Renault Clio review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£14,695
What Car? Target Price£13,313
Renault Clio 2019 infotainment RHD
Review continues below...

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 in 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.

If you’re wanting the sporty feel, there’s the top-spec RS Line with the 128bhp engine, but this is 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. 

If you’re after the cleanest, most economical engine, the 1.5-litre dCi 85 diesel is the one for you, thanks to CO2 emissions of 95g/km and combined fuel economy of 67.2mpg.

However, the 1.0-litre petrol TCe 100 isn’t too far behind, emitting just 99g/km of CO2 and averaging 54.3mpg. Pick the more powerful 1.3-litre TCe 130, and economy drops to a still reasonable 49.6mpg with emissions at 118g/km.

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, automatic emergency braking and lane-keeping assistance, Bluetooth connectivity and DAB radio as standard, but misses out on a touchscreen infotainment system. 

Iconic is is our favourite trim level and is likely to be the best seller, thanks to the addition of the touchscreen and smartphone mirroring, plus rear parking sensors and a leather steering wheel. S Edition upgrades the screen to the full 9.3in unit and adds the 7.0in TFT driver’s display, plus 17in alloy wheels and automatic headlights, but adds several thousand pounds to the price.

Top-spec RS Line gets a lot of styling tweaks, such as a sports front bumper and full LED headlights, plus unique interior stitching and upholstery across the sportier-shaped seats. A selection of design and technology packs are available, too, but most are still reserved for the higher trim levels.

Renault Clio 2019 infotainment RHD

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

Autonomous driving functionality is also available, albeit in a limited capacity. This includes 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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Renault Clio 2019 wide left front cornering RHD
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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. Although the more powerful 1.3-litre TCe engine is more usable, it’s a chunk more expensive and only comes with the automatic gearbox. Stick with the mid-range Iconic with the TCe 100 engine 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
  • Decent economy and emissions
  • Laggy infotainment screen
  • Clunky manual gearbox
  • High boot loading lip