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Renault Clio is a deeply satisfying small car

Thursday, 29th October, 2020 10:17am

The Clio has been with us for five generations now, having replaced the original Renault 5 in the early 1990s. 

In that time, the Clio has evolved considerably, from a relatively simple (yet stylish) car in that first-generation guise, to the latest version which is, quite frankly, a serious tech-fest. Spend enough on your new Clio, and you can have it with a huge, upright touchscreen, active cruise control, lane-keeping steering and much, much more.

Thankfully, the basics of the car are still right, and even if you’re not spending big bucks, you’re getting a more-than-good small hatchback.

The 1.0 litre turbo three-cylinder engine that forms the core of the range is a sweetheart, revving high but proving economical even when you do so. The cabin is arguably the high point — where previous Clios had interiors that were often a touch too cheap, this one has really good quality (mostly, you’ll find some cheap bits low-down) and exceptional comfort.

A hybrid version, which Renault claims draws on its experience designing hybrid engines for Formula One, and which will rival Toyota’s new Yaris, arrives shortly, but if we could change just one thing for now, it would be the oddly-shaped gear-lever, which is too chunky and uncomfortable grip.

That aside, the new Clio is a deeply satisfying small car.

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