The Renault Clio is a small family hatchback that first came onto the scene back in 1990 and has since spawned five different generations. Virtually all generations of the Clio can still be seen on plenty of European roads which poses the question, is Renault Clio a good car?
The Renault Clio is one of the best cars Renault currently makes as it is relatively affordable to buy, affordable to keep running, spacious, good-looking, and well-equipped. Therefore, we can’t really call it anything but a good car which does make sense as Renault was always keen on making some of the best-economy cars in the European market.
The Renault Clio comes with a wide array of diesel and gasoline engines, all of which are fairly docile and sophisticated. The exterior design is really well-proportioned and stylish while the interior is not as exciting. Reliability could be better, but the Clio did manage to improve its overall reliability over the years.
Pricing is really good and is one of the main reasons why the Clio is so successful. Practicality is on par with what you can expect from all other cars in this segment with enough space for four and a decently sized trunk.
The Renault Clio comes with a choice of four gasoline engines. The smallest one is the 1.0L in-line 3-cylinder with either 91hp or 100hp. The next in line is the 1.4L inline 4-cylinder with 130hp. You can also get the Clio with a 1.6L inline 4-cylinder hybrid with a total power output of 150hp.
The diesel engine range currently offers just the 1.5L 4-cylinder with 85hp while the Clio can also be had with a special Bi-Fuel powertrain configuration that pushes out 100hp. All of these are mated to either a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic while the power is always sent to the front wheels only.
Fuel efficiency is rated at around 45MPG for the gasoline variants, around 60MPG for the hybrid, and 65MPG for the diesel variant. The special Bi-Fuel model can do around 41MPG and can take either LPG or gasoline. All in all, all the powertrain options with the Clio are efficient, and sophisticated, but could use a bit more power.
Design and Driving Experience
The exterior of the Clio is dominated by large LED headlights and taillights while the front grille is dominated by a large Renault emblem sitting proudly in the middle. With funky colors and good-looking wheels, the Clio can look really nice. The interior isn’t as special as it is getting on a bit now and should be replaced in a year or two.
The driving experience is fairly sedated as you’d expect from a car like this. The Clio can also be had in special RS trim which does make the car much more dynamic and fun to drive. All in all, it is a comfortable family daily driver which should satisfy your needs without being overly excited.
Reliability and Common Issues
When it comes to reliability, the new Renault Clio manages to maintain a fairly good outlook which is not the case with all the previous generations. The Clio has had its fair share of issues over the years and is now much better than it once was.
The most common Renault Clio problems are faulty electronics, problems with the ignition coils, transmission problems, unresponsive brakes, and issues with the power steering system. The idea behind the Clio is that it should be properly maintained and taken care of if you want it to last a decent amount of time without failing.
Pricing and Practicality
The Renault Clio price ranges between £18,995 and £23,995 in the UK while European prices start from around €15,000 at the cheapest. All in all, the Clio is a really common car which means that it is selling really well. However, it is also known to lose immense amounts of value over the period of 3-5 years which is when the Clio becomes a really attractive proposition.
Practicality is on par with the rest of the segment which means that the Clio can sit up to four people without too many issues. The trunk space is large and enough for a weekend getaway while overall visibility is decent. There are many interior cubby spaces and family-friendly features which elevate the practical experience even more.
Is the Renault Clio Safe?
Virtually all newer Renault cars are 5-star safety-rated cars and the Renault Clio is no different. With a 96% adult occupant protection score, the Clio is actually at the very top of the segment and sets the benchmark for many cars to follow. Child occupant protection of 89% is also really good, especially as this is a compact hatchback.
Where the Clio does fall a bit short is not having all the modern-day active safety features which are standard across the industry nowadays. This makes sense as this generation of the Clio has been around for a while now and is soon to be replaced.
Which Cars Rival the Renault Clio?
The Renault Clio is facing some tough competition as Europe is brimming with hatchbacks. These include models such as the Kia Rio, Citroen C3, Peugeot 208, Honda Jazz (Fit), Mazda 2, Opel Corsa, Hyundai i20, VW Polo, Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia, and Seat Ibiza.
With such numerous competition, the Clio needs to stand out and it does so mostly by the way it looks and thanks to the exciting Clio RS variant.
Is There an Electric Renault Clio?
At the moment, the Clio is not being offered as an EV nor has it ever been offered as an EV. The closest thing to an EV is the aforementioned hybrid which can be driven on electric power alone for shorter distances. However, the Clio is likely going to get a full-on EV model when the next generation rolls around the corner.
Even though some have said that the Clio is going to be discontinued, it seems like that is not yet going to be the case.