Carry on Clio... Re­nault re­vives Va Va Voom with stylish re­turn

Yorkshire Post - Motoring - - ROAD TEST -

C’etait un Ren­dezvous, the door sills which not only adds some scuff pro­tec­tion but breaks up the monotony of the panels. You see one and think: hmm, not bad.

This is the fourth gen­er­a­tion of Clio since 1990. More than 11.5 mil­lion have been sold. Its awards in­clude two Euro­pean Car of the Year awards, one at launch, the sec­ond for 2006 for

The re­mark­ably smooth engine is off­set by a rather rot­ten ride on our “nor­mal” road sur­faces.

the out­go­ing Mk3. It was the first car to get a 5 Star safety rat­ing from EuroNCAP in 2005. Re­nault calls new Clio a “sleek, cur­va­ceous de­sign with five-door prac­ti­cal­ity but the low, sporty pro­file of a coupe”. Well, it does have hid­den rear door latches – now quite com­mon.

All Clios have sta­bil­ity and trac­tion con­trol, hill start as­sist, six airbags, cruise con­trol, a use­ful speed lim­iter, key­less en­try and ig­ni­tion, au­dio fea­tur­ing Re­nault’s new bass re­flex tech­nol­ogy, blue­tooth, USB and jack con­nec­tion points, elec­tric front win­dows and door mir­rors, plus a 60:40 split fold­ing rear seat.

Top Clio is the Dynamique S Me­di­aNav, with au­to­matic head­lights and wipers, 17 al­loy wheels, cli­mate con­trol, a cen­tre arm­rest and rear park­ing sen­sors.

There is a choice, de­pen­dant on which trim level you se­lect, from Re­nault/Nis­san’s lat­est small ca­pac­ity petrol and diesel en­gines – all with fivespeed man­ual gear­boxes. A GT Line with au­to­matic gears is on the way.

My test car was the core Dynamique Me­di­aNav fit­ted with Re­nault’s new (and first) three cylin­der engine, an 898cc horse power petrol which made easy work of this lighter Clio. Its of­fi­cial fig­ures are 62.8mpg and 104g/km with a 12.2 sec­onds 0-62mph time. List price is £13,995.

On the road? The re­mark­ably smooth three cylin­der engine is off­set by a rather rot­ten and usu­ally rest­less ride on our “nor­mal” road sur­faces and there was wind noise in the front screen pil­lar area. Fuel econ­omy was ex­cel­lent, rag­ing from 45 to 56 miles a gal­lon.

Who­ever signed off the de­sign for the hand grabs in­side the tail­gate should be ad­mon­ished. It is re­ally hard to close us­ing just one grip un­less you fol­low up with a shove on the outer panel. Us­ing both grips means your hands have to be empty.

The road test of the Bent­ley Con­ti­nen­tal GT Speed in last week’s edi­tion should have said the car is built in Crewe, not Derby.

GEN­ER­A­TION GAME: This is the fourth new Clio since 1990, and the model has achieved over­all sales of more than 11.5 mil­lion.

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