By Declan Glynn
The Renault Clio is one of the most recognisable names in the automotive world, and is synonymous with small, reasonably priced superminis that are great to drive, and offer lots of big-car appeal.
The hotly-anticipated all-new Renault Clio has been launched in Ireland to much acclaim.
With the previous generation Clio proving itself to be a huge sales success for the French manufacturer, the new model could not afford to be anything but perfect.
Thankfully, the all-new Clio is the most advanced, most driver-focused, safest, and most comfortable model in the Clio’s illustrious 30 year history.
The all-new Renault Clio has received the coveted 5-star rating in the latest Euro NCAP safety tests.
Groupe Renault’s best-selling model has been tested according to its new stringent protocol launched in 2018, and won the highest score with results at the highest level of the market, regardless of the segment.
It is also one of the safest city cars ever tested by Euro NCAP. The safety performance achieved is due in part to the enhanced passive safety and the most comprehensive range of driving aids in the segment.
In addition, the all-new Clio’s excellent interior safety features makes it possible to install a wide variety of child seats, both front and rear, on isofix and with the I-size system, as well as featuring enhanced head protection for the rear passengers in case of side impact.
Trim & Engine Options:
There are four trim levels to choose from in the new Renault Clio – Expression, Dynamique, Iconic, and range-topping RS Line.
The new Clio is better equipped than ever before, with even the entry-level Expression model benefiting from full LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, body coloured door handles and mirrors, traffic sign recognition, cruise control with speed limiter, and heated front seats, along with a suite of active safety systems including lane-keep assist and automatic emergency braking.
Presently, there are four engines to choose from – three petrols and one diesel. The range starts with the SCe 75, a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit with 71bhp that’s only available with a five-speed gearbox.
A more sophisticated, turbocharged version of this engine is offered in the TCe 100, producing 99bhp and offered with a five-speed manual, or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT).
A four-cylinder petrol engine is offered in the form of the TCe GPF, a 1.3-litre unit that’s already been used in some much larger Renault cars including the Megane and Kadjar. It produces 128bhp and only comes in combination with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
The single diesel engine option is a 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit (Blue dCi 85) with 84bhp and a healthy 220Nm of torque.
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My review car was a Renault Clio RS Line TCe 100, which looked amazing in Iron Blue metallic paint.
Key standard RS Line equipment includes 17” R.S. Line diamond-cut alloy wheels, an exclusively-styled front bumper with F1-style blade painted Gun Metal Grey with a Bee-Hive lower grille, front LED fog lights, oval chrome exhaust finisher, Gun Metal Grey rear spoiler and lower door protectors, rear view camera, front parking sensors, and a 9.3” Easylink infotainment system with satellite navigation and smartphone replication.
On the road, the new Clio proved itself to be a fun, proficient car to drive, with excellent driving dynamics for an overall terrific driving experience. Well-weighted steering and solid brakes ensure that the new Clio is a true driver’s car, while excellent levels of damping allows the car to handle road imperfections with ease.
The cabin in the new Clio is truly impressive, with excellent ergonomics and high quality materials used throughout. Boot space has also increased, with 391-litres available with the rear seat backs in place, and up to 1,069-litres on offer when the rear seats are folded flat.
The boot gets much of its volume thanks to its deep floor, yet the boot opening is wide and has a relatively low lip – two important factors when loading or unloading heavy items.
Verdict & Pricing:
Overall, the all-new Renault Clio is a star of the supermini class – well-built, good to drive and packed with technology too.
While the previous generation Clio was a well balanced car in every respect, the latest iteration has genuinely upped its game. Pricing for the new Clio starts at just €17,195 and represents terrific value for money.