What are they like inside?
The Clio’s cabin shares plenty with cheaper versions in the range, but Renault has made a bit of an effort. The famous Gordini blue is splashed over the steering wheel, the gearknob and the sides of the seats, while the white instrument dials also add to the sporty ambience. However, some of the buttons on the dash are small and poorly labelled, and the stereo isn’t at all user-friendly.
Apart from chunky alloys and twin exhausts, the Swift doesn’t exactly scream ‘hot hatch’ from afar, and it’s a similar story when you get inside. There’s some red stitching on the seats and the steering wheel, but little else marks the Sport version out from the more humdrum models. At least that means everything is solid and the controls are logically laid out.
Both cars have figure-hugging front seats, but the Clio’s sit lower, giving it the sportier driving position. The Swift presents you with a great view of the road ahead, though, and there’s lots of adjustment to the steering wheel to help you get comfortable.
The Clio is the bigger car. You won’t notice that from the driver’s seat, because the Swift has more front head room, but you will when you open the boot; the Clio’s loadbay is much longer, whether the seats are up or down.
Both cars will comfortably accommodate a couple of mates in the back, with similar rear head and leg room. The Clio can seat five in emergencies, though, because it has a third rear seatbelt.
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