The Renault Clio has long been a popular choice in the supermini sector. Its combination of stylish looks inside and out as well as frugal petrol and diesel units has always gone down well with buyers.
There’s plenty of scope to customise the Clio, be it with a range of interior trim options, or the ten external paint finishes. But which shades should you splash out on? Our handy guide talks you through which are worthwhile, both from an aesthetic and financial point of view.
There are three solid paint finishes to choose from, and conveniently enough (and not at all because we’re cheap) our personal favourite is the one that’s free.
Glacier White – £0
White is the fashionable shade for cars at the moment, and it’s a strong match for the Clio’s sharp, modern styling. We’d perhaps recommend avoiding it on the base Expression model, because combined with the 15-inch wheel trims it does look a little like a rental car. However, on higher spec models with alloy wheels it works well.
Ivory – £225
An alternative to Glacier white, Ivory has is slightly more of an off-white shade. Not quite as bright, but we think Renault has leaned a little to close towards beige for our liking. We’d save the £225 and put it to better use elsewhere.
French Blue – £225
This flat, mid-blue is quite an attractive shade, and you won’t find a similar colour on many other cars. That is unless, you live in France, where the local Gendarmerie use an almost identical shade on their Police vehicles. Don’t be surprised if you ever take your French Blue Clio on holiday to France and drivers mysteriously move out of your way…
The tiny metal flake fragments mixed into metallic paint help give a brilliant shine under bright sunlight. For that reason, it seems quite reasonable to pay an extra £500 or so on one of the six possible finishes just to enjoy how smart they make the Clio look when a nice day finally threatens to make an appearance.
Mercury – £495
This is the standard silver finish, largely similar to the one you’d find in almost any manufacturer’s range. You could argue that a fun small car like the Clio deserves a slightly less dreary shade, but as a safe option it should at least stand the test of time (and therefore minimise depreciation) well enough.
Oyster Grey – £495
If you wanted to play it safe, ignore Mercury and go for this instead. The slightly quirky design of the Clio works much better with a darker shade of grey. In the more luxurious trim levels and with a nice set of alloy wheels, Oyster Grey turns the Clio into quite a handsome, classy looking car.
Diamond Black – £495
This shade has been available on several Clio generations since the early 2000s. The disadvantage of a black car is that it tends to show dirt rather too easily. It’d be a shame not to clean it though, because when the sun catches the metallic flake, it does look like a high quality finish.
Deep Black – £495
It’s very difficult to judge from the images, but Deep Black is subtly different to Diamond Black in the metal. Available exclusively to the RenaultSport models, the metallic flake isn’t quite as bright, offering a slightly meaner, moodier look that a potent hot hatch like this deserves.
Mafia Blue – £495
This fetching shade of metallic blue is exclusive to the 1.2-litre turbocharged GT Line – the sportiest model of the Clio range beneath the RenaultSport variants. It’s certainly attractive, and because this shade is only limited to one trim level, it won’t be a very common sight. Certainly the shade we’d take if the GT Line is the Clio for you.
Flame Red – £595
One of the few lively shades available for the Clio, Flame Red has a deep, metallic lustre to it which works well with the swooping lines of the little five-door hatchback. At £595, it costs an extra £100 compared to the other metallic shades, but then if you want a bright colour, there isn’t much else to choose from.
Manufacturers often offer one or two more exclusive paint finishes – often the ones you’ll see in their marketing blurb – which designers believe show off the car to its best. They tend to be quite expensive though, but look awfully tempting in the brochure…
Liquid Yellow £1,300
If you own a hot hatchback, then ideally it should be a little lairy and attention-grabbing, and the 200hp Clio RS-exclusive Liquid Yellow fits the brief perfectly. You’ll only see this shade on the most extreme examples of the Clio and the Megane, so it’ll be rare to see another out on the open road. At £1,300, it’s certainly an expensive option, but it does look rather special too, so we’d understand if you had your heart set on it.
Made your mind up?
Now that you’re familiar with the Clio’s colour options, head over to our car configurator to see how much you can save on a new model.