Sooo... just test-drove a 220 Trophy AGAIN


Clumsy McButterfingers
Ever the optimist, I thought I would pop down to my local(ish) Renault dealer and try a 65 plate Trophy in Deep Black (of course). This was to scratch that itch I had to see what the Mk4 is all about and to see one in the flesh. Well, first impressions were that it was A) massive and B) massive. How on earth would I would fit one on my weird drive?!
Studying the brochure and physically parking next to one, there's only 4cm in it, most bizarre! I'm guessing the bonnet is shorter, but it's all just a clever trick of the eye.
Out we went for a quick blast and the difference astounded me. I had no concept of speed! This would give me points in a heartbeat! It was very nice to drive and I'd love a bit longer in one, but no one seems to want to do that nowadays. Anyway, he probably thought I was a test pilot, but I had my maximum cost to change in mind before wasting his time.
We got back, he looked at my part ex and off he went to talk to his boss... cost to change turned out to be £9,500! My lowly Mk3 was valued at £5,750 which I wasn't overly shocked at, but still a little disappointed. We shook hands and off I went to my peasant wagon.
Now, this has been a worthwhile exercise for me, and these are my opinions only:
Bearing in mind buying a car is an emotive process, there was very little emotion on my part.
The Mk4 is a truly capable car, and if money wasn't a factor, I'd definitely have one 'just because'.
What I found during the test drive was that I didn't feel like I was part of the car, and that's not gearbox related, I thought it was very good indeed. I am now back to appreciating the rawness of the Mk3, and not feeling like I'm in a bubble.
Although the Mk4 is far more modern trim-wise, the road noise was very apparent, and mine actually feels more solid/quieter (if we exclude my Scorpion woes).
Overall, I'm not that disappointed with today's exercise - it had to be done (ever the wonderer/worrier), I will just keep enjoying what I have and keep it well maintained. I had to do this to really understand how I feel about my Mk3, and I'm really glad I came away empty handed. It still looks the absolute nuts and the Recaro's really make the car.
Those with the Mk4 - please don't take offence, I will be in one in the future, just not now.
Thanks for reading :smile:


Good cop
Awesome write-up Micah, very honest and balanced! And glad that it's helped you to feel a bit more at ease with your mk3, despite the little niggles you have with it at the moment. As they say, the grass ain't always greener!


Clumsy McButterfingers
Thanks @Jimmy, I feel like I owe it to the current Mk3 owners on here to give that kind of feedback, all things being equal.
Of course, it's all very different if your budget is more flexible - I could have easily stretched to that but I have a set amount I like to save each month which I just wouldn't feel comfortable putting into a French box on wheels for the next 'X' years.
It's essentially 3 x my car. Did it feel 3 times better? No.
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Devotee of OCD
Paid Member
Interesting Micah. Thanks for sharing.....

Looking forward to the MK4 crew's thoughts on this one !

I pretty much agree though.

Firstly: Do i like it's looks over a MK3 ? Not on your nelly.
Does it feel easier to hold / maintain pace in ? Definitely 'easier' in this respect.
Is it a more 'grown-up' car overall ? Vastly so.
More enjoyable inside on a daily basis ? Majorly. Interior is on a different level altogether.
Does it feel just a little 'bland' somehow ? Hmmmmmm....
Quicker around a track ? No doubt
Would i buy one in the future ? Quite possibly.

Not that im in the market for one. But i'm guessing this was selling for around the 15-16k mark.

So what else could you buy, so new with this spec / power to compare against ? ie: Whats its closest rival........


Clumsy McButterfingers
It was £15,250, a year old with 2,700 miles on the clock. Clearly no room for negotiating on the price.
I think there's very little that compares to such a car. Maybe the 208 GTi? Pig ugly though. Fiesta ST? Hardly original.
Answers on a postcard!
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Big Ben

Winner - POTM February 2018
Paid Member
Nice write up Micah as Jimmy has already said

As a weekend/track/toy the mk3 appeals to me more, as already mentioned it's a little less refined, involves the driver more and sounds great.

As a daily though the mk4 betters the 197/200 in pretty much every department imo.

If it was my daily ride though I wouldn't be buying either. I'd want something bigger and more comfier. Must be getting old...

Note: a low mileage Focus ST can be had for under £16k


Clumsy McButterfingers
I hear what you're saying @Big Ben - on all counts. I drive my car on average maybe once a week, it's done about 4,500 miles since I bought it 10 months ago. I'd feel differently if I needed a daily. I'm actually very fond of the Focus ST, but my drive is very small and awkward to get anything big onto. I'd also consider a 308 GTi if I had the room!


