The Renault Clio is one of the best looking modern supermini’s on the market, packing a modern touch screen interior and a range of efficient engines.
The Renault Clio comes with a choice of one petrol with two varying power outputs and one diesel engine. The petrol option is the 1.2 litre 16V with 75bhp mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox or 90bhp from the turbo charged TCe90 three cylinder engine. The diesel engine is a 1.5 litre dCi90 with 90bhp mated to a 5-speed manual with a choice of an automatic transmission depending on the trim level you opt for. Both petrol options are suited well to town driving while the three cylinder is quite vocal on the motorway. If you spend most of your time on longer journeys, then the diesel is best choice.
Renault is very highly regarded for its sporting dynamics with its smaller high performance cars. These are produced by their special motorsport team at the RenaultSport factory. However, while the standard Clio is fun to drive, it is more of a relaxing and grown up drive which is good news for comfort. Everyday lumps, bumps and general road imperfections are absorbed well by the Clio’s suspension. The steering is light making it very easy to drive and manoeuvre around town, but because of its soft setup, it does tend to lean a bit in the corners if you get enthusiastic behind the wheel.
The Clio comes with a choice of three trim levels. These are Expression, Dynamique Nav and Dynamique S Nav. Standard specification from Expression upwards is generous featuring a radio with hands free Bluetooth technology, keyless entry with start button, chrome interior touches, 15 inch alloy wheels and daytime running LED lights. Moving further up the range you benefit from further comforts including Renault MediaNav integrated 7 inch touch screen system, front electric windows, gloss black interior finishes, leather multi-function steering wheel, auto climate control, 17 inch alloy wheels and parking sensors.
The overall look and impression of the cabin is good but some of the materials used do not feel that high quality to the touch when compared to rivals like the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo or Opel Corsa. However, it feels well built as road and wind noise are barely evident within the cabin. The contrast gloss black steering wheel and surround for the MediaNav system look good to the eye, but the materials used around these items let the interior down. The controls for the stereo initially feel a bit fiddly and take some getting used to, but are easy to live with over time.
The Clio is a very safe car receiving the full five star rating from Euro NCAP crash testing. Standard safety technology includes anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, cruise control, hill start assist, tyre pressure monitor and a full set of airbags.
The Renault Clio feels airy and spacious inside with plenty of storage compartments located in front of the gear lever, the large door pockets and central cubby under the drivers armrest. This fourth generation Clio benefits from a clever new platform design that has created class leading leg and headroom for rear seats passengers. Its five door setup also improves this practicality further. Boot space is also up to a very impressive 300 litres that expands to a hefty 1146 litres thanks to the rear bench that folds in a convenient 60:40 split.