Functional but fun – meet Clio
Published 11/12/2012 | 10:28
It’s not just those evocative ads that made Renault’s pert little Clio an icon, selling more than 10-million units over two decades, with a million sales in the UK alone.
Here’s a product that’s truly fit for purpose and, to mix my metaphors, does exactly what it says on the tin.
Simple, affordable fuss-free motoring is the promise that gets fulfilled, winning it ‘Car of the Year’ accolades in both 1991 and 2006.
The third generation, second phase Clio opens a new chapter in a long-running success story, with a new exterior design taking its cues directly from the new Mégane.
Open the doors and you step into a cabin that’s more spacious all-round, with improved head, leg and shoulder room as well as improved cabin stowage space and better quality materials.
The sense of spaciousness and comfort can be increased with the optional electric panoramic sunroof. Measuring 1.29m in length and 0.86m in width it is fitted with an integrated sunblind.
New interior trims and upholstery designs have been introduced to help create a different interior ambience according to model grade.
In an age when folding paper maps are becoming passé, the new Carminat Tom Tom Live navigation system is a significant addition to the Clio range’s standard equipment specification – which is of a level you’d expect to find on a vehicle of the next segment up. Build quality too is of a superior level.
There’s a wide choice of powertrains, the line-up including the established 1.2 16V 75, 1.2 TCe 100, 1.6 VVT 111 (with four-speed automatic transmission), 1.6 VVT 128 & 1.5 dCi 106 units and the highly efficient 1.5 dCi 88 diesel.
Following the launch of the successful 200hp flagship Clio Gordini, Renault expanded the range to allow UK customers the chance to enjoy the look and feel of the Gordini – but with lower emissions, improved fuel consumption and reduced running costs – by adding three-door Gordini-badged and styled models with the petrol 1.6 VVT 128 and 1.5 dCi 106 diesel engines.
Comfort, handling, road-holding and safety have all received upgrades over the previous Clio. Functional, yes, but the best-selling small French car has personality too.