The New Renault Clio -French Style is back
The Renault Clio has been in production for nearly 30 years. It first came into production back in 1990, replacing the iconic Renault 5. The Renault Clio is Renault's best selling car, worldwide across all of its models. Since its production, over 15 million have been produced. It is ranked the best selling French car, of all time. It is also the first car to win European Car of the Year, twice. The Clio is the best selling small car/supermini in Europe, beating its rivals Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. The Clio comes in second to the Volkswagen Golf, as the best selling car in Europe overall.
The new Renault Clio is the first Renault to be designed based on the new CMF-B designed platform. The new platform is said to help reduce weight, increase safety performance, improve tech and also improve space. The Renault Clio will be available in 5-door form only.
The Clio has gone through various design changes and facelifts during this period. The Clio's exterior styling is more evolutionary, whereas the interior is more revolutionary. The new 5th Generation model though is not too dissimilar to its predecessor. All body panels are new, but only subtle changes to the previous model. The Clio is slightly shorter and a fraction wider than before, but all this gives it a more athletic design.
Renault has invested a great deal of effort into improving the comfort, tech and interior build quality of the Clio. The interior is one of the best available in the small car market, along with advanced technology throughout even as standard.
There will be four trim levels, Play, Iconic, S Edition and RS line. There will be a choice of four engines available to start, three new petrol and one updated diesel. The Clio will also be available with Renaults new E-Tech Hybrid system aimed for mid-2020.
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Engines and Transmissions
The new Clio comes with a choice of three petrol engines. The base engine is the SCe 75, a 1.0-litre naturally-aspirated, three-cylinder, generating 75PS. Next, there is the TCe 100, a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder with 100PS. The most powerful petrol engine is the TCe 130, a 1.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder with 130PS.
The two lower-powered petrol engines are mated to a five-speed manual transmission, but there will be an optional Renault X-Tronic CVT automatic gearbox available. The TCe 130 is fitted exclusively with a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission.
The diesel engine is the 1.5-litre Blue DCi 85 paired with a six-speed manual gearbox which Renault claim can achieve around 73mpg.
The Clio will also be Renault's first car to use a hybrid powertrain. The new 'E-Tech' hybrid version will be released sometime in 2020. It will combine a 1.6-litre petrol engine, two electric motors and a 1.2kWh battery, along with a seven-speed automatic gearbox. It will feature regenerative braking, similar to that of an all-electric car. Renault claims that up to 80% of urban driving can be done in electric mode and could offer up to 40% savings on fuel consumption!
Luxury Interior and Hi-Tech Equipment
The Renault Clio was in desperate need of a major overhaul of its interior. It had fallen behind its rivals, as it was of poor quality and built with second rate technology. However, this has now been rectified in the all-new Clio. It is now up there at the top of the tree. The Senior VP of design, at Renault Laurens Van Der Acker, said Renault "dramatically needed to improve perceived quality." To help achieve this, he says that, of all the time he spent working on the new Clio, 70% was focused solely on the interior. Did this extra time and effort pay off? Yes. In a very big way.
The new Clio is fitted with luxury soft-touch plastic throughout and any less desirable hard plastic a hidden out of sight and reach. The dashboard is finished in soft-touch materials, with various colourful trims available, to give a little personalisation. The dash is shaped to angle the controls towards the driver, to provide a more controlled feel. The look and feel when you first get in the Clio are that of a premium brand car. The Clio can now rub its shoulders with the likes of Audi and BMW when it comes to interior design, quality and finish. The Clio comes with either a 7 or 9.3-inch touchscreen supporting Renaults latest infotainment software system, which they call 'Easy Link'. This new software will eventually be fitted into all Renault vehicles but gets its maiden voyage in the Clio. The touchscreen is also set to portrait orientation rather than the standard landscape, which works surprisingly well.
Each trim level comes with a wide range of features including LED headlights, air-con, cruise control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.
The new Renault also comes fitted with a customizable 7-inch TFT digital instrument display. There is also a 10-inch display option available, which will allow sat-nav information to show between dials.
The new Renault Clio has also achieved the highest Five Star safety award from the Euro NCAP tests. All Clio's come with Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), to help improve safety. This includes Lane-keeping assist, autonomous emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and blindspot monitoring. Optional features include 360deg cameras and speed and distance warnings.
The new Clio has plenty of room up front for any sized adult. The rear space, unfortunately, is not so good with limited legroom and headroom, when compared to the Skoda Fabia, VW Polo or SEAT Ibiza. The boot space is huge at 391 litres. It is the largest in its class and is even bigger than a Volkswagen Golf. Renault has fitted the boot with a variable-height floor allowing you to choose the full 391 litres or reduce the size of the load lip and have just 330 litres.
The Clio handles well, but not great in comparison to the Ford Fiesta, although it is not intended to be a fun-filled, adrenaline-packed experience. The new Clio is not as refined as the tasteful Volkswagen Polo. What the Clio is, is the perfect blend of sporty dynamic and mature refinement. It is the best of both worlds, without being the leader of any. Renault states that the new Clio has been developed following three paths: evolutionary exterior design, revolutionary interior design and innovative technology. Tick, tick and tick. With the current engine selections, this isn't a car for petrolheads. For those wanting a stylish, good looking, efficient and technologically advanced city car, this should be the car for you.