Renault Clio Review & Prices
The Renault Clio is a small hatchback with a plush-feeling cabin and a very practical boot, but it doesn’t look as eye-catching or feel as comfortable to drive as some alternatives
Find out more about the Renault Clio
If you’re looking for an affordable city car, but don’t want to sacrifice on style and practicality, the Renault Clio is an excellent option. It looks great inside and out and has a bigger boot than any of its small hatchback alternatives – so it’s good looking and practical, like a supermodel wearing cargo pants.
And a little nip and tuck for 2023 means it looks better than ever, with similar chic appeal to the Peugeot 208, making the pair stand out from the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Vauxhall Corsa.
It’s up front where it’s really eye-catching now, with slim headlights and funky vertical daytime running lights flanking a new grille and prominent Renault logo. Round the back the new look is less obvious, but a tweaked bumper helps make the Clio look much more interesting.
It’s a similar story inside, with the profile-orientated infotainment display (on top-spec models) and new climate control buttons giving off a more premium feel than before. And while some scratchy plastics lower in the cabin betray the car’s price, there are plenty of soft surfaces that are suitably upmarket.
For a small car, it’s not at all cramped in the front, but those in the back will struggle for kneeroom in particular. Storage is fine wherever you sit, but you’ll want to leave most things in the cavernous boot – at 391 litres it’s more spacious than any alternatives' boots.
The Renault Clio is up there with the very best small cars, thanks to its stylish looks and massive boot
A hybrid engine gives the Renault a head start on other options, too. The Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris are just about your only other choices for small car electrification. There’s a regular petrol engine in the Clio too, which brings the price down and is appealing for those on a budget.
Out on the road the hybrid works well, with the electric motor offering instant response at lower speeds and helping to keep fuel costs low. The petrol engine can get a bit noisy when accelerating up to motorway speeds, but settles down nicely once you get there.
That said, the Volkswagen Polo is a quieter and more refined small car to drive. There’s a bit more tyre roar at high speeds in the Clio, and it’s more easily ruffled by bumps in the road.
It shouldn’t be enough to put you off though, and with its appealing mix of style and practicality, the Renault Clio is a car you can shortlist with your heart as well as your head – especially considering it’s also one of the more affordable options.
See how much you could save by browsing Renault Clio deals on carwow, or get a great price on a used Clio. You can also browse other used Renaults, and when it’s time to sell your current car, carwow can help with that, too.
The Renault Clio has a RRP range of £17,795 to £24,095. However, with Carwow you can save on average £2,573. Prices start at £15,372 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £184. The price of a used Renault Clio on Carwow starts at £9,909.
Our most popular versions of the Renault Clio are:
|Carwow price from
|1.0 TCe 90 Evolution 5dr
The Renault Clio is really good value; its smart looks make it look like a premium option, but it’s actually one of the most affordable small cars you can buy. In fact, in its most basic trim and non-hybrid engine, it costs a bit less than anything else here.
The Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and Vauxhall Corsa are closely matched for price though, while you’ll have to shell out a bit more for the proper premium image that comes with the Volkswagen Polo and Audi A1.
Both Clio engines are available with all three trim levels, but the hybrid is £3,500 extra, so you will have to decide if it’s worth it for the extra performance and automatic gearbox. Even high-mileage drivers would be unlikely to see enough of a fuel cost saving to justify it on efficiency grounds alone.
The Renault Clio is perfectly pleasant to drive, but doesn’t stand-out in any area – others are more comfortable or more fun
The Renault Clio’s compact size makes it pretty easy to drive in town. The pillars beside the windscreen aren’t particularly wide so you get a good view out at junctions and the light steering means your arms won’t tire if you need to make a three-point turn or squeeze into a parallel parking space.
Despite the extra cost, the hybrid is the more sensible option if you spend most of your time driving around town. The electric motors mean it’s more quiet and more efficient, and the automatic gearbox means you’re not constantly pumping the clutch in rush hour traffic.
Unfortunately, it isn’t all good news when you are in the city. The Renault Clio is not stiff like a sports car, but it’s unsettled by bumps a bit more than the most comfortable small hatchbacks, particularly the Volkswagen Polo.
On top of this, the Clio’s rather small rear windows, narrow rear windscreen and tall back-seat headrests limit rearward visibility. You can get a rear-view camera system to help when parking, but it’s such low quality it could have been recycled from an early camera phone, so squeezing into a narrow space is still more stressful than in the likes of a Polo or Skoda Fabia.
On the motorway
The motorway isn’t the Renault Clio’s natural habitat. It’s fine for the occasional motorway jaunt, but it can’t quite match the higher-speed and long-distance refinement of cars such as the Volkswagen Polo, which drives like a big car in a small car’s body.
The main issue is the slightly firm suspension. Although it does settle down at speed, there is still fidgeting over expansion gaps and concrete sections of road. Even on the smoothest surface you’ll notice a surprising amount of wind and tyre noise too.
To make things better, you do get cruise control as standard, though you’ll have to get the top-spec Esprit Alpine model for the adaptive tech, which can maintain your distance to the car in front.
The more powerful hybrid is naturally more relaxed at speed than the petrol, and it will even shut off the engine to save fuel if the power isn’t needed – such as on a downhill stretch.
On a twisty road
The firm suspension that proves a minor irritation on broken city road surfaces and motorways should make the Renault Clio feel sportier than most hatchbacks on a twisty country road. To an extent, it does. The Clio’s body barely leans in tight corners and it has plenty of grip when you’re sweeping from one bend to another, but the light steering and notchy manual gearbox in the petrol version mean it’s never as much fun as a Ford Fiesta.
