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Our Cars; Renault Clio 182 Trophy - Report 002

Clio 182 Trophy running costs

Ever wonder what life would be like daily-driving one of the finest modern classic hot hatches of all time? 21-months into Clio 182 Trophy ownership, Craig is beginning to question his sanity.

It’s been six months since my last update on the Trophy, and all has been quiet on the expenditure, and sadly, the adventure fronts. The twenty year old car had been admirable and steadfast in its daily driver duties, however June is rapidly becoming the 182’s favourite month of the year. That’s because one; it’s the month of my birthday, which means car related presents, and two; because it's time for the annual Monetary Oblivion Test, or as regular car owners call it - the MOT.

After the Trophy singed my credit card to the tune of £900 last year, I was determined to avoid a repeat, booking the car in with BTT Motorsport for an advanced recce. The front passenger wheel bearing needed replacing having developed the tell tale hum, and I’d noticed the centre section of the Milltek exhaust was hanging a little lower than usual, so the plan was to have that rectified along with a general health inspection to get a heads up on anything that might rear its ugly head.

In the end, both front wheel bearings needed replacing, two tyres got flagged for being close to the legal limit (which I was aware of) meaning the bill came to £350. And that’s without fixing the sagging exhaust, because that wasn’t down to the centre section itself, but further up the pipe. One of the previous owners had fitted a new catalytic converter, and in order to make it fit with the Milltek (or any other larger bore aftermarket exhaust) you need a short reducer section. In their infinite wisdom, instead of sourcing the correct part, said owner had a short length of pipe welded to the cat and flanged to the Milltek. 

Clio 182 Trophy running costs

Of course, this knock-up part had failed beyond the point of repair. Plus I didn’t want to bodge a bodge. I ordered a new Euro III compliant catalytic converter off Autodoc, then set about sourcing a Milltek reducer. Thankfully a non-resonated centre section popped on eBay complete with reducer and, after some frantic bidding right at the dying seconds, I won it for the reasonable sum of £46 delivered.

In the meantime, I agonised over choosing my next set of tyres. Since buying the car, I had wanted to try a different set of boots from the Michelin Pilot Sport 3 the car had fitted. All the Cliosport owners' forums swear by the Michelins, hunting packs and warning anyone off straying from the French rubber in the numerous ‘what tyres?’ threads. But my god are they expensive at £140 a corner (give or take 5%) and whilst they are classified as a UHP tyre, that was back in 2010, when they came out. Surely the game has moved on?

Frustratingly, in the world of 16-inch performance rubber, it appears not. Even your average 1.0 litre supermini these days comes on 17 or 18-inch rims, meaning there is no skin in the game for tyre manufacturers to continue development of anything below that threshold. The Continental Premium Contact 6 seemed a good bet at similar money, but that’s a touring tyre from 2016 and I’d had them on my old F56 Mini JCW, where I found the sidewalls disappointingly soft following a set of Michelin Pilot Sports. Great in the wet, mind.

Another stellar wet performer is the admirable Uniroyal Rainsport 5’s, but again, they’re another tyre I’ve found to be too squishy for my liking when the going get’s twisty. Dunlop offer their Sport Maxx, but they’ve never performed well in tyre tests, ranking poorly for steering feedback. I gave serious thought to the Kumho Ecsta PS 71, a UHP classified tyre from a mid-market manufacturer. Although I’m aware Kumho wear quickly, at £86 a corner fitted I was mighty tempted.

Clio 182 Trophy running costs

At the extreme end of the scale was trackday rubber such as the Yokohama AD08RS, something I would certainly entertain if my Trophy was a weekend toy, but it’s not. After days combing the excellent Tyre Reviews website, I emerged a broken man and ordered two Michelin Pilot Sport 3’s through ASDA tyres, fitted at my local Formula One Autocentre. Usually, I’m stickler for ordering four at once, but given the expense of the looming MOT cat debacle, I had to settle for staggering axles.

So, back to the MOT. It failed. Of course it did. Once again the handbrake was the culprit, which took me by surprise because it was only 12 months prior that I had both handbrake cables replaced, and 15 months since fitting two new rear callipers. Turns out the piston within one of those callipers had seized, so on went another new one. Fitting the catalytic converter also required a new lambda sensor, plus there was a need for a new rear registration lamp bulb. In the end, the cost for a certificate for another 365 days of motoring came to £446.

You remember I mentioned it was my birthday? What did I decide to treat the car to you might ask? A set of Ferodo DS2500 pads. After my Yaris GR ruined pretty much every other road car’s braking for me, I’ve always found the 182’s performance to be underwhelming. It’s early days, but so far the Ferodo’s have brought a marked improvement in stopping power - but they need to be warm in order to perform. Much like my credit card.

Renault Clio 182 Trophy Running Costs

Mileage since the last report - approx 6,000 Average MPG - 28.6 Expenditure £350 - replacement front wheel bearings and fitment £209 - Ferodo DS2500 pads

£271 - Michelin PS3 tyres x 2

£141.47 - catalytic converter

£46 - reducer pipe

£446 - MOT test, associated parts and labour Total Expenditure - £1,463.47

Current happiness status:

Renaultsport Clio 182 Trophy for sale, spared no expense…


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