The Renault Clio has been a firm favourite amongst UK car buyers ever since it was first produced way back in 1990.
The fourth generation model was facelifted in 2016 and was hoped to tempt buyers away from cars such as the Volkswagen Polo, SEAT Ibiza and Ford Fiesta. Renault hoped to do this by giving this car a blend of generous specifications and smart looks.
The interior of the Clio is a very nice place to sit although we have to say that it’s already starting to look a little dated. Its rivals just feel that little bit more cutting-edge in areas like design, overall quality and features. It also doesn’t have some of the latest safety technology available on the market. Having said that all models get a decent level of kit including a DAB radio and cruise control.
The trim level we think you should go for is the Dynamique S Nav simply because it gives you the best balance of price and equipment. It’s got keyless entry and start, 17 inch alloy wheels, full LED headlights and as the name suggests, satellite navigation. Unfortunately, you might find it a little difficult to get on with the Clio’s infotainment system especially when it comes to streaming content from your phone. There’s no Apple Car play either which is something that many of its rivals do offer. On a positive note the driving position is relatively good and there’s enough floor space in the back for two adults or three children. Around at the back you’ll find that the boot space isn’t too bad at all when compared to the competition. When the 60/40 split rear seats are folded down you get an impressive 1146 litres of space to put your luggage in.
One of the Clio’s biggest strengths is that it’s engaging to drive no matter what version you have. The steering has good weight to it, it’s nimble around town and it feels solid on the motorway too. What’s really great is that all of this doesn’t come at the expense of comfort. You’ll find the ride really smooth and it will filter out worst imperfections in the road. There are a range of petrol and diesel engines available and they’re all pretty good. However, the engine you prefer will very much depend on whether you value fuel economy over power if vice-versa. Overall, the entire engine line up treads this balance rather well. As a side note, you might want to give the automatic gearbox a miss because there not all that smooth or very quick either.
There’s no doubt that the Renault Clio is a good car but its main problem is just that there are now several other main rivals in this small hatchback segment that are just as good or if not then better. Most notably of these rivals are the Ford Fiesta which is not only more fun and engaging to drive but on the whole a lot more efficient. With this in mind you would really have to want to specifically buy a Clio in order to justify buying one.
Sluggish automatic gearbox
Disappointing infotainment system
Newer rivals are better
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