In-depth reviews

Renault Clio hatchback review

"The Renault Clio is great value because of the impressive comfort, technology and interior quality"

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

Price
£16,520 - £22,770

Pros

  • Great interior
  • Well equipped
  • Affordable hybrid

Cons

  • Limited engine choice
  • High loading lip
  • Wind and road noise

The Renault Clio is one of the most popular superminis in Europe. Here in the UK, the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo are more common but the Renault is a huge seller on the continent and it’s not hard to see why this new model is a success: it’s impressive in all the key areas for supermini buyers.

So good, in fact, that we've awarded it our Best Small Car for the third time in a row, so it needs to be at least on your supermini shortlist.

The latest version of the Clio doesn’t look dramatically different from the previous one, as Renault knew there was no point departing from a successful look. Instead, this all-new version is more comfortable, better-equipped and more efficient than before, and it’s great value as a result.

Top 10 best small cars and superminis 2022

Perhaps one of the best aspects of the latest Clio is the interior, which has been upgraded significantly and now looks just as upmarket as an Audi A1. The fact Renault has done this without charging a premium price for the car is impressive, especially thanks to the quