• French style shines through in Renault Clio

    by  • June 19, 2013 • Car Reviews, Test Drives

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    2013 Renault Clio exterior front right

    The fourth generation Renault Clio is a stunning looking car

    If chic and petite with a hint of va-va voom are top of your priority list when it comes to choosing a new car, then you should check out the all new Renault Clio.

    We reckon it’s the most stylish looking little supermini on the road at the moment.

    The test car was a stunning-looking fiery red five-door hatchback with stand out glossy black side details at the base of the doors, hidden rear door handles and striking front lights.

    Inside, the cabin in the test model was equally stylish, with a key card activated button start and a clutter-free centre console with glossy black surround.

    2013 Renault Clio interior cockpit

    The new Renault Clio features a nice crisp interior

    Infotainment was catered for via an LG touch screen unit with SatNav/Radio and USB.

    I particularly liked the position of the USB, which was high up on the centre console, beside the radio.

    I also liked that there were loads of little storage cubbies dotted throughout the cabin for change and car park tickets and the like. The glove compartment is on the small side though.

    The instrument panel was also well designed, with a nice digital speed readout dominating.

    Cruise control/speed limiter (standard on all trims) were of the always-on variety, with the on button located between the front seats and the controls on the steering wheel.

    Legroom in this car was good in front and quite adequate in the back for someone of my height (5’5”) sitting behind a driver of similar height.

    The seats were also comfortable, but two adults rather than three would be better suited to the bench seat in the back.

    The boot in the Renault Clio is deep and quite big for a car of its size. It can, of course, be made even bigger by folding the rear seats, but these don’t lie flat.

    The test car was a five-speed 1.5-litre 90 hp diesel manual, with a manual handbrake.

    2013 Renault Clio interior boot rear seats

    The boot in the Renault Clio is impressive, with folding rear seats making it even bigger

    It was very much at home in the city, where it handled well, made great use of its stop/start technology and got many admiring looks. Parking also was not an issue.

    We took it out of its comfort zone and went for a spin up the Dublin mountains and while it wasn’t a big fan of the terrain, it was comfortable at low gears on steep inclines and did what was asked of it.

    The Hill Start Assist feature, which is standard on all trims, was a great help on these types of roads.

    The test car wasn’t the fastest at the lights and on the motorway it took its time reaching 120kph, however, when it got there, it had no problem maintaining that speed and, as with any car, cruise control was a big plus.

    The fuel economy in this Eco model was also remarkable – so good in fact that I thought the fuel gauge was broken. We did in excess of 300km over the week we had it and the needle didn’t move at all.

    Overall, I liked the Renault Clio. I think it’s a well thought out and well designed snazzy looking car that will suit style-conscious drivers and is perfect for the city.

    The Renault Clio is available now, with prices starting from €14,995. The mid range Dynamique model I was driving costs from €19,290.

    Tech Spec
    Engine: 1.5 dCi 90 hp Eco (diesel)
    Acceleration: 0-100kph in 11.6seconds
    Top speed: 180kph
    Fuel Economy: 3.6l/100km
    CO2 emissions: 83g/km
    Annual road tax: €180

    Visit the Renault Ireland website or its Facebook page for further details.

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