One of the best things about my job is that I occasionally get to drive some new car demos and this week I had the chance to get behind the wheel of the infamous Renault Clio.
Since its launch in 1991, the Renault Clio has become one of the most popular superminis on the market, breaking numerous sales records and winning a host of awards including European Car of the Year. The latest Clio is now its third generation, boasting a fresh new style and more space than ever before.
The new Renault Clio has a striking exterior design with sleek lines and the familiar ‘Renault face’ as seen on the Megane, Scenic and Laguna. The latest model is larger than its predecessor, boasting more boot space and rear passenger leg room than ever before. It is available as a 3 or 5-door model, both identical in dimension. My model was the entry-level Extreme model in Mercury silver which came equipped with 15” alloy wheels, manual air conditioning, front fog lights, CD/MP3 player with fingertip controls.
On first appearance, I was quite impressed with the design of the Renault Clio. Granted, it isn’t the sportiest supermini on the market but it isn’t the ugliest either. Back in the day, the Clio used to be a predominantly ‘female’ car but I think the new exterior design has changed that. The striking Volcano red and Extreme Blue paint colours give the car a distinctively masculine appeal and more men are choosing to invest in a Clio than ever before.
Inside the Clio Extreme, the interior was pretty basic with the dashboard, gear lever and door trims all in plain black. The seats were kitted out in ‘Papeete’ cloth upholstery in black and grey and the carpet floor was in plain back with fixings for tailored car mats should you wish to invest in a set. The stereo was the standard CD/MP3 which is fitted in the entry model but was easy to navigate and gave reasonable sound quality. The stereo can be controlled via the steering wheel mounted controls, located just behind the indicator. The seats were comfortable and easy to adjust.
Overall, I found the interior of the Clio comfortable and practical. Most of the driver features are within fingertip reach including the handy trip computer which displayed the fuel consumption, fuel tank figures and service information. I was a little disappointed that in today’s age, Renault haven’t fitted a MP3/Aux input as standard on the vehicle – why not? Other than this, the Clio gave a comfortable ride for both driver and passengers.
Power & Performance:
Behind the wheel, the Clio offers a smooth and comfortable ride with impressive fuel economy. The steering was light and responsive and the handling was sharp. The 1.2 16V petrol engine I was driving offers 75 bhp and CO2 emissions of 139 g/km. Fuel consumption is at a reasonable 47.9mph.
I found the Renault Clio a nice car to drive. It was quick to pull off at traffic lights and was more than suitable for city driving. I will admit that I found the engine a little noisy when reaching higher speeds (i.e. on the motorway) but I’m assuming that a bigger engine would help resolve this issue.
Overall the Renault Clio is a nippy, compact car ideal for city living. On the road prices for the entry-level model start from £11,040.