S3 v clio 172 - Review

ianysm

Registered User
Sold my S3. Sad to see it go but needed a cheaper car so bought a 53 plate renaultsport clio 172. Naturally i've compared it against the S3 along my usual roads (much the same as my previous cars).

The Clio has slightly more spec than my S3 had. Auto lights, auto wipers, cruise control, plus the usual xenons etc. However, the seats aren't as nice and there's no seat heating!! The S3 is a comfier, classier place to be.

To drive: Its alot slower in everyday driving than my (mapped) S3 simply as it doesn't have the torque. 172's are revvy engines that need to be above 5k to be on song, but then it does shift along, just not quite with the same urge the S3 had. Noticed this in overtaking sections as i was used to where i could overtake but now i need to drop a gear to do the same and even then have to wait for the revs!

Handling and brakes are excellent in the clio. Everything in this respect is better than the S3 apart from traction out of wet corners or bumpy uphill sections. The clio can probably corner 10mph faster on the same bumpy mid corner bends where the S3 would need lifting off before the corner as it went abit sloppy or understeery. Clio alot easier to catch as there's so much more adjustability. It handles bumps nicer too but its on smaller alloys and larger profile tyres which helps. My test was to keep at 60mph comfortably along a 5 mile country lane which has some nasty corners and bunps. The M3 managed this easily, the S3 needed dropping to 50 in places and the clio also manages it easily.

I love the S3 and miss its engine, looks and traction, but find the clio is more fun and a car i like to just jump in and go for a fast B lane blast, where the S3 was great for commuting in all weathers. The last car i wanted to drive for the sake of it was the M3!

I won't be challenging any S3's out of roundabouts...I'll just wait until the roads get rural and windy!

Happy driving everyone, i'm not leaving Audi-sport!
 

finesse

Registered User
Nice review, I've always liked the Clio Sports.
 

ianysm

Registered User
Cheers, me too, i like most performance cars but don't get to drive as many as i'd like. Its great when you can compare them back to back on familiar lanes. I'll miss the Audi when the snow comes up here, but i've got the discovery for that!!!
 

TDIQ

8L > 8P > 8V
Interesting read. Did you have much work done on the suspension of the S3, and has the 172 had any work to make the handling better?

Wonder if a nicely set up S3 would outhandle a 172 (with or without uprated suspension etc) on a B road.
 

MURRAYS444

Registered User
Good review I was wanting to get a 172 for years as I had a 1.2 clio and enjoyed it but by the time I was gonna buy another car I had seen a few to many clio's about and that put me off and the S3 is pretty rare and isn't the servicing for the 172's every 4000 miles that's alot for a car that is naturally aspirated.
 

1animal1

The Clar!! it mouves!!!
nice write up Ian...sorry to see ya go fella, someone will have got a nice thrashed S3 there haha ;)
 

S3 Rav

Registered User
Any pics of the new car Ian?
 

5teve L

Registered User
Now I've sorted the suspension out on my S3 I'm finding it a real blast on the B roads TBH, really surprised my last night on the way home, ave the nat speed limit round the twisties near me, car felt very good tbh, can't wait to get it on track. The 172 handles very well though as standard & the cup is awesome.
 

Effect

Registered User
I also sold my S3 to get a cheaper car, althugh I opted for a LOT cheaper car in a 2000 W plate 172.

It isnt as quick that is certain and I found my mapped S3 with bilsteins and H&R springs held the road a lot better, the clio squirms a lot under heavy braking although I havent wet my pants yet it doesnt feel comfortable when it happens.

Mine doesnt seem to have any optional extras either so it really is just a basic quick fun commuter. It's still faster than most things on teh road as far as getting past stuff and overtaking is concerned, I honestly did not want to sell the S3 but the running costs were killing me, I was averaging 25mpg (albeit with a bit of a lead foot) and it was always having some minor problem which was costing me money I didnt have.

