- Eye-catching looks
- Nimble driving experience
- High quality interior
Drive the latest Renault Clio on the motorway, and it’s hard to believe that the engine under the bonnet is just 1.0-litre and has three rather than the more conventional and more grown up four cylinders.
This new fifth generation Clio Iconic is a small car with large aspirations that genuinely delivers on all fronts.
Over 15 million Clio models have been built since the first took to the road and with sales figures like those, the French car maker wasn’t about to allow the latest version to let the side down.
Design and Technology
While creating more space, the designers have also managed to create a sleeker, more svelte look to the car by reducing the roofline by 8mm, adding a new-look grille, sculptured ribs in the bonnet and tucking the windscreen wipers under the edge of the bonnet gives it a cleaner look.
Renault says the changes to the exterior have been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with the radical new design cues saved for the inside.
The interior features 25 percent more soft touch surfaces, and the stylish dashboard has a centrally mounted 7-inch touch screen for the navigation system and several of the onboard functions.
Usefully, my car had a number of optional packs fitted, including a parking pack which gives you front parking sensors and a reversing camera.
Engine and Driving Experience
An engine of that size is often perfect for town and city work, but get into the fast lane and a lot of cars struggle to keep up - but not the new Clio.
The speed limit might be 70mph, but try telling the Clio that as it zips you past that figure in no time if you’re not careful.
Boasting an impressive - for the size of the engine - 100bhp, it’s quiet, refined, and best of all torquey and able to deliver responsive mid-range performance just when you need it.
If ever a car punched above its weight, it’s the 1.0-litre Clio.
Like a lot of the new smaller engined cars, the Clio has a 5-speed gearbox, but it works well with this model, and you never have the feeling that you require that extra gear.
Despite being one gear down, it’s a very refined little operator, smooth, and quiet. And for me, it’s certainly one of the most enjoyable and capable 1.0-litre cars on the market.
There's now far more space in the cabin as it’s wider, and the seats are narrower, creating more room for passengers.
The luggage space too has been increased, jumping from 330 litres to 391, and it’s more useable with fewer obstructions. There’s also another 26 litres of storage space inside the car.
The Renault Clio's gutsy performance, stylish looks, and decent practicality make it one of the most popular supermini's on the market. Iconic spec adds sharp design features and hi-tech safety features including parking sensors and reversing camera for extra piece of mind while driving.