What is it like on the inside?
If we’re talking perfect spec, you want the Recaro seats. They were a pricey £850 option when new, but you know what? They were worth every penny of that. Years later, they still manage to make the plusher Recaros in the new Fiesta ST seem overwrought.
In fact, I’m not sure I’ve encountered a better performance car seat, and it’s worth hunting out a car with them on board when you’re browsing the classifieds for your Clio. They can be retrofitted, too, mind, and some people pop them in other models, like the Clio V6.
One note: look out for a worn outside bolster on each seat when you’re poking around potential cars to buy. They take a bit of forethought to clamber over, and drivers who’ve tumbled in the lazy way might have gradually worn the trim away. It’s a cheap fix, but just something to keep an eye on.
If it’s a posher Clio with keyless cards, check there are two and they both work, as replacements aren’t cheap. Factor in £200 if one is iffy (or missing altogether).
It’s worth bearing in mind that this is a car which was a bit of a bargain when new, and that much of your money was going on its sharply honed mechanicals. So the interior isn't a festival of perceived quality.
Thus the glovebox may be a little loose, the steering wheel a little worn, and rattles may be evident when you bounce over bumpy roads. It’s not the end of the world. You’re buying this car for fun, not cocooned luxury.