Small Autos & some Clio questions - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
My sister is looking for a small auto 5dr - somewhere between a supermini size and Focus size. Max price £4k. Cars such as the prev shape Corolla 5dr deemed too big - I think the square cornered look (eg Focus/Golf) is preferable to her for parking.

Any bright ideas out there? The Focus itself is probably out of the question, as I don't think she would want anything that's high mileage - which I would imagine a £4k Focus auto would be.

Looking for some advice on this Clio:

98S 1.6 RXE Auto
FSH 16k miles
Really well equipped (climate, abs, elec windows/mirrors etc etc)
£3699 from a dealer

I'm concerned that the price is high, as a result of the exceptionally low mileage. Assuming the mileage to be genuine, what sort of problems would this low a mileage have caused. Is it less of a concern on an Auto as there is no clutch wear to worry about?

Are all those electrics on an 8yr old Renault a cause for concern?

Grateful for any advice on these questions - small autos ain't really my speciality subject!!

Cheers
Small Autos & some Clio questions - machika
That's an awful lot of money for an eight year old car, low mileage or not. At 2k miles per year, it can't have done many long journeys, which raises questions about engine wear too.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Altea Ego
Clio autos have suprisingly high second hand values. They seem to be rare and sought after, someone even left a note under my mums windscreen offering her 2.5k for her N reg 10 year old one.




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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
I wouldnt worry too much about the mileage as much as the fact that Renault autos are terribly fragile and nobody wants them.

Spending £4k, id think more along the lines of reliability and value - check of the car-by-car guide for a car that doesnt have many faults listed, most likely japanese.

Renault autos, esp at that age... just dont!

If you dont care much about how it drives, how about a Toyota Starlet auto - utterly functional motoring. I think your sister needs to weigh up the reliability factor on cars this old as this is the age where things start to go wrong and no matter how nice the shape or size of the car, if it starts going wrong, she will always wish she went for the reliable option.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Altea Ego
I wouldnt worry too much about the mileage as much as the fact that Renault autos are terribly fragile and nobody wants them.

Sorry mate, you might not want one but everyone else does. MInd they dont all know the renualt auto box is fragile,
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
To quote HJ: 'Continued high incidence of automatic transmission failures'

Thats all Id need to know if looking at a Clio auto.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Bill Payer
Can't advise on the Auto side, but we p/x'd a manual 98S Clio 1.6RXE 3 yrs ago for our Jazz. We'd had it from new, done 23,000 miles and the only problems in that time were that it needed a new exhaust rear box at 4 yrs (the other one broke at a weld and was left dangling, which was a bit of pain as I had to turn out and rescue it) and at the 4 yr MOT it was noted that both rear springs had broken. I?m suspicious the dealer broke them but anyway Renault replaced them FOC after a firmish request.
I'd paid £600 when we bought it for a 5yr warranty (only 1 yr when new) on a deal where we got our money back if we didn't claim. We didn't, and we got the money back.

Now you can't get much off a Jazz (so there isn't much room to boost the p/x value) but we shopped around and the very best p/x we could get was £3300. One Honda dealer offered £2800.

On the car you?re looking at, check that it?s had the cambelt changed ? it may have been left due to mileage, but it should be done at 5 yrs, as well as having all the fluids changed (not sure if that would include the auto box, too).

As for the auto value ? it is said that there?s a market for small auto?s, but we tried to sell MIL?s 2 yr Corsa recently and didn?t get a sniff. A dealer that BIL knows put it on his forecourt for a month and he didn?t sell it either. So I?m not convinced there is a huge demand for small autos.

My worry on a car like this would be that if the auto box failed, then it might be touch and go whether it was worth repairing the car.


I know it's a quite big jump up in price, but perhaps your sister could find an innovotive way of financing an auto Jazz - Autotrader shows the cheapest at £5500. A Jazz would fit the size specification you had a bit better too.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
Thanks for the advice so far. Some of you have echoed what I think - Renaults have a reputation for fragility and Japanese would be the way to go. However, my sister has had a 3 dr Mk 1 Clio auto for a few years and has been pleased with it - it has had a few problems, but not enough to worry her. The main reason for changing it is that she will soon need to fit a second baby seat in, making the 3 dr totally impractical. The replacement won't be the main family transport as they also have a 626, so it won't do too many miles.

