Review: Renault Clio (2013)
Bigger and better looking Clio an improvement on previous model. Both 90 TCe petrol and 90 dCI diesel under 100g/km CO2.
Interior quality doesn't match rivals. UK cars have offset pedals and wheel. Steering on 90 TCe a little light.
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Renault Clio (2013): At A Glance
- New prices start from £12,450, brokers can source from £785
- Contract hire deals from £120.16 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 4–15
- On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure
The styling of the fourth generation Clio is a radical departure from the old model and is based on the DeZir concept car. It's only offered with five doors, but the coupe-like roofline and hidden rear door handles mean it looks a lot like a three-door. The new model is wider, lower and longer than the outgoing car and so it has a more spacious cabin than its predecessor.
The cabin has been given the same treatment as the exterior, with a more interesting and modern looking dashboard, instrument cluster and centre stack than the drab third generation Clio.
Buyers who choose Dynamique trim level or higher will get a new seven-inch touchscreen ‘R-Link’ system, featuring sat nav, entertainment and a host of apps, which make everything from finding a fuel station to sending a tweet possible in car. Attractive and spacious though the cabin is, it does lag behind rivals in terms of interior quality.
Engines are small, modern and clean. The highlight is a a 900cc three-cylinder petrol engine with 90PS, which is refined and gives much better performance than you would expect of such a small engine. Fuel economy is good too at 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, with 99g/km CO2 placing it in VED band A.
There is also a 120PS 1.2-litre engine, which is linked to a dual-clutch automatic as standard. Finally, a 1.5-litre diesel with 90PS is available and it offers the lowest fuel consumption in the range at 88mpg. That means CO2 emissions of just 83g/km. Regardless of engine, the Clio encourages fuel efficient driving thanks to an ECO mode, a driving style monitor, a gear change indicator and even an app designed to coach drivers into reducing fuel consumption.
Customisation is an important part of the new Clio and buyers can specify the colour scheme of everything from the grille to the door pulls, as well as interior upholstery and a selection of affordable accessory packs. Eight base colours are available from launch, including the vibrant red shown in these pictures.
What does a Renault Clio (2013) cost?
Renault Clio (2013): What's It Like Inside?
The cabin of the Clio has been styled after the exterior so it looks pretty neat - particularly the instrument binnacle, which has a big, clear digital speedo and attractive dials. There's also a large touchscreen infotainment system on upper trim levels which includes navigation and a good level of connectivity for USB devices and phones.
Unfortunately, while the interior is pretty to look at it's not executed particularly well. There is a soft-touch covering on the dashboard to lift the ambience, but the rest of the plastics feel cheap and there isn't much in the way of stylish embellishment.
Thankfully there's a lot of space - the five-door design means rear head and legroom impresses. There's also a decent boot with a capacity of 300 litres, expandable to 1146 litres with the rear row of seats folded. There is a high load lip though, which rules out easy loading of particularly heavy items.
Equipment levels are reasonable, with some nice gear available even on entry level models. Cruise control, hill start assist and Bluetooth connectivity are standard across the the range, as is keycard entry. Moving up to higher grades gets more high tech gear like a touch screen system.
It's hard to escape the flaws though - everything feels built to a price, right down to numerous switches shared with the Dacia Sandero. The touch screen system on higher grade models isn't particlarly user friendly and the sat nav doesn't accept full seven digit postcodes,
Standard equipment from launch:
Expression models come with: CD player with USB port, split/fold rear seats, cruise control, speed limiter, day time running lights, hill start assist, height and reach adjustable steering, height adjustable drivers seat, electric front windows, keycard entry, button start, steel wheels.
Expression+ adds: 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, front foglights.
Dynamique MediaNav trim adds: MediaNav multimedia system with satellite navigation and touchscreen, Eco Mode function, gloss black interior trim elements, chrome exterior details, hands-free keycard, automatic lights and wipers.
Dynamique S MediaNav trim adds: Choice of interior trim upholstery and dashboard colours, 17-inch alloy wheels, centre armrest, climate control, heated electrically folding door mirrors, electric rear windows, parking sensors.
Child seats that fit a Renault Clio (2013)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Renault Clio (2013) like to drive?
Perhaps the most important engine offered with the new Clio is a low capacity petrol engine - the 900cc TCe. With less than a litre of displacement it might sound too small and underpowered but it's actually fine. Power is 90ps and there's 135Nm of torque - and that's available from low down the rev range so there's no need to push the engine hard in order to extract useful performance.
Furthermore it's impressively quiet at low engine speeds - the only time the typical three-cylinder thrum kicks in is when the engine is revved hard. You probably won't need to do that, though, and that is good news for fuel economy. The official combined cycle figure is 65.7mpg and while it's not going to match that in the real world it should prove a frugal car.
One downside to the lightweight 900cc engine is the affect it has on power steering - the steering set up is geared towards a heavier engine so it feels overly light. Indeed, when the stop/start system has engaged and power assistance is reduced the steering weight is actually better. The gearshift isn't brilliant either, it feels a little clunky and old-fashioned but it's hardly a massive problem.
That's an issue present with the dCi 90 diesel engine too, but the heavier engine makes the steering much better. It's a 1.5-litre engine and while it has the same peak power output as the tiny petrol engine, it makes much more torque - 220Nm. That makes it a more suitable companion for motorways, A-roads and country lanes - it's both easier and more enjoyable to drive on a twisting road than the TCe 90.
The Clio range also has an old tech, entry level 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine and a more up to date 1.2 TCe, the latter of which is offered in conjunction with a DSG automatic gearbox and marketed as a 'junior' Renaultsport Clio. Unfortunately this 1.2 TCe variant is a little bit on the expensive side.
There is one final issue with the Clio regardless of the choice of engine - the driving position. It is a little twisted in UK cars - the steering wheel is slightly offset to the left and the pedals to the right. This is the result of engineering the car for right-hand drive and it will be an issue for some drivers, particularly those who drive long distance or who have a bad back.
|0.9 TCe||57–67 mpg||11.8–12.3 s||94–114 g/km|
|0.9 TCe 90||60 mpg||12.2 s||105 g/km|
|1.2||50–51 mpg||14.5–15.4 s||127 g/km|
|1.2 TCe||53 mpg||-||118 g/km|
|1.2 TCe 120||53 mpg||-||118 g/km|
|1.2 TCe 120 Automatic||52 mpg||-||120 g/km|
|1.2 TCe 120 EDC||52 mpg||9.2 s||120 g/km|
|1.2 TCe Automatic||52 mpg||-||120 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 110||81 mpg||-||90 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 90||71–88 mpg||11.7–12.0 s||82–106 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 90 Automatic||71–81 mpg||12.9–13.1 s||92–107 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Renault Clio (2013)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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