The stand-alone price is solid but the Clio can’t compete with the Swift’s driveaway deal right now. Putting the Renault on the road will cost about $21,600. Servicing costs are $299 every 12 months/15,000km for the first three years and the Clio has a five-year warranty.
Vivid colours, a minimalist interior and a funky outside look give a good indication the Clio is aimed at younger buyers. The feeling is light and bright and the 300-litre boot is well-up on the Swift’s 210L capacity. Satellite navigation is displayed on a crisp seven-inch screen and the Bluetooth includes audio streaming. There isn’t a huge amount of legroom down the back but all seats are reasonably supportive.
Maintaining momentum is the best way to progress with the 900cc three-cylinder engine. Takeoffs aren’t its forte but once underway the 66kW/135Nm mill gets the job done, if not at serious speed.
The Clio is rated as a five-star car by ANCAP but does without curtain airbags for the back seat passengers. Some won’t care; for others it will be a deal-breaker. Seat belt reminders are fitted to all seats.
Get it off the line and the Clio makes decent progress. Hills don’t help its performance but as an urban commuter it gets the job done without a lot of fuss and with a claimed fuel use of just 4.5L/100km. The softer ride helps over constant bumps but ultimately means the Clio isn’t as entertaining on the back roads.