The new Renault Clio does everything expected of it, and a little more

In a competitive class, the new Clio goes beyond a lot of its rivals

It seems every car has a stereotype. Small hatchbacks suit young drivers, while estates suit dog owners. In general, anyway.

But it’s not always that easy. SUVs, for example, aren’t exclusively driven by off-roaders, but instead by near enough every demographic you can think of.

The Renault Clio is similar, in that it fits more than just the obvious category. Of the 15 million models that have sold over its lifetime, not all are driven on L plates. Same again for the latest model?

Young drivers still catered for

There’ve been no big changes on styling this time around, but that’s not to say that the new Clio isn’t a smart-looking thing – especially in RS Line and the Iron Blue shade.

Seventeen-inch alloys as standard on the RS Line

Then there’s the seventeen-inch alloys, chrome exhaust tip and F1-style splitter for extra styling points. Although Renault aren’t gearing it towards young drivers only, they’re still more than catered for.

To quote our video review above, it’s properly nice inside as well. The digital display behind the steering wheel – a feature not often seen in small hatches – is a nice addition, and the iPad-sized touchscreen on the dash presents the satnav and media info in a clean and easy-to-use format.

City car suitability

Although you could argue the Clio sits in a few categories, there’s no questioning its city car status. The chunky steering wheel helped navigate it about town, while our tester’s wheel-mounted paddles allowed for easy gear changing.

The RS Line adds sporty appeal to the new Clio range

That gearbox is only available with the 1.3-litre petrol engine, but it’s easily the best of the lot. Producing 130bhp, it has more than enough pull for a small car and can actually be quite nippy when you put your foot down. 

When you get to where you’re going, the reversing camera and sensors help with parking. Or with the Techno Pack’s Easy Park Assist, the car will even do it for you. It has four options, including parallel and reverse bay parking – a handy bit of kit, especially when you consider that the last model we saw it on was a £60k Audi.

Family compatible

Superminis can get away with suiting young drivers and commuters alone, but the Clio has always done a bit more than that. You see plenty of them being used as small family runarounds.

The RS Line's interior is very nice, with soft-touch materials and red detailing

The operative word being ‘small’, they won’t quite work for a family of two adults and three teenagers. But if that’s your situation, you’re most likely looking at something bigger.

This new model, however, will do a cracking job for older couples whose kids have flown the nest, or young families. Look at the child’s face in the video and tell me she isn’t absolutely over the moon with the new Clio.

As appealing as ever, with a few extras

You could argue Renault are playing it safe with this one, but that mightn’t be a negative.

The new Clio's daytime LEDs are a nice feature

Although there’s little in the way of an overhaul, it’s still a smart-looking car and with the subtle changes – an updated headlight design, for one – it looks even more a part of the carmaker’s latest line-up. And in the new RS Line trim, it throws in sporty appeal, a brilliant interior and a load of useful tech.

With the added parking pack and top-spec engine, the price rises beyond £20k, but you can save up to £6k on one of the cheaper variants and still retain a lot of the new model’s charm. All round, the new Renault Clio is a more than solid option.


For more on the new Renault Clio, or to take a test drive of your own, head to Lookers Renault.

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