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Renault Clio 197 - One Minute Test

Date: 21 September 2006

Price: £15,995

What's new: The quickest of the new Clios. Aimed at those user-choosers who want fun more than anything else from their car.

Excellent: This is old-school hot-hatch mixed with modern niceties and is brilliant for staff retention. This car is so entertaining to drive, employees will think twice before giving it up.

Good: An amazingly well-rounded vehicle. A tad under £16k gets you a car that will do 0-62mph in 6.9secs, carry four adults, has room for a week's shopping, and has a fuel figure of 31.7mpg. If you're talking equipment, it comes with eight airbags, anti-skid control, aircon, cruise control, CD player and more.

Average: Motorway driving is well within the car's capabilities. However, the gearing means that buzzy engine noise dominates after a while.

Poor: Reliability. Our first test car broke down due to an engine misfire caused by a fault in the injection software. Even though the AA couldn't fix the problem, the technician's service was first rate.