A history lesson…
The latest incarnation of the super-popular Renault Clio has been with us since 2005, and while initial reactions towards its works weren’t favourable, a few tweaks here and cosmetic surgery there has really made the different to the cute Clio.
Renault’s Clio has been the thorn in the side of Ford’s Fiesta for decades, and with the latest model boasting much more space, quality and improved engines, its set to take more sales off the Blue Oval’s hatchback.
The RenaultSport Clio is the pick of the bunch, with a punchy and aggressive 2.0-litre N/A engine, 200bhp and superb handling characteristics, it is ideal for those who want the looks of a Clio with the performance of a hot-hatch.
Bang for your buck
Clio’s aren’t famed for their large amounts of technology or build quality, but with this latest model Renault really have done the business. Ok, so you don’t get leather or wood, but you do get a much improved build quality, more powerful engines and much more room inside.
The RenaultSport models get sport suspension, Brembo brakes and a 200bhp four-pot engine. Lesser models are just a good and probably represent better value for money. The diesels can offer incredible miles per gallon and extremely low running costs thanks to their fuel saving tech and
What you’ll pay
The Clio is one of the cheapest new cars you can buy in the UK, so used prices are even more favourable. You’ll be looking at around £3,500 for a 2006 plate 1.2 Extreme, while the 200bhp RenaultSport Clio will cost you around £6/7k for a good example.
French parts are always cheaper than the German equivalent. An air filter is around £7, spark plugs are £9, while an oil filter is around £7.
How it drives
Depending upon which variation you opt for, the Renault Clio can be one or two cars. The RenaultSport Clio, for instance, is a fantastic car. It’s probably one of the best handling hot hatches on the market, continues to sell in droves and remains the most praised all-rounder in the hot hatch sector. While the diesel, on the other hand, is the polar opposite. It’s not exciting, nor is it brilliant through the bends, but what the diesel can do over the 2.0-litre petrol is save you money.
It’s swings and roundabouts really. All Clios are basic but well-equipped hatchbacks for the cities of today. Light steering and clutch pedal, a quite large but informative steering wheel and a nice feel to the plastics means you’re in for an enjoyable and inexpensive drive.
Safety is very respectable, too, as Renault really concentrated on making this Clio a safe car. There’s ABS, ESP and EBD on offer, meaning should you lose grip, it should help you out as much as possible. It’s the little touches like the aforementioned which really show Renault care about the reputation of its new models and that it wants to continue to be a force in the motoring world.