With the extra power on offer, the hybrid is more likely to put a smile on your face, but the petrol engine sounds harsh under acceleration and runs out of puff fairly quickly, so it’s far from exciting.
The Renault Clio’s front seats are spacious and it has one of the biggest boots of any small hatchback, but this roominess comes at the expense of back-seat space
The Renault Clio isn’t a large car, but there’s still space inside for you to get comfortable. There’s a decent amount of headroom, plenty of space for your knees and the steering wheel has a lot of adjustment for height and reach, so even if you’re tall you can get comfortable – not always a given in cars this size.
There’s enough storage for most of your family’s bits and pieces, with door bins that can take a large water bottle, a couple of useful cupholders, and under-armrest storage that’s pretty deep if a touch narrow.
There’s a tray in front of the gear lever with space for your phone and wireless charging is included on all but the entry-level trim. The glovebox is big enough to hold a small handbag too, and there’s a storage tray for sunglasses up by the rear-view mirror.
Space in the back seats
Space in the back isn’t quite as generous as the front. The back doors open almost at right angles to the rest of the car to help access but they’re very narrow, which makes getting in a little tricky.
There’s room for passengers to push their feet under the seats in front, even in their lowest setting, but there isn’t a great deal of knee or headroom so those over six feet tall will struggle to get comfortable.
The Clio’s cabin isn’t quite as wide as that in a Volkswagen Polo, so you’ll struggle to carry three adults in the back at once – a problem not helped by the narrow central seat with its raised cushion.
There’s just about enough space for three kids, even if some of them require a booster cushion. Fitting a bulky rear-facing child seat is more difficult, however, because there isn’t much space to lift it through the rear doors and twist it into position. At least the ISOFIX anchor points are easy to access behind some plastic caps.
Storage in the back seats isn't quite as good as in the front – you don’t even get a folding central armrest or a set of cupholders – but at least the rear door bins are wide enough to hold a one-litre bottle each.
If you need a small car that maximises boot space, the Renault Clio is the car for you. However it’s important to note that you get less space in the hybrid – 301 litres compared with 391 litres in the petrol.
That makes the non-hybrid version the most practical small car, with a bigger boot than the Volkswagen Polo (351 litres), Audi A1 (335 litres) and Peugeot 208 (311 litres). If you go for the hybrid it’s one of the smallest, offering similar capacity to the Ford Fiesta’s 303 litres.
Despite the fact that there’s loads of space, it’s not the easiest to access. The bumper is quite high, as is the lip into the boot, so if you have heavy items they can be tricky to lift in and out. The boot floor is quite low too, so you have to reach in somewhat.
If you need more space, there’s just over 1,000 litres if you fold the rear seats. There’s a 60/40 split, so you can have someone sit in the back while also opening a bit more space for storage. However, with the seats down there’s quite a prominent ridge in the floor, so it’s not easy to push large items through.
The Renault Clio’s interior looks and feels just as posh as in some more expensive German alternatives, but its infotainment system isn’t the easiest to use
The Renault Clio interior looks like it belongs in a posh saloon rather than a cheap-and-cheerful hatchback. The sweeping dashboard, with its two-tone colour scheme, neatly integrated air vents and metal-effect knobs and dials, is a far cry from the awkward, cheap-looking design you got in older versions of the Clio.
It doesn’t just look like a premium product, the new Renault Clio feels impressively posh, too. The dashboard, doors and centre console come with swathes of soft plastic trims that feel just as upmarket as those in the more expensive VW Polo.
Top-spec Esprit Alpine models look the fanciest thanks to the 9.3-inch infotainment display, with the two lower trims getting a 7.0-inch screen that’s a touch more old-school. Whichever you go for, the software is a bit simple and is quite slow to respond to your inputs. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto make things much easier to use.
The 7.0-inch instrument display is decent, and it’s easy to switch between menus to display the information you need. However, it’s not a patch on the excellent setups in the Volkswagen Polo and Audi A1.
The engine line-up is really simple, with just two to choose from. The cheaper option is a 1.0-litre petrol, and it has a rather paltry 90hp that means it gets from 0-62mph in a leisurely 12.2 seconds. If you’re looking for the cheapest Clio and don’t need extra performance it’s fine, but with its manual gearbox it’s not as relaxing to drive around town.
That said, official figures suggest it’s capable of up to 54.3mpg, so fuel costs will be low.
Speaking of which, the other option is the hybrid, which combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine with an electric motor – it has 145hp and can get up to 67.3mpg. Fuel costs will be a bit lower, the more powerful engine makes it easier to get up to speed, and the automatic gearbox makes inner-city traffic a breeze to deal with.
The Clio earned a five-star Euro NCAP rating, thanks partly to a range of hi-tech driver assistance systems that are more usually seen on bigger and far more expensive models.
All models get lane departure warning and lane keep assist, plus traffic sign recognition and cruise control with a speed limiter function. Active Emergency Braking is also featured, including cyclist and pedestrian detection functionality.
Upgrade to Esprit Alpine and you get adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.
Like all Renault cars, the Clio is covered by a warranty package with unlimited mileage during the first 24 months, but is then limited to a total of 60,000 miles or three years whichever comes first. That’s fairly typical but not great, particularly compared with the seven-year warranty offered by Kia or the unlimited-mile five-year package from Hyundai.
Hopefully you won’t need any repairs, but Renault isn’t traditionally a strong performer in satisfaction and reliability surveys.
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