Gold Member
Nice write up Micah on a every day I'll keep my 220 on track I'll keep my 220 just because at 120 plus it's more stable plus I need 5 doors
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Paid Member
Good write up @Micah I still have to scratch the itch and test drive one as it's a car that's on my 'next car' list

I am almost definitely changing cars next year and want something more easy to live with - It would be my only car and I feel the auto box would be good for my short commute to work etc but still be able to put it in manual-sport/race mode on weekends.

The bit about the road noise being more apparent puts me off a little as I like a good solid feeling car, was in my friends Focus st the other day and they're so smooth, modern inside, I really liked it and they're the same price as a Trophy.

As much as I'd like to pretend it will, the car will probably never see a track and that's what's pushing me out of my R27, I do about a mile a day commute to work and the odd cinema trips etc, it's just not comfortable and even frustrates me sometimes.


POTM Winner - June 2017
Paid Member
Great write up, and balanced too which is refreshing! There was a thread on Cliosport where a member had posted a dyno chart of their remapped 200 EDC. The torque curve as standard was really impressive for a turbocharged car. Looked very linear, almost like a N/A car. I personally think they deserve a lot more credit than they get


Gold Member
Great post Micah!

i've not driven the new RS Clio but I've been in one, and they're a much better place to be and really great at going quickly. Excellent cars, absolutely no doubt.

But for me, it all boils down to the driving experience and the mk 3 cars have exactly what I want. Manual, naturally aspirated and high revving takes the title every time for me. It's one of those cars that gives a bit more of a visceral experience and at like for like speeds it will just feel more exciting.

Fun factor is through the roof on these cars, and in all honesty I don't think they need much doing to them at all. Just get them set up right an drive it like you stole it. Superb cars.

Not at all surprised you got back in yours and it could still put a smile on your face!

Hmm ...£15/16k, small driveway, weekend fun... you need an Elise mate!



Bad cop
I whole heartedly agree on pretty much all your points Micah, but as ive said time and time again, as a daily driver AND something for a bit of weekend fun, the MK4 is a better car all round, thats pretty much the in and out of it, it depends how much comfort you want, if your happy with not a lot and you want lots of fun on the weekend then the MK3 is for you. If you have a longer commute on your hand and like the daily convenience of having 5 doors, automatic gearbox and a nicer interior, then the MK4 is the better choice.

End of the day it comes down to it, what you want from the car, how much your willing to spend and what you preference is.

For me, I love the MK4 - is there times on a sunny weekend where I wish I had my 197 at 6.5k revs screaming round a bend - yes - albeit the 200t still puts a smile on my face, but never on a morning commute at 5am with climate on full blast with my heated seat on do I want it back, as in reality thats where I use the car most!

Johnny 99

Winner - POTM October 2018
Platinum Member
Good review @Micah. I think if it was my only car I'd definitely consider a 220. I do like an auto box for general driving around. Luckily my Clio is a 2nd car (not counting my wife's A1), so I can indulge myself with a rawer feeling n/a car with a manual & have my Merc daily with the auto box. @nutnutwelshman came past me @ Spa like I was standing still, but I doubt he was having any more fun!
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For me my 220 covers all my needs on and off track people that have been out with me are shocked how quick it is.The handling is fantastic at high speed love the gearbox just a fantastic car all round
Agreed. I'll definitely be going for a 220 next, but the R27 is staying with me to. :smile:


Gold Member
Good review @Micah. I think if it was my only car I'd definitely consider a 220. I do like an auto box for general driving around. Luckily my Clio is a 2nd car (not counting my wife's A1), so I can indulge myself with a rawer feeling n/a car with a manual & have my Merc daily with the auto box. @nutnutwelshman came past me @ Spa like I was standing still, but I doubt he was having any more fun!
I always have fun at my playground LOL


Clumsy McButterfingers
I'm glad you guys have liked reading my review. Thought I'd add some more.
Like with most big decisions, you should always sleep on them. Yesterday morning I woke up and stared at the ceiling, thinking 'what if I sold the Recaro's, the Scorpion and some other bits and pieces - that would get me to where I want to be quite easily'
There is a draw to a newer car and I don't know how I will sell my car in the future without having one lined up and paid for, and these aren't the easiest cars to shift at the moment. I began to feel a bit undecided/stressed with all of the overthinking and just got on with the chores. We popped into town a bit later and parked up. I have a habit of looking back at the car a lot when I park, and just to see that arse, wing vents and intimidating squat, you realise this is one of the best (last?) looking designs to come out of Dieppe!
Saying that, I'll probably cave in next week and buy the 220! :smile:
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"the new red baron"
seriously considered one before i got the latest 275 i have...but not a big fan of 5 doors as its a waste for me