Join Date: Jul 2005
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More or less seconding what Eeeps has already said, but here's my 2p worth anyway.
Diesel Clios are pretty rare on the second-hand market. Those who actually bought them seem to be hanging onto them.
The most common variants are the 3 door 1.2 8v (just badged '1.2') and 1.2 16v. I hired an 8v once and was very disappointed, but the 16v will easily provide adequate performance under just about any driving conditions. Acceleration is actually very good from a standing start, thanks to the reasonably high power to weight ratio, but once you get up to speed and factor in drag, you'll find the car 'competent' as opposed to 'quick.' For normal motorway driving, you won't have to drop out of 5th gear and you won't have to hold the pedal to the floor. What more do you want from a 1.2 litre engine?
But adequate performance will always be subjective, so go to a dealer and take one for a test drive. Try driving it normally, but also try flooring it most of the way to the red-line through the gears to get a feel of what the engine is actually capable of. If you're seriously considering a car with a 1.2 litre engine then you're hardly in boy-racer territory anyway. I doubt the 75bhp 1.2 16v will disappoint.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.