Renault Clio (2013 – 2019) Review

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Renault Clio (2013 – 2019) At A Glance

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.

Insurance Groups are between 4–15
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

Renault has been producing the Clio small hatch to the same successful formula for decades now and the fourth-generation version launched in 2013 was a brilliant refresh of the ingredients. More cabin space and better quality made it a stronger rival for the likes of the MINI and Volkswagen Polo, while efficient engines made it cost-effective to buy and run. While not as pin-sharp to drive as a Ford Fiesta, the Clio was still a lot of fun and there was also a choice of manual or automatic gearboxes to reflect the car’s growing maturity in the small hatch sector.

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The Renault Clio really hit its styling stride when the fourth-generation model was launched in 2013. Where the previous model had been clean-cut and, well, a bit boring on the eyes, the new car brought sharp looks and a sporty feel that made most its rivals feel dowdy.

Renault achieved this feat in a mainstream supermini thanks to the crisp appearance of the headlights that blended into the front grille.

This line went on to surround the large Renault ‘lozenge’ logo. It was a mark of how confident Renault felt in this new supermini’s good looks that its badge was so big. After all, why not shout about it and let people know who made the car when it was such a pretty thing?

Buyers certainly didn’t mind telling the world they were driving a Clio and the French car settled in to be one of the better sellers in its sector. Never quite a rival for the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo for outright volume of sales, the Clio nevertheless impressed in other ways.

For starters, the engine line-up that Renault organised for this Clio included the excellent three-cylinder 0.9-litre TCe turbo petrol.

Offered with 90PS, this is the best motor to choose for almost any need thanks to its keen power delivery, refinement and low running costs. Late on this Clio’s life, a 75PS version of the 0.9-litre petrol engine arrived.

Other engines in the range included a 1.2-litre petrol that could be had in non-turbo 75PS form or turbocharged with 120PS.

There was also a smooth 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 90- or 110PS. You could order the diesel or the 1.2 TCe 120 with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which addressed the slightly notchy feel of the five-speed manual.

To make the most of these engine’s power, Renault also shed 100kg of weight from this fourth-generation model compared to its immediate predecessor.

This not only helped with efficiency, but made the latest car much more enjoyable to drive. It handled with more eagerness in corners and the steering provided much more interaction between driver and front wheels.

However, the overriding impression from behind the wheel of the Clio is of a very grown-up, accomplished small car. This stems from the smooth ride that lets the Clio flow along roads with a serenity that few of its competitors can come close to. This stands up whether you’re nipping around town or heading along the motorway.

It’s a similarly positive story inside the Clio, where the cabin offers a good looking dash and in most models a 7-inch touchscreen that works with Renault’s R-Link infotainment system.

There is also better than class average space of passengers and luggage, though the French car doesn’t quite get up the same level as the Kia Rio or Skoda Fabia. This is also true of the cabin’s construction quality, which feels one step below the best cars in the sector.

This was addressed to some extent with a facelift in mid-2016, and the Clio always came generously equipped in its various trims and was one of the safest cars in the segment

Ask Honest John

Should I get a Kia Rio or Renault Clio via the scrappage schemes?
"I want to buy a new car via the scrappage schemes. I need a boot of about 350 litres, which brings my final choice down to the Renault Clio or Kia Rio. Which is the better built car and, doing 10,000 miles per year, which will have a better resale value after five years?"
The Rio 1.0T, simply because it comes with a seven year warranty versus the four year warranty of the Clio.
Answered by Honest John
Why can't I get the full customer savings on a Clio through Renault's scrappage scheme?
"Your scrappage scheme guide quotes a total discount of £4250 off a new Renault Clio, irrespective of whether cash, HP or PCP is used. However, I can get nothing better than an offer of £3500 - which includes a 0 per cent finance deal. They aren't honouring the £4250 off, so have you got this correct on your website?"
Our scrappage guide is correct, £4250 is available on the Renault Clio. This is broken into two parts, a customer saving of £2250 and a scrappage discount of £2000. A saving of £2250 is available on the four-year finance agreements, on 4.9 per cent finance. So you'll get £2000 scrappage allowance on a Clio when you trade-in an eligible vehicle, then you can also get £2250 deposit on a 4.9% finance deal on top of that. But you can't get that £2250 on a 0 per cent finance agreement because, essentially, that £2250 contribution is what you would save on a 0 per cent finance agreement over the four years anyway. The £3500 figure that you're being offered is the £2000 trade-in value, plus the £1500 deposit contribution available through a 0 per cent finance HP.
Answered by Georgia Petrie
I only do 3000 miles a year - can I save money by skipping the annual pollen filter change?
"Our Renault Clio only covers about 3000 miles per year. The pollen filter is changed at each annual service but I feel that this is a bit overkill. Should I stretch the replacement interval and save some money?"
Depends how allergic you and your family are to pollen, dust and airborne PMTs. To be sure of avoiding chest problems, wise to change the pollen filter.
Answered by Honest John
My new car is 14 insurance groups lower than the previous one - so why has my premium gone up?
"My wife recently changed her car from a Land Rover Freelander, worth £2000 and insurance group 23, to a Renault Clio, worth £2000 and insurance group 9. When I changed the vehicle on our Admiral insurance policy it increased by £2 a year. I questioned how this could be true when the car is 14 groups lower on insurance and was told that claims are more likely after changing a vehicle. Having not claimed in 20 years, and driven numerous cars, I pointed out that this was a ridiculous argument. This just seems to rip off of a loyal customer. How can this possibly be fair?"
It isn't fair and it typifies the opaque nature in which insurers work. Even though the cars have different group ratings, the data that goes through underwriting algorithms also looks at past data for that type of car. Clio are generally driven by younger, less experienced people, so there are a lot more Clio on the road than Freelander. As such they are more likely to be involved in an accident. More risk equals higher premium. The earlier ones were also very prone to being stolen, again more risk higher premium. Insurance premium tax has increased and the Ogden Rate has changed as well. This has led to premiums increasing to cover them. You're much better served finding a policy that suits your needs at a competitive price.
Answered by Tim Kelly

What does a Renault Clio (2013 – 2019) cost?

Buy new from £13,851 (list price from £15,895)
Contract hire from £161.87 per month