New Renault Clio and Captur E-Tech hybrids revealed: price, specs and release date

New Clio small hatch and Captur SUV get fuel-saving hybrid technology...

Renault Clio E-tech front

On sale: June | Price from: £18,500 (est)

The Renault Clio is undoubtedly a stylish option if you’re looking for a small car, but buyers haven’t been able to marry those catwalk looks with the low running costs of a hybrid – until now. 

The Clio E-Tech is Renault’s answer to the fashion-conscious buyer who wants to do their bit for Mother Earth. It can travel on electric power alone for up to 80% of a typical urban journey – the same figure touted by the rival Toyota Yaris Hybrid – at speeds of up to 38mph. It should also save you money, because fuel economy is improved by up to 40% compared with conventionally powered Clio variants.

Renault Clio E-tech interior

The Clio E-Tech can be driven in electric mode over very short distances at the push of a button, but its electric motor works in conjunction with a 1.6-litre petrol engine the vast majority of the time, with the two producing a combined 140bhp.

To differentiate it from its regular brethren, the Clio E-Tech gets a different rear bumper – with E-Tech badging – and an optional paint pack. Inside, the Clio’s 7.0in digital instrument display features new graphics that show you how the electric motor is being used or when the system is harvesting energy normally lost during braking and feeding it back into the battery.

Renault Captur E-tech front

The Clio isn’t the only Renault to have received eco treatment, because a plug-in hybrid version of the Captur small SUV has also been revealed. The Captur E-Tech can officially run on electric power alone for up to 30 miles. As an added bonus, if you’re in need of a sudden burst of speed, its two electric motors and 1.6-litre petrol engine can deploy all of their power for short bursts – useful when overtaking, for example. This plug-in hybrid Captur returns 188mpg and emits 34g/km of CO2 on the WLTP test.

Prices for both cars are yet to be announced, but the Clio E-Tech is expected to cost from around £18,500 and the Captur E-Tech from around £22,000.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

The top 10 hybrid cars

Does the addition of two new Renault hybrids have you thinking about going green? If so, this next story is for you, because we've rounded up the best hybrid cars on sale, ranging from family cars to SUVs, and everything in between.

10. Audi Q5 TFSIe

Save money on a new Audi Q5 with What Car? >>

Audi Q5

The Q5 has long been one of our favourite large SUVs, thanks to its hushed cruising manners, comfortable ride and classy interior. And while, this plug-in hybrid version is considerably more expensive than a diesel Q5 to buy, it compensates with far more performance and significantly cheaper BIK tax bills.

Toyota Prius Hybrid

The Prius is one of the founding fathers of low-emissions motoring, and in its latest form, it can compete directly with conventional family hatchbacks rivals such as the Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. It's even more fuel efficient than its predecessor, its interior is both roomier and better finished, and it's now better to drive than ever before.

Read our full Toyota Prius review >>

8. Mercedes S560e

Save money on a new Mercedes S-Class with What Car? >>

Mercedes S-Class saloon

Why not combine low emissions with luxury car comfort? The S560e keeps everything we love about the regular S-Class, such as its long-distance cruising capability and stunning interior, and adds a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine under the bonnet working in conjunction with an electric motor. You can travel for around 30 miles on electric power alone – or use the electric motor to boost acceleration.

Read our full Mercedes S-Class review >>

7. BMW 530e

BMW 530e front

We're big fans of the BMW 5 Series: it's our favourite luxury car and was even our overall Car of the Year in 2017, having beaten rivals such as the Audi A6 and Jaguar XF. The plug-in hybrid 530e version can cover about 20 miles on electricity alone in real-world conditions before switching to petrol power, so it's a great option for those living in the city. It's also officially the most frugal 5 Series model, as well as the cheapest to tax.

Read our full BMW 5 Series review >>

Next: Read the full top 10 >>