In the Clio
PART from the Ford Fiesta, there are few superminis with the same enduring appeal as the Renault Clio, and it’s not hard to see why.
Apart from the hot Renaultsport models, they are all comfortable and capable, with good roadholding and handling and decent economy.
The latest model, which is sensibly only available as a five door – has amazingly, been on the market since 2012.
But don’t let that put you off because it’s a cracking and stylish not so small supermini with plenty of the latest technology and a high level of equipment straight out of the box.
This fourth generation Clio offers three petrol engines – a 1.2 with 75bhp, a three cylinder 900cc turbo with 90 and a turbo version of the 1.2 with 120.
The 1.2 offers very good acceleration, bringing up 62 miles an hour in about nine seconds, which makes it quite a warm hatch.
This Clio is lower and wider than previous models, giving a better centre of gravity for stability, and helping towards that excellent comfort.
Another benefit is on the handling, which always feels safe and sure, and instils confidence when pushing on through the corners.
The longer bodyshell is probably one of the most spacious in the class, with good rear legroom and a large boot.
The driving position is excellent, with plenty of column and seat adjustment, and all the controls and dials are readily to hand.
Most will have been personalised by the person who bought them new, but steer clear of wacky colour combinations or over gaudy body paint, which will make them difficult to sell as anything like market value.
The high performance Renaultsport models have a 1.6 turbo with 200 or 220bhp giving stonking performance.
But their very firm ride will not be to all tastes, and neither will the only gearbox option – the company’s EDC dual clutch unit – which is not as smooth as it could be.
All models get cruise, remote locking, traction control, air con, alloys and audio remote control – one of Renault’s best inventions.
Dynamique Media Nav adds climate, sat nav, parking sensors and rear electric windows.
Pay about £5,250 for a ’13 13-reg 1.2 Expression+, or £8,100 for a ’15 15-reg 1.5 diesel Dynamique Nav.