they stop the car but not in the kind of tyre shredding quickness you need in a car that goes a little quick, they make the lazy rear breaks from the 182 look effective!
Totally not what I was expecting to find on a car that has Brembo anchors fitted to it
This also sucks in a very big way, I tested it over some seriously rough ground I’d never dream of taking my 182 over and it just soaked it up effortlessly.
Fantastic you say? I think not.
Where as my 182 would have cracked my spine, buggered my wheel alignment and shaken all my fillings out, the 197 just breezed on, bumps, ruts, manhole covers craters you name it the suspension loved it.
Untill you tried to drive it like it ran on rails. The 182 with its flawed suspension actually sticks to the road really really well, even if its only got 3 wheels on the ground at the time, it still feels well planted.
If you twitch the steering wheel quite sharply in the 182 you can make the car do a kind of side step, which is handy for avoiding drain covers and other such suspension ruining obstacles on the day to day.
Wang the 182 into a corner and it holds fast and hard, only occasionally washing wide when pushed a little too enthusiastically.
The 197 on the other hand may as well run on pogo sticks! Ok it’s a nice soft ride but it doesn’t stick to the road at all well, ok it keeps all 4 wheels on the ground from what I could see but the body roll was terrible, it wallowed about a lot, wouldn’t snake or side step like the 182, the back always seemed to be a few seconds out of touch with the front.
I know the test routes used by my dealership, (I’ve had enough test drives, and an ex of mine used to live out near the dealership) and I know how hard I can push the 182 round the corners, the 197 just couldn’t keep up, where the 182 stuck sharp and tight to a 90 degree left hander the 197 lollopped round it more like and MPV than a sports hatch.
The rear end had some very serious wobble in it, good if you like some rear end action and like to hang the arse out but not if you like the car to feel sharp and poised ready for action. At least the backend stayed still whilst using the ineffectual breaks instead of shaking its ass all over the road like the 182 does from high speed.
Some serious thinking needs to be done by Renault about this, are they producing sports cars or are they producing reasonably fast small MPV’s because that’s what the 197 drove like, a suped up Modus… but really that’s all it is seeing they share the same running gear, basic design and floor pan.
That new fangled lump of plastic on the back thats supposed to replace a rear spoiler and provide down force…. Seriously looks like a gimmick… I would love to see your wind tunnel and drag coefficient reports on that and see just how much work it actually does.
Oh and the ESP is still lazy….
After sitting down with the dealer and talking numbers about the 197 i came to the conclusion I wont be selling my 182 for a while yet….
They offered me 7k for an 04 182 with both cup packs in A1 condition! Bloody cheek of it! And after I’d specked up the 197 to a similar level of what I’ve already got the price was Â£60 off of 19K
And they wont do finance on the cars yet at 0% so you must have some serious money to burn as after the cars paid for on a 3% or was it 5% interest rate you were well over the price of a 225 which they are currently offering Â£1200 off and 0%
Over 22K for a Clio? I think not !
Ok quick summary
Superb gear box ! massive thumbs up
Steering rack is a real joy to throw around
Better turning circle
Better front seats
Nice body kit shame about the fitting
Interior still feels cheap
Styling is pedestrian
Engine is fast but lacks delivery
Breaks are like chewing-gum
Suspension is pap, would be better fitting wheels to a pogo stick!
COSTS A FORTUNE!
As much as I enjoyed ragging around in the new 197 it lacked the essence of a hot hatch. For years now a subversive force deep within the inner workings of Renault has relentlessly taken the smallest baby of a car and turned it into a monstrous abomination of a super mini melded with the company’s largest production engine!
Look at the Renault 5’s, the GT5 and the GT turbo 2, they were INSANE cars, then look on further into the future where still this kind of inbred madness takes place with the Clio V6 and the MK2 sports.
It was totally crazy but we liked it!
