Renault Clio review-prices, specs and 0-60 time

evo staff
22 Apr 2015

Chic Renault Clio has verve, but isn’t class-leader

Evo Rating: 
Pretty exterior, decent interior, cheap to run
Engines can be uninspiring, no three-door or estate versions

evo Verdict

Renault’s Clio competes in a tough sector of the market, currently diversifying away from just standard B-segment hatches to incorporate small SUVs and crossovers – such as the Clio’s sibling, the Captur. But even when only considering the usual suspects, including premium rivals like the Volkswagen Polo, MINI and perhaps the Audi A1, the Clio must also take on those perennial UK showroom favourites: the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa. Lucky, then, that it has an attractive exterior, reasonably high quality interior and range of economical engines with which to do battle. The biggest problem is that the range-topping Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo, once the doyen of hot hatch fans, has been spoiled by a dull engine and daft dual-clutch gearbox.

evo Tip

Avoid the 1.2-litre ‘D4F’ normally aspirated petrol engine, as it’s a dinosaur from another age and needs to be dropped, quickly. With a muscular diesel lump and three strong turbocharged petrol engines to pick from, the only advantage of going for the 74bhp 1.2 is price – and it’s nowhere near cheap enough to make its particularly turgid method of ‘power’ delivery worthwhile. It does make the Clio light, at 980kg, but as it has been in service since 2000, it’s overdue retirement.

evo Comment

There are no three-door or estate versions of the Clio. If you’re thinking about the Sport Tourer, British buyers benefitted from that model for the Clio III, but lacklustre sales here mean that although there is a Tourer version of the IV overseas, we don’t get it in the UK as yet - and there seems to be no inclination to bring it to these shores either. As for three-door format, that doesn’t exist in any market – every Clio, including the Renaultsport version, is a five-door model. The Clio ‘hides’ its rear door handles in the trailing edge of the window, in a manner not dissimilar to the Alfa Romeo 156, but if you remember the Clio Williams fondly and wish that Renault would offer a three-door of the current version, you’ll be left wanting.

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