Renault Clio (2013 – 2019) Review
Renault Clio (2013 – 2019) At A Glance
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