The Renault Clio is a stylish small hatchback that’ll prove easy to drive, but it’s starting to feel long in the tooth, with better-to-drive, more spacious alternatives now available.
The Renault Clio is a small five-door hatchback, although its sneaky rear doors are designed to fool you into thinking its a three-door instead. It was originally launched in 2012, but was updated in 2016. A new Clio is due in 2019, which will take interior quality to new levels.
In the current car, quality is a little hit and miss. The Plastics are, for the most part, black – and so’s the upholstery. The centre console gets shiny black plastics but Renault has resisted the temptation to add a splash of colour. All Clio cars get sat-nav as standard, operated via a 7-inch colour screen. It’s not great though, with fuzzy graphics and processing speeds that fall on the wrong side of slow.
The interior dimensions didn’t change, with the 2016 update, so if space is important to you, alternatives such as the Seat Ibiza are more spacious for those inside. Adults will be fine in the front, but there are more comfortable small cars for adults in the back on a long journey.
Unfortunately, the Clio’s boot is the same – it’s not bad, but newer alternatives have come along with more luggage space with cleverer touches inside. Still, at least every Renault Clio has rear seats that split 60:40, so you can carry larger items in the boot and still have room for one or two people. The Clio’s glovebox and door bins aren’t the biggest, though.
The Clio looks good and drives pretty well, but newer models have pushed it down the small car pecking order.
To drive, the Renault Clio is better than most small hatchbacks. Its quick steering makes it feel agile through corners, bringing plenty of confidence, although you’ll still have more fun thrashing a Ford Fiesta along a country road. The Clio is a decent motorway car, too, proving nice and quiet, but it’s best in town where its light steering and good visibility help you out.
Also on hand to help in town are the Clio’s zippy petrol engines. The pokier 90hp 0.9-litre model, in particular, is perfect if you never leave town – it’s quick enough to make darting in and out of traffic a breeze and it won’t demand too much fuel in return. However, if you spend more of your time driving on the motorway, then consider the diesel car – it’ll save you money in the long run.
The Renault Clio comes with an advanced stability control system and lots of airbags, but – misses out on modern technology such as automatic emergency braking. It was awarded a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in 2012, but the test has now moved on and become more stringent so newer alternatives are even safer.
To see what sort of offers are available, click through to our Renault Clio deals page.