Bill Payer - interesting to read your comments on your Clio, thanks for posting. If yours was only worth around £3k 3 yrs ago, it does put the price of this one into perspective. The cambelt change was going to be the first thing I would suggest checking too - I suspect many would be tempted to skip it on such a low mileage car.

I agree that the Jazz would make a nice (possibly ideal!) choice, but it is too pricey. Finance is not something they want to take out, they want to buy the car for cash, so the budget is relatively fixed.

Stunorthants - thanks for pointing out HJ's comment about the auto failures, very useful to know :) The Starlet is a good shout, but a fairly rare car and I don't recall seeing 5dr ones but I'm sure they exist; possibly on the small side too.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - jase1
I'm going to be shot down in flames here, but indulge me for a sec.

Have a look at the Hyundai Accent. Reason I mention this is that for <£4K you'll be able to get an example which still has a fair proportion of its 5-year warranty left, they're reliable and easy to drive, and the visibility in all directions is very good -- I know to within 2 inches where the ends of the car are, and it's boxy shape means that it's easy to work out where the car ends. The autoboxes are Mitsubishi so are as unlikely to fail as anything Japanese, and the size is slap-bang in the middle between the Fiesta and the Focus. Could well be the ideal car, *if* you can get over the lack of image/style and the slightly plasticky -- though robust -- interior.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
I'm going to be shot down in flames here, but indulge
me for a sec.
Have a look at the Hyundai Accent.

Actually, you're not going to be shot down :)

It is something I had thought of, due to the warranty and presumably good reliability. Image isn't of great concern (to sis), so well worth considering in my opinion. I take it you have one, and are well please with it?
Small Autos & some Clio questions - jase1
I take it you
have one, and are well please with it?


Yup, I have a 2001 manual, never given me any trouble. Good car.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
How about a Daihatsu YRV - comes as 5-dr and auto and has flat back so easy to park, plus very reliable. Prices start at around £3200 for 2001 models with 30k or so miles.

The Starlet did come as an auto 5-dr but only on the CD model, but given many were bought by older folk, more likely to find an auto than you would think.

I found a few of them with low mileages for about £3k without much effort.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Xileno {P}
Too much of a premium is being levied on its low mileage. Does the aircon still work after all these years? And yes, alas Renault automatics are not the best in the business, at least not those prior to 2000. Later ones seem much better.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - bristolmotorspeedway {P}
How about a Daihatsu YRV - comes as 5-dr and auto
and has flat back so easy to park, plus very reliable.
Prices start at around £3200 for 2001 models with 30k or
so miles.

Nice shout - exactly the sort of left-field motor that I was hoping the backroomers would come up with. I didn't even know what one looked like until I searched! Cheers.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Altea Ego
YRV auto

Has been a problem of F-Speed transmission oil coolers failing, leading to transmission fluid contamination by engine coolant and failure of the box.
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TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
>> How about a Daihatsu YRV - comes as 5-dr and
auto
>> and has flat back so easy to park, plus very
reliable.
>> Prices start at around £3200 for 2001 models with 30k
or
>> so miles.
Nice shout - exactly the sort of left-field motor that I
was hoping the backroomers would come up with. I didn't even
know what one looked like until I searched! Cheers.


Ill throw some more left-field ones then, just put my thinking cap on...

Kia Shuma - basic transport but apparently reliable and likely to be very cheap for its year.

Daihatsu Charade 1.3 - made up till 2000 and doesnt have the F-speed box mentioned, just conventional 4-spd auto.

Daihatsu Grand Move - based on the Charade if you want a little more space.

Im sure someone will flag up a reason not to have them though!
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Bill Payer
Bill Payer - interesting to read your comments on your Clio,
thanks for posting. If yours was only worth around £3k 3
yrs ago, it does put the price of this one into
perspective.


I think the pricing we were getting was suppressed by the fact that it was against a Jazz - against another Clio I'm sure we'd have got more. I felt it was 'worth' £4K or so, but didn't fancy trying to sell it privately as you're getting close to the price of nearly new (basic) Clio's.
Also it's group 6 insurance, and, generally, people looking for small cars are not looking for 1600's.

There are about 40 RXE auto's on Autotrader, by the way, some even dearer that the one you mentioned.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
Incidentally, if you like the Daihatsu Sirion, my aunt has had a 1.0 auto since 1999 and done 140k in it without a single fault and only routine servicing - she uses it to commute doing atleast 80 miles a day usually.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - jase1
Just about all the Japanese manufacturers (and a lot of others as well -- newer Renaults being a prime example) now use Jatco autoboxes, which formed out of a merger between the autobox divisions of Mitsubishi and Nissan. These are generally very good and are recommended.

The Sirion is a great little car, a guy two doors down is on his third, all of which have been utterly reliable -- they're essentially Toyotas.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Harmattan
As we have a YRV in the family I would second the comments about its reliability. One point in its favour for kids is that the back seats are slightly higher than usual so they can see out better and you have a good view of them too if mirrors are adjusted. In the price range you are looking at, it is worth asking if the exhaust has been changed. The original fit lasts for maybe four years and a replacement back box and centre pipe is currently about £400 because the demand for pattern replacements is only just building up. At least that is the story I was given as I handed over my credit card. It's a Toyota Yaris engine and funnily enough there was virtually no detectable difference in noise with back box removed and on. The fitting centre took it off and sent my wife home with the car without saying anything while they waited on the replacement coming next day!
Small Autos & some Clio questions - GregSwain
Price is sky-high for a 8y/o car, about twice what I'd be happy paying, and the p/x price is about £1500, so you're putting £2k into the dealer's pocket. Also, don't touch a Renault with a non-Jatco autobox.

Get a Nissan/Toyota/Hyundai/Honda - all good autoboxes, and much better reliability than an old Clio. Renaults built since the merger with Nissan have taken Nissan's autoboxes, and are MUCH more durable, but general build quality is still fairly poor in my experience of recent Renaults.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Ruperts Trooper
At under 4k, you'd get plenty of choice of Focus or Astra but automatics are much less common than manuals. There are plenty of good independent workshops who can sort Fords and Vauxhalls cost-effectively. The Astra, like all automatic fwd Vauxhalls, uses an Aisin-Warner box built in Japan - also used by Toyota and Volvo.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - cheddar
We have got a '98 Clio RXE 1.6.

We have had it since 4000 miles and 2.5 years old, it has been superb, still drives as new with no clonks or rattles (but for the sunroof when open), the engine is nice and torquey making it fun to drive and quite nippy, it has averged 38 mpg over the 39000 miles we have done in it nad has only had one problem, a weeping power steering pressure switch, a £30 part I fitted myself. The interior scrubs up like new despite the best efforts of our kids and other than dings courtesy of Tesco's carpark the bodywork is in great shape with no signs of corrosion, unlike a local rust riddled Polo of the same age/

However ours is a manual and Renault autos dont have the best reputation. Also the price quoted by the OP is a bit steep.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - stunorthants
>However ours is a manual and Renault autos dont have the best reputation<

And therein lies the point - the Clio in itself isnt a bad little car at all, but neither the italians nor french have until very recently been able to make durable autoboxes or succesfully mate outsourced ones to their products. Its a shame but theres plenty of reports to support the idea.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Xileno {P}
"Renaults built since the merger with Nissan have taken Nissan's autoboxes"

I don't think that's true. Some models have but not all.
Small Autos & some Clio questions - GregSwain
"Renaults built since the merger with Nissan have taken Nissan's autoboxes"
I don't think that's true. Some models have but not all.


I was under the impression that Renault autos had all been long recognised for the cr*p that they are, and hence nobody will touch them anymore. More fool Renault if they're still putting them in cars, and anyone who buys one. I suppose the good point about Renault autos is you don't need to change the ATF when the gearbox-change interval is 50k! ;-)
Small Autos & some Clio questions - Xileno {P}
Bit unfair. The pre 2000 were poor but post 2000 have a much better reputation. I will try and find out from my 'man on the inside' which Renaults use Nissan boxes now.

I suspect over time there will be a greater element of parts sharing between the two companies. Whether you consider that to be a good thing or not is up to you...
 

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