The fifth generation Renault Clio has to battle it out with the likes of the new Peugeot 208, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo. Can it do that? AutoExpress travelled to Portugal for the official media drive to find out.
The exterior looks like an evolution of the old car; however, every body panel is new, and Renault has made it a tad shorter and has lowered the roofline. Still, thanks to clever packaging, the interior is now more spacious than before, which should give it an advantage over some of its rivals.
Upon entering the new Clio you’re struck by the airy feel, provided by the new dashboard layout and clean-looking infotainment system, with higher grades getting a 9.3-inch display and, optionally, a digital instrument cluster. Other new features include the addition of a wireless charging pad for compatible mobile devices. Elsewhere, you get the usual soft touch materials and leather upholstery that give it a premium feel. Everything is in reach for the driver and even the boot space impresses, with over 1,000 liters (35+ cu-ft) after folding down the rear seats.
The model reviewed is the range-topping RS Line that’s powered by a 130 PS (128 hp / 96 kW) 1.3-liter TCe petrol four that’s mated to a standard 7-speed DCT. The combo feels refined and there’s sufficient power for daily use, regardless of the conditions.
Overall, Renault has managed to obtain a good balance between performance and comfort. You won’t get the Fiesta’s agility through corners, but the new Clio won’t disappoint either. The rest of the reviewer’s observations, which include info about the expected starting price of the mid-range model in the UK, as well as other topics of interest, are a mouse-click away.