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Renault Clio review

Award-winning supermini that is great on space, easy to drive and would make a great first ca 

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Launched in 1990, the Renault Clio supermini replaced the charming Renault 5. Being a French car, the Clio has always been a stylish supermini offering typical French charm and panache.

Just a year after its launch, the Clio won the prestigious Car of the Year award. This was perhaps in thanks to its generous standard equipment levels, which has been a reoccurring trait of each generation since launch. Unsurprising then, that a later generation also won the award in 2006.

Like many popular superminis, the Clio is offered in both 3 and 5-door specification, so depending on your preference you can have more practicality if you wish, or settle for the classic 3-door hatchback style. The Clio has in the past been commended for being a small car that larger cars could learn a lot from.

The Clio makes a cracking first car, thanks to small engine choices and attractive economy. There are of course the more performance-focused models such as the Clio Sport which have seen the Clio labelled as one of the sharpest small cars to drive.

renault clio

Exterior

French superminis are the epitome of style. The Clio is no different and has always offered a stylish chic to its design. Like many successful cars, the Clio doesn’t need to shout about its design, instead the chic lines and handsome proportions have seen it become ever popular with buyers.

With each generation, the Clio goes that little bit further, whilst not overpowering the successful formula of simplicity and chic design which has seen it become so popular.

If, however you prefer your cars with a bit more presence, the Clio Sport variants, especially the Clio 200 adds a more dynamic body style, complemented by larger alloy wheels, lowered suspension and a whole host of performance enhancements.

renault clio interior

Interior

Clio interiors have always been comfortable, thanks to plush seats and a good driving position. Interior quality has improved over time, and the later versions make use of smart infotainment and slick touchscreen technology. Interior simplicity ensures for a familiar driving experience, with no unnecessary clutter or confusion, complementing the Clio’s easy to drive character.

side view renault clio

Driving and Practicality

Some cars develop quite the reputation. The Clio’s reputation is enhanced by a number of factors, but perhaps the main one is the driving experience. It is simply a peach, with pin-sharp handling, especially in the Renaultsport versions.

Each variant is easy to drive too, with both manual and automatic transmission choices. Practicality is dependant on whether you go for a 3-door or 5-door, with the latter being that bit more practical. Although later models are only available in 5-door body styles.

Space for 5 is joined by a boot with more space than that of the ultra-popular Ford Fiesta.

renault clio rear view

Lifestyle

With a range of small peppy engines, and great economy, the Clio is an ideal first car and popular with young motorists. Its small size makes it perfect for driving around town too. Although popular with young drivers, the Renaultsport versions are a superb driver’s car.

Features

Standard kit for the Clio has always been generous, after all, it has won Car of the Year twice. As with many cars in this segment, higher-specification models are recommended for those wanting luxuries such as satellite navigation, parking sensors and cruise control.

Engines

Engine choice is plentiful, with many frugal small capacity petrol engines, all the way up to high performance Renaultsport options. For those wanting more economy, the option of an ultra-efficient diesel model is also available.

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