RenaultSport Clio 172 Phase 1

Renault Sport Clio 172 Phase 1

Year:                 2000     Mileage:           58,000

Acquired:         2016    Dream car:       Renault Alpine A610  

Mark Shaw ‘The huge grin I get when driving in North Wales and surprising modern hot hatches is addictive!’


Why did I choose the Clio?

After selling my last 205 GTI 1.9 I hankered after something similar and chanced upon a Clio. It was a low-mileage, one-owner 172 in Titanium Silver. I knew after driving it a few yards it had to be mine.

The whole feel of the car was right – lightening throttle-response, direct steering and what felt like the full 172 horses still under the bonnet. I was hooked.  

The best bit? 

The feeling that the car is pretty bespoke and built to do a job. Not many Phase 1s were sold and despite this being the most popular colour, it still turns the heads of those in the know. The huge grin I get when driving on some of the roads in North Wales and surprising modern hot hatches is highly addictive!

The worst bit?

Deciding to purchase a limited- mileage insurance policy. That’s soon to change, though. Oh, and getting it dirty!

Any modifications?

Just a set of H&R lowering springs. These cars sat very high from the factory on 15in rims so I wanted something slightly lower to improve the aesthetics but without affecting the car’s dynamics too much.

Interior-wise, it remains standard apart from a re-trimmed steering wheel in light grey Alcantara and leather.

Running costs are reasonable: I can get 40mpg on a long run and servicing and parts costs are generally cheap. Timing belt changes including the dephaser pulley are critical, and I’d recommend oil and filter changes every 6000 miles.

I’ve joined which is a great resource for help and information on these cracking little cars. Being in the motor trade I’m lucky that any repairs can be carried out in-house. 

Any mishaps?

I find myself looking back at the 172 whenever I park it up. I did this once too often and ended up walking into a lamp post. Worth the embarrassment, safe in the knowledge that this little car is a sound investment and a great modern classic.

To have your car featured in the magazine, get in touch via