The new Renault Clio – so exciting you’ll wet yourself*
*While this is true, I must admit the offender was a one-year-old
Every car has a stereotype, give or take. If you drive a small hatch, you’re a young driver looking for a cheap insurance premium. An estate? You’ve got half a dozen dogs. Probably.
But it’s not always that easy. Take SUVs, which are no longer just driven by off-roaders, but seemingly everyone with a licence.
The Renault Clio does a similar thing, in that it doesn’t just suit one type. Of the 15 million+ sold over its lifetime, there are a good few that aren’t driven on L plates. Same again for the new model?
Youngens still catered for
The exterior’s largely unchanged, but that’s not to say it isn’t a good-looking thing. Especially in RS Line, and the Iron Blue shade, it’s very smart.
So smart in fact, that the 17-month-old extra from the video review above wet herself on seeing the car. We can’t be sure if this was because of the car, but we also can’t be sure it wasn’t.
Then there’s the seventeen-inch rims, chrome exhaust tip and an F1-style splitter on the front end for extra style points. Although it’s not a car that Renault are gearing wholly towards young drivers, they’re still more than catered for.
To quote the vid, it’s properly nice inside too. The digital display behind the wheel – a feature rarely seen in small hatches – is a canny addition, and the iPad-esque touchscreen on the dash presents your satnav and media info nicely.
Does the bits expected of it…
Although you can argue the Clio sits in several categories, there’s no disputing its supermini status. And with that, comes the expectation that it handles the city centre without any fuss.
The chunky steering wheel, for one, helped navigate Newcastle’s centre without bother, while our model’s wheel-mounted paddles made for easy gear changing.
That gearbox is only available with the 1.3-litre petrol engine, but it’s probably the best of the lot. With 130bhp, it has more than enough poke for a small car and is plenty nippy when you put your foot down.
When you get to where you’re going, the parking sensors and reversing camera will help slide it into a space. Or there’s the Techno Pack’s Easy Park Assist, which’ll do it for you. It has four options, including reverse bay and parallel parking – a nifty bit of kit, especially when considering the last model I saw it on was a £60k Audi.
… and more
Superminis can often suit young drivers, commuters and little else, but the Clio’s always gone a bit beyond that.
You see plenty of them filling in as small family runarounds. The key word being ‘small’, they won’t work for a family of two adults and three lanky teens. But if that’s what you need to cater for, you’ll no doubt be looking at something bigger.
This new model, however, will do the biz for older couples whose kids are knocking about elsewhere, or young families. Look at the kid’s face in the video and tell me she isn’t absolutely chuffed with the new Clio.
Still a standout, with a few bits thrown in
You could argue Renault have played it safe here, but that mightn’t be a bad thing.
Although there’s been no overhaul on looks, it’s still a good-looking car and with the subtle tweaks, such as the updated headlights, it looks even more a part of the brand’s current line-up. And with the new RS Line trim, it throws together sporty appeal, a truly cushy interior and a load of useful tech.
With the added parking feature and top-spec engine, the price jumps north of £20k, but you could save up to £6k on one of the cheaper trims and keep a lot of the new model’s charm. All round, a more than solid option.
For more on the new Renault Clio, or to try it yourself, get in touch with Lookers Renault.