|Annual road tax||£260|
|Service intervals||2 years/12,000|
|Euro NCAP rating||5-star|
This previous-generation Renaultsport Clio is simply one of the best hot hatchbacks ever made, and now it's a total bargain.
It has a high-revving naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol engine and lightning-quick six-speed manual gearbox, and it's the car's sheer driver engagement that swayed the judges in its favour.The 198bhp petrol engine is the real focal point. It's happiest above 4000rpm, egging you on to drive faster, harder, go for another gearshift – it's a hoot.
We recommend going for a car with the Cup chassis. This will have lower and stiffer suspension than the standard car, plus quicker steering all of which makes it even more immediate, even more engaging to drive. It's pretty firm though, so make sure you can live with the ride.
Such performance won't cost a packet either, because the Clio will return more than 30mpg, and early 2009 models with a full service history and low mileage are temptingly priced.
Inside, things have been kept simple to keep down the car's weight, but the other advantages of its relatively simple engineering and Renault badge are low repair costs. It's also nice to know that if the worst happens, the Clio's five-star NCAP ratings apply to this range-topping model as well.