The 197 seems to have had some of this insanity designed out of it, and I think that’s a lot of the reason why this car lacks as much soul as the MK2’s
The 182 drives you on to do increasingly more daring things, pushing harder and harder driving the car right up to the edge when you didn’t have to but just because you could. After several trips to the shops I have returned home feeling like an absolute hero after the death defying, blisteringly hot journey down the road at some insane speed that I’ve just completed without spilling the milk.
The 172’s and 182’s make you want to drive them till the tank runs dry, the 197 just…doesn’t
If you want a fast car that’s going to keep you alive in a crash, then by all means buy the 197 as you’ll be able to split your skull open and not even realise you’ve hit something the crash will have been that soft.
It’s a very very safe car, I would say too safe. They have tried to design in too much stability and safety for the everyday driver, and this is the biggest part of the problem, sports cars aren’t for everyday drivers.
Fighter planes aren’t designed with safety and stability in mind, neither are Porches or Ferraris, they are designed with an inherent instability that gives them agility and manoeuvrability. By watering down the “sports” for everyday drivers what are the real drivers amongst us going to drive now?
If you look at the original MK2 Clio with the 2.0L engine it was just a normal Clio with a big engine, it was slow, it was boring and it wasn’t anything like the sports we know and love. It wasn’t until the 172 Cup came along that Renault realised they were onto a good thing, and then every year after that they improved the car making it bigger and better to the point where we had the Trophy as king of the hot hatches.
The 197 is a grown up Clio for everybody to drive, but I’ll wait and see what the next few versions bring us in design changes and enhancements, I’m waiting for the hardcore drivers version to come out where you have to be a real hero to even think about buying one let alone giving it full beans on a wet road in November…
The new 197 personally in my eyes for sports lovers will be a backwards step, ok its got some good things I’d love to have had on the 182 but it just lacks that special-ness, that personality, that insane “drive me” lust…
Its just feels like a reasonably fast ordinary little car ( with a big price tag )
0 - asleep in 6 seconds
Told you it was a long read
Not being purposefully contradictory but thats quite polar to what I found. Are you sure this 197 wasn't a heavily hammered test drive hack?
Comments about poor brakes etc. sound much like a car which has never had them bedded in properly or had them repeatedly cooked. Worth noting as well that the 197 will happily pull quite a bit more lateral G than a 182 Cup according to the technical data I have.
I've got masses of data on the rear diffuser, PM me if you want. It is functional though. The 197 Cup Racer has exactly the same rear diffuser.
This made me laugh "Fighter planes aren’t designed with safety and stability in mind, neither are Porches or Ferraris, they are designed with an inherent instability that gives them agility and manoeuvrability." I'm amazed the Porsche layers haven't been onto you yet ;-) Safety has been a major part of both Porsche and Ferraris design criteria for a long time. The Enzo and 430 for example crash extremely well, for example they shed energy via dumping the engine and box from the back of the tub.
I guess this is the normal 197 and not the R27
TWR calipers? Thought they were TRW.
Originally Posted by James 182
Only thought Tom Walkinshaw Racing developed the engine for the Clio 230. My lecture still goes on about that every week. LOL
TWR RIP - I still wear my Orange Arrows shirt and pit jacket with pride. Hope Aus is still sunny ;-)
why is this in 3 parts? is it not easier just to create one thread for us to read?
surely it's outdated now too as the R27 is here, and the Cup isn't too far away...
whilst it's all in your opinion, i disagree with the most of it tbh. i've had Valver, 172, 182, Trophy and now the 197... there is clear evidence of evolution from one model to the next and a lot of it isn't hard to find either.
james,please spell check before you type breaks(brakes)lol.the ONLY true drivers car( 172 or 182) is the 172 cup,as any real driver would know.
Last edited by [email protected]; 12-11-2007 at 22:57:28.
I'd wager given a clear Donnington you'd prefer our 197 Steve ;-)
There's a word limit for posting... I guess James182 exceeded it.
Originally Posted by FunkyMunky
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