An affordable small car the Renault Clio has been popular since its launch in 1998 but it now has some strong rivals and is falling behind.
- Cheap second hand car with 1.2 favoured by learner drivers
- Excellent fuel economy from diesel engine
- Improved petrol engines
- Looks haven't changed much for over a decade
- Lacks refinement
- Rivals are better
Clio's appeal has always been as a cheerful car that's easy to own, affordable to buy and cheap to run. But rivals such as the current Fiesta, Micra and Polo have raised supermini buyers' expectations to the point where Clio falls behind. For this latest generation Renault have hardly made any changes just a few amendments to the lights, Strong points are Clio's visual identity, a high safety rating, and generous equipment levels (all have ABS, electric windows and remote locking). Engines are the petrol - 1.2 16v favoured by the learner drivers achieving a fuel economy of 48mpg, 1.2 TCE achieves 52mpg. 1.6 VVT achieves 36mpg. One diesel choice of 1.5 dCi achieves an excellent 78mpg. The 16-valve petrol engines are lively; the 1.2 16v is eager, while the 1.6 VVT is positively sporty. What lets Clio down is an all-round lack of refinement, an uninspiring cabin that's smaller than the best rivals, and handling that fall well short.
Need To Know
Best Models: 1.5 dCi for fuel economy, 1.2 16v for learner drivers
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money