Review: Renault Modus (2004 – 2012)

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Sensible, practical little car with good features like 'Triptic' rear seat and some diesel engines under 121g/km. Plenty of character too.

'Triptic' seat apparently dropped from spec sometime in 2007.

Renault Modus (2004 – 2012): At A Glance

Seriously cute, immensely likeable and very practical sums it up in one line. I hadn't expected to get on with the Modus as well as I did.


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What does a Renault Modus (2004 – 2012) cost?

Renault Modus (2004 – 2012): What's It Like Inside?

Length 3792–3874 mm
Width 1695–1709 mm
Height 1586–1589 mm
Wheelbase 2482 mm

Full specifications

The surprise and delight feature is the amazing ‘Triptic' rear seat. The centre squab can be flipped up, the two side squabs pushed together, then the whole seat pushed back to provide an astonishing amount of legroom. And this doesn't rob the boot too badly either as there is still plenty of space for bags or shopping. On top of that, the doors open wide, giving excellent access to the seats for the elderly, the infirm or those suffering a weekend rugby injury.

Step outside to look at the car and you cannot quite understand how they get some much interior into such a short car. ‘Tardis' is a corny old analogy, but it applies perfectly to the Modus. It's only 12' 5" long yet there's more rear legroom than a limo. Very clever.

You don't get the boot chute as standard though, even on the top spec Privilege. It's an extra £200 for a Mini-like trapdoor in the rear hatchback though which to drop the shopping. Do you need it as much as £200? Your decision.

Good car, though, in what has become an intensely competitive niche market. And fantastic you can now get so much in something so short.


Child seats that fit a Renault Modus (2004 – 2012)

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.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Renault Modus (2004 – 2012) like to drive?

First proper drive was a night-run to the airport with steamed up windows in freezing fog. The Modus unsteamed its widows with unseemly ease for a stone-cold diesel engine. The 1.5 DCI has plenty enough poke, to the extent that you don't really want any more in a car like this. At first, the steering feels a bit over-centred, but grip is good and you soon get used to it. The cable shift feels like one, but not to the extent I'd complain about it. Only the digital speedo on the passenger side of the central pod is a little touch of RHD skinflinting.

The digits are so big you can read it easily enough, but the surrounding rev counter light show is a bit harder to keep track of. Take your eyes off the road and you will see that 3,000rpm gives you a usefully long 80mph cruise (actually a true 76mph). Ride quality is very good too, absorbing poor surfaces and road humps like a balloon-tyred 4x4 despite the car's diminutive size.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 16V 48 mpg 13.5 s 138–140 g/km
1.2 TCe 47–48 mpg 11.2 s 139–140 g/km
1.4 16V 42 mpg 11.4 s 161 g/km
1.5 dCi 106 60 mpg 11.2 s 124 g/km
1.5 dCi 68 60 mpg 15.3 s 125 g/km
1.5 dCi 86 63 mpg 13.0–14.8 s 119 g/km
1.5 dCi 88 69 mpg 11.0 s 107 g/km
1.6 16V 42 mpg 10.3 s 163 g/km
1.6 VVT Automatic 37 mpg 12.3 s 179 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Modus (2004 – 2012)

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.

Average performance


Real MPG

27–72 mpg

MPGs submitted


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.

What have we been asked about the Renault Modus (2004 – 2012)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Where can I buy winter tyres in summer?

I’ve been on winter tyres for the last five winters. My 1.5DCI Renault Modus is happily clocking 65mpg on my 90mile daily commute across the southern Yorkshire Dales on Kleber Krisalp tyres. I leave them on year round because in this area and climate they are much the safer bet when coping with high rainfall, variable temperatures, cow pats and mud on the road. The only downside is having to replace a damaged tyre in the summer months when the Krisalps aren't available. Luckily have come up trumps once again this year with delivery direct to my front door.
The UK allocation of cold weather tyres is based on the previous year and is usually exhausted by November. But My Tyres ( is actually based in Germany, where cold weather tyres are compulsory in snow, so stocks have to be available. The Kleber All Season tyre, designed for use all year round, is called the Quadraxer.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The Renault Modus (2004 – 2012)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Economical and MPV.

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What do owners think?

Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.

  • 5 star 17%
  • 4 star 67%
  • 3 star
  • 2 star 17%
  • 1 star

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