My clio cost me £1900 (£2300 after taxing MOT'ing and servicing) has doen 64000 and the only problem I can find with it is the disintegrating steering wheel and the smaller fuel tank (although to be fair it achieves the same miles from a full tank that the S3 did)
oh and driving steadily has achieved me just over 40mpg according to the clock in the car, I havent worked it out exactly but i'm sure it wont be far out.

Worth noting my insurance went UP a little from the S3 as well and I'm 28.
 

Westy

Registered User
I had a quick blast with a 182 last week and really had to work hard to stick with him in the twisties on my standard suspension. On the straights there was no match but I had forgotten how well the clios handle!

The pic of the 182 in my sig was my old one that I bought from brand new and that has still been the most confident car i've driven round the Nurburgring and I was putting in faster lap times then my mate in an Evo 7 (mainly because he couldn't handle the car)!
 

mk1chopper

Missing the S3
I've driven my sisters 182 sport a few times, it is a proper hot hatch at the end of the day and good fun, who cares if its not as comfortable or as plush as the S3 thats not the point to it. The torque steer is fun too, would like a go in a trophy and the new 200
 

MintyS3

Works 60% the time, Everytime.
Im very happy with my setup so far. Had a blast this weekend over the west coast of scotland with a certain supercar website and the car felt much much better than when it was on stock suspension. And the brakes are great.

Grip of the S3 certainly is impressive. Had an Arial Atom on my hoop most of the way and he did admit he struggled to keep pace on some bends but ofcoarse being the west coast it was wet and he had yoko cut slicks.

Different cars but Im very happy with the S3 now. Definitely all set for the ring :)
 

ianysm

Registered User
Good replies. I like comparing different cars, but prefer to keep suspension etc standard as i live in such a rural area.
My S3 was standard apart from remap and the 172 is completely standard but based on both cars out of the box, 172 definately is the better handler. I was pleased with the setup of the S3 anything up to 70% but push harder than that and it got all soggy. That said 70% in a mapped S3 is some fair pace!!!

Computer is saying 10mpg more to the gallon on my work commute too. I'll get something faster once i'm married and abit wealthier but it'll do for now!!

Effect, squirming under hard breaking sounds strange, mine doesn't do that, you rear brake bias actuator rod thingy hasn't broken loose has it? Might be putting too much brake force to the fronts if so.

Noticed the extra torque steer today in the wet but its nothing like the Type R had!!
 

ianysm

Registered User
nice write up Ian...sorry to see ya go fella, someone will have got a nice thrashed S3 there haha ;)

Haha, one with its cobwebs blown off!!

Actually the guy said it was th ebest he'd seen and couldn't believe how shiny it was!!
 

ianysm

Registered User
Good review I was wanting to get a 172 for years as I had a 1.2 clio and enjoyed it but by the time I was gonna buy another car I had seen a few to many clio's about and that put me off and the S3 is pretty rare and isn't the servicing for the 172's every 4000 miles that's alot for a car that is naturally aspirated.

They're just serviced every 10-15k like the S3 i believe
 

ianysm

Registered User
Any pics of the new car Ian?

Here ya go. Looks better in the flesh i think. Not as beefy as an S3 but i like its subtle wider front arches.

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At first i bought this one but only had it 2 days then got my money back...Its rear axle was bent and it was lethal on the road!!

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Ian W

Registered User
Looks nice that Ian.

I always fancied one of these but never got around to owning one, kept my 106 GTi to long !
 

ianysm

Registered User
Me too, i've always wanted most hot hatches. Sold S3 bought this for half the price and put money in bank so i'm happy!

Hope you're pleased with S3, here's my old one...

DSCF1592_1.jpg
 
im not surprised the clio out handles an s3, I think it would be hard to make the s3 match it. After coming from a 306 gti6 to the s3 I didnt think the s3 handled brilliantly. S3 is so much cooler though, there arnt many around where i live and I always get people commenting on it.
 

ianysm

Registered User
Very nice mate you gonna put any mods on it?????

Nah think i'll leave it standard, haven't got any cash to spend on it just needed something to commute across country in that handled and went well enough. The only think can be done on these is exhausts filters and map but then it starts sounding all chavvy!!
 

