The Renault Clio, a chic looking supermini but is it any good as a used car purchase? Steve went to Northern Ireland to find out.
The current Renault Clio model was launched in the later part of 2012 after the Paris motor show, but the design still looks fresh 6 years on. One key change to this new model is that it is only available in five door form, however I feel this does not detract from the Clio’s curb appeal partly due to disguised rear door handles cleverly placed beside the rear window glass. The Clio’s looks are further enhanced by LED daytime running lights, chrome accents along the door and 16 inch wheels.
On moving into the cabin the driver is greeted with a dashboard which is very well thought out, the dials are very clear to read and include a digital speedometer. Furthermore all Clio models feature Renaults R link infotainment system which includes a 7 inch touch screen, Bluetooth and digital radio as standard but no CD player is available. Higher spec models also are treated to an Android Tom Tom satnav, leather steering wheel and reverse camera, but the key area where the Clio excels is with its boot space which is a whopping 300 litres. As you can expect with a modern Renault the Clio received a 5* Euro NCAP safety rating thanks to front and side airbags as well as having Electronic Stability Control and speed assistance.
As the Mk4 Clio is now six years old buyers will have plenty of choice with regard to the Spec and engine options that should suit most budgets. The key specs available to buyers are:
Expression is the entry level model which comes with 16” wheels, DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control and electric front windows.
Play has the features of the expression model plus air conditioning and front fog lights.
Dynamique has all the features of Expression and Play, plus leather steering wheel and upgraded radio
Dynamique Nav adds a Sat Nav to the Dynamique trim.
Dynamique S Nav adds a touch of sporting flair with the Clio and includes 17” alloys, centre armrest, rear electric windows, LED headlights, climate control and rear parking sensors.
Signature Nav adds a little luxury to the Clio by incorporating part leather interior, parking sensors both front and rear and a reverse camera.
However, as of 2018 Renault have reduced the amount of choice and new car buyers will have the option of play, iconic and GT line.
Renault have been very generous when it comes to engine options by offering three petrol engines and two diesel engines which are as follows:
0.9 litre turbo charged, 90BHP 3 cylinder engine. 0-60mph 13 seconds. Average MPG: 66
1.2 naturally aspirated, 75bhp 4 cylinder engine. 0-60mph 14.5 seconds. Average MPG: 51
1.2 turbo charged, 120BHP 4 cylinder engine. 0-60mph 9.5 seconds. Average MPG: 54
1.5 turbo charged, 89 BHP 4 cylinder. 0-60 13.7 seconds. Average MPG: 88.3
1.5 turbo charged, 109BHP 4 cylinder. 0-60 11 seconds. Average MPG: 80.7
Please note these figures apply to the manual models and as you would expect the automatic has a slower 0-60 and reduced MPG.
Driving the Clio
The car I had on test was the 1.2 75BHP dynamique nav model with a manual gearbox which was well equipped with the previously mentioned sat nav as well as cruise control and cost £14,950 when new.
The Clio feels at home in the city where its soft suspension absorbs all the speed humps however on fast country roads the soft suspension can cause the car become unsettled due to body roll. The light steering also suits city driving as its makes parking a doddle but can feel over assisted and not as precise for rural roads. At motorway speeds the engine can become a little noisy but this is balanced out by a nice cruise control system which was easy to use and allowed me to adjust the speed whilst activated which made the drive out of Belfast to Craigavon more relaxed.
The main issue I found whilst driving the Clio was to do with the computer, predominantly with regard to the distance to empty function whereby it would not register below 40 miles of range which I felt was not as precise as it should be. On the other hand, I found the 7” touch screen easy to use and found the Sat Nav instructions clear and precise which was ideal when out in the lovely Northern Ireland countryside.
The Motorists Guide View
Overall, I felt the Clio was well spec’d and perfect for those living in the city due to the Clio’s driving characteristics. This is also complimented by good build quality and good value for money which makes the 4th generation Clio the best yet.