I know, it’s supposed to be Renault Clio Symbol II but the French decided to call it just Renault Symbol. Which is very strange, BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME CARS.
Yep, the mechanicals on the Renault Symbol are identical to what you find on the first Clio Symbol and Clio II respectively, they couldn’t be bothered to upgrade to Clio III platform. Sure, we had a slightly more modern body, a more 2010 interior, and a few more options but essentially we have the same Clio Symbol that managed the performance of being cheaper than a Logan, while being a bit better.
And after all that was the whole point of the Renault Symbol, to be as cheap as possible. Sure, for that money you could buy a Logan or a Peugeot 207, but for one thing, the Logan had toilet paper bodywork problems and the Peugeot 207 wasn’t the most reliable car possible. Aaaand you can see Renault’s low interest in this car, the Renault Symbol being reserved for Eastern Europe and Asia, without making its presence felt in civilized Europe where expectations and buying power are higher. So the Renault Symbol received only an exterior facelift and was still sold cheaply to countries where the saloon was still in power. And yet, the Symbol has a secret weapon.
The cheapest Euro 5 saloon
I don’t necessarily understand why, but the Renault Symbol tends to be cheaper than the Logan on the used market. Sure, most of the engines on the Symbol are Euro 4 but there’s also the base engine, the 75 horsepower 1.2 MPI which is Euro 5. Yes, it was the base engine for the base trim so you didn’t get much but at least you got air conditioning, a few airbags, power steering, and a body that didn’t rust in the first 3 months or bend on first contact with the air. I don’t necessarily know if it’s the cheapest Euro 5 saloon money can buy, but I haven’t managed to find anything cheaper than the Renault Symbol.
And here we have a big eco problem. They keep saying that old cars cause pollution and that Euro 3 and Euro 4 cars should be banned but the tracksuit-wearing-citizens always scream that they can’t afford a Euro 5 chariot. And this is partly true because the average eastern european really can’t afford a Euro 5 E Class, but he can afford a Euro 5 Renault Symbol. It’s just that we’re too poor to buy cheap stuff and that’s why most people will give me hate comments and pass over the Renault Symbol.
Renault Symbol Engines
- 1.2 MPI of 75 horsepower – Sure, some will say this was the worst engine that was fitted to the Logan, but in reality, it’s just a low-cost engine that’s prone to oil consumption. Some engines drink oil, some don’t. The fact is that this engine has done its job honorably in taxi and food delivery lines of duty, because out of town driving is pretty much out of the question.
- 1.4 MPI of 75 and 98 horsepower – The legendary 1.4 MPI rips up the tarmac on the Logan and sings its retirement under the bonnet of the Renault Symbol, and as a parting gift it comes in a 98 horsepower 16v version which transforms itself from a low-cost engine into a decent one. You just have to replace the stepper motor when it takes off into other worlds, but that’s about it.
- 1.6 MPI of 95, 105, and 115 horsepower – Stolen from the Megane II, this engine was another workhorse for taxies and has proven its reliability. Sure, it occasionally eats up coilpacks and can develop an appetite for engine oil, but under the hood of the Renault Symbol, you’ll find it so rare you’ll wonder if it even exists.
- 1.5 dCi of 65 and 84 horsepower – There were once upon a time some issues with the injectors and they’ll probably still occur from time to time, but the bigger problem is that a white Renault Symbol with this engine was most likely a fleet car and has 2 billion miles under it’s belt. This wouldn’t necessarily be a problem if it wasn’t a cheap car for all the agents to not give a dog’s breakfast about, because it’s cheap anyway and not worth it. So beware of diesel models as they are most likely more worn out than Woodlands, Yorkshire.
Renault Symbol General Issues
Pay attention to the general condition of the car because many of them have been used either as taxis, delivery cars, rentals or fleet cars. Sure, there have been private individuals who have bought Renault Symbols, but the vast majority of them have been hammered to the bone.
Renault Symbol Verdict
Here we have a low-cost sedan built with outdated but reliable technology. It still has better quality, rust-resistant metal than the Logan and costs less than the Logan, so if you don’t have any automotive pretensions, it’s very hard to beat the Renault Symbol. Especially when you consider it’s probably the cheapest Euro 5 saloon you can buy. Yes, it’s not a memorable car and it won’t impress anyone. No, no one wakes up in the morning thinking that one day they will be able to afford their own Renault Symbol. But if you want cheap and almost cheerful, here it is.
What engines do I recommend? For petrol 1.2 MPI if you care about emissions standards, otherwise 1.4 MPI 98 horsepower. And for diesel, 1.5 dCi as many as you can find although the Symbol isn’t built for the long haul.