Renault Clio long-term test: report 2

In January, we named the latest Clio our Small Car of the Year. But now we're seeing if it continues to impress when you live with it every day...

Jonty really enjoys his Clio

The Car Renault Clio 1.0 TCe 90 Evolution Run by Jonty Renk, senior videographer

Why it’s here To prove that you don’t need to break the bank to have a fantastic small car

Needs to Offer a versatile and practical interior for camera gear storage while being small and nimble enough to drive in a busy city

Mileage 3210 List price £17,795 Target Price £16,462 Price as tested £18,695 Official economy 54.3mpg Test economy 50.7mpg

11 May 2024 – Catching up on old times

You may remember from my previous report that the car I learned to drive in was a Renault Clio. And getting behind the wheel of this new model genuinely gives me a similar buzz of excitement as I felt in those first driving lessons.

Small hatchbacks like my Clio are often seen as perfect first cars because of their simplicity, value, and size. But big things can come in small packages, as my Clio has been illustrating.

Jonty Approves of the Clio's Infotainment Screen

The boot, for a start, is among the most practical in the class, with enough room for my extensive luggage. The tailgate might not offer fancy electrical assistance to open it, but it’s very lightweight and easy to operate in the old-fashioned way – even if I'm loaded down with camera bags. Plus, the space inside is far deeper than the exterior of the car would suggest.

My car has value covered as well. Even entry-level Evolution trim gets a 7.0in infotainment screen, which is rapid to respond and offers wireless Apple CarPlay; this has been faultless on every journey, whereas I’ve found many other cars have glitchy connectivity issues.

Then there's how my Clio drives. I love the snappy six-speed manual gearbox, and the clutch pedal is perfectly weighted, so while I don't have the luxury of an automatic 'box to change gears for me, the Clio is easy to drive around town. Plus, the 1.0-litre engine offers great pull from low revs, making the car feel really nippy when I'm trying to dart in and out of urban traffic.

Clio driving around town

Whether I’m on a quick trip through town or a longer journey across the county, the driving position is comfortable. The steering wheel offers adjustment for reach and height, and it lines up perfectly with the pedals. Even after some three-hour journeys I’ve jumped out of my seat still feeling fresh.

Next up, though, is the Clio's biggest challenge yet – a trip to Paris.

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