Effect

Registered User
Did a bit of heavy braking last night with the clio just to check what was happening, and it didnt squirm at all, which I thought odd.

Then i did a sudden sharp heavy breaking run and that is when it squirmed a bit.

So basicly controlled heavy breaking it is fine, its just sudden breaking where I have the problem. Perhaps that is normal then ????
 

gman1981

Registered User
I've come from a Clio trophy (only 500 built with trick 2400 quid dampers as standard) and it really is a weapon. Not as quick as the s3 on the straights, but show it a corner and there really wouldn't be much that could keep up. When the trophy was launched in 2005, they test drove it against an BMW M6 around the welsh hills and they were well matched.

The clio is a great hot hatch, but it is noisy, and not a luxury place to be like the S3. I do miss mine though!
 

JD09

I'm not modding, I'm improving
VCDS Map User
Both I guess, as in would it be much better through the twisties?

FFS I hate this term lol.

OP, get yourself over to Cliosport.net. Some good info on there, but try and ignore most of the Admin/Mods on power trips. Not exactly as grown up as this forum.
 

Pabl0

Registered User
A friends got a clio 182 cup and like others have said the S3 will out grip and on the straights blow it away but they do corner so well.

I drove his and don't like it to much, plus why is it when your just getting the engine on song it hits the rev limiter :D
 

Plunky

Registered User
i've always liked the clio sports. having driven a mates 182, my dads old 172 and now his current 172 turbo, they are very good cars for the money, however, they do lack in the comfort zone. I am actually thinking of getting a 172 cup but dont know if i could part with my a3!
 

emery1990

Registered User
I parted with my a3 mate, all i miss is the comfort of it, and the fact it was all working !! Much prefer driving my golf, well when it was sorned! Im getting withdrawal symptoms now :(
 
S

shanejess

Guest
i liked my 182 i got it from motorpoint in burnley very cheap, it had the cup suspension pack and the spoiler pack as renault call it, it did handle well and felt like it had a LPT at 5500 revs. quite a bupy ride though the missis hated it very cheap materials in the interier you felt like you could break anything if you was heavy handed. i took mine to neil at morego for the 200bhp conversion.
 

MURRAYS444

Registered User
i've always liked the clio sports. having driven a mates 182, my dads old 172 and now his current 172 turbo, they are very good cars for the money, however, they do lack in the comfort zone. I am actually thinking of getting a 172 cup but dont know if i could part with my a3!
Any chance is that a silver 172 turbo as I saw one for sale last march when I was looking at S3's and thought thats mental and if I had bought it I would be deid in a week!!!
 

JD09

I'm not modding, I'm improving
VCDS Map User
Any chance is that a silver 172 turbo as I saw one for sale last march when I was looking at S3's and thought thats mental and if I had bought it it would be deid in a week!!!

EFA. Every turbo we see come and go on CS.net breaks, or is sold a few weeks after being completed.
 

Plunky

Registered User
no it wasnt that one mate, however you are right JD09! my dads turbo is proberbly the most unreliable car i have ever known! i think he slightly regrets not getting a v6 clio instead!
 

finesse

Registered User
ok thinking of swaping my S3 for a 182, I am doing too many miles. What is the average MPG of these ClioSports?
 

MURRAYS444

Registered User
no it wasnt that one mate, however you are right JD09! my dads turbo is proberbly the most unreliable car i have ever known! i think he slightly regrets not getting a v6 clio instead!

Sooo glad I never went for it I think the differance with the turbo is 50 bhp but thats not much is it???
 

XFi

In need of a V8.
ok thinking of swaping my S3 for a 182, I am doing too many miles. What is the average MPG of these ClioSports?

Said to be 32 combined, basically the same as an S3. I had the Mk1 Clio and I was getting less mpg with that than my S3, purely as It made me floor it all the time :laugh:
 

emery1990

Registered User
50bhp is loads lol, its a light car too so will make even more of a difference, i dont think id like the drive of a light turbo'd car though.
 
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