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Renault Clio (2009-12)

Overall Rating

4 stars

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.

For
  • Cheap second hand car with 1.2 favoured by learner drivers
  • Excellent fuel economy from diesel engine
  • Improved petrol engines
Against
  • Looks haven't changed much for over a decade
  • Lacks refinement
  • Rivals are better
Road Test

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

Replacement: 2012


Alternatives
Renault Clio (2009-12)
Star Ratings

Handling

3 stars

Comfort

3 stars

Quality & Reliability

4 stars

Performance

3 stars

Roominess

3 stars

Running Costs

3 stars

Value for Money

3 stars

Stereo/Sat Nav

3 stars
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