Following on from it’s predecessors success across Europe, the second gen Clio appeared in 1998 with the intention of dominating the French supermini market. It was a much more modern car, and felt far better built than the mk 1 Clio.
The biggest seller in Ireland was the revvy little 1.2 variant which produces 65hp, and achieves 6.3 l/100km (45mpg) on the combined cycle. The n/a engine means that you really have to rev it upwards of 4,000 RPM to get it to move, however the fun engine note makes it all worthwhile.
Pros: Cheap to buy, run & repair. Spacious for size. Good image and looks.
Cons: Interior plastics a bit flimsy. A bit thirsty when cruising at motorway speeds. Acceleration takes a beating when there is more than one passenger.
Cost: Run out models from 2001 can be found for €1700 with low-ish mileage and valid NCT.