Renault Clio review

Category: Small car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol, hybrid
Available colours:
Renault Clio 2020 LHD infotainment
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RRP £17,595What Car? Target Price from£16,007
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

The Clio range starts cheaper than the Polo if you opt for the smallest non-turbocharged engine and the most basic trim, but we’d recommend spending a bit more to upgrade to Iconic trim with the turbocharged 99bhp TCe 100 petrol engine.The top-spec RS Line offers the more powerful 128bhp engine, but it’s only available with an automatic gearbox and can get eye-wateringly expensive. You can get a full-fat Ford Fiesta ST hot-hatch for pretty much the same price. 

At 67.2mpg, the DCi 85 diesel has the best fuel economy on paper, but the E-Tech hybrid isn’t too far behind at 64.2mpg and has lower CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the diesel engine isn’t RDE2 compliant so attracts the 4% BIK company car tax surcharge. Just bear in mind that the E-Tech is significantly more expensive to buy.

The Clio holds onto very nearly as much of its value as the Volkswagen Polo after three years, and depreciates less heavily than the Ford Fiesta. And while the Clio has similar insurance costs to the Ford Fiesta on a like for like basis, a Polo is cheaper still.

Use our True MPG calculator and see what your car really does to the gallon

Equipment, options and extras

As we’ve mentioned, the entry-level Play trim level has more than just the basics, with goodies such as cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio as standard, but it misses out on a touchscreen infotainment system. 

The latter feature is standard with Iconic trim, our favourite Clio trim level, which also adds keyless entry and a leather steering wheel. S Edition trim adds larger 17in alloy wheels, climate control and rear electric windows, but this also adds several thousand pounds to the price.

Top-spec RS Line is even pricier, but provides a lot of styling tweaks, including a specially styled front bumper, plus unique interior stitching and upholstery. A selection of design and technology packs are available, too, but most are still reserved for the higher trim levels.

Renault Clio 2020 LHD infotainment

Reliability

Although we have no data on this latest Clio, Renault as a whole came a shocking 30th out of 31 manufacturers in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. That’s a particular disappointment in light of how the brand finished 19th out of 31 in the same survey a year earlier.

Every new Renault carries a five-year warranty. There’s no mileage limit for the first two years, but a 100,000 limit applies thereafter. Renault also provides three years (or 60,000 miles) of roadside assistance cover. 

This beats the three-year warranties of most rivals and equals Toyota’s five-year/100,000 mile warranty, but isn’t quite as generous as Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited mileage policy or Kia’s seven-year/100,000 mile package.

Safety and security

 

Euro NCAP awarded it the maximum five stars when it safety tested the Clio. Not only is it good at protecting its occupants in a crash, but it also helps to prevent you having one in the first place; Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB), traffic sign recognition and lane-keeping assistance are all standard.

Optional driver aids include adaptive cruise control that can slow you down to a stop and restart again when the car in front pulls away, as well as lane-centring assistance to keep you equidistant between the white lines. On a gently curving motorway with clear white lines, both systems work rather well, guiding the car neatly around bends. However, the lane-centring in particular can be foxed by tighter bends and can get confused by shadows.

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Overview

It might not be the most fun or comfortable small car, but the Clio continues to be a great all-rounder. The frugal E-Tech hybrid version will appeal to company car users, but the TCe 100 petrol is our pick. Stick with the mid-range Iconic trim and you’ll have yourself a very well-priced and practical family car, although interior quality and the infotainment system can’t compete with its german Volkswagen Polo rival.

  • Class-leading safety equipment
  • Practical boot
  • Smooth hybrid system
  • Laggy infotainment screen
  • Clunky manual gearbox
  • High boot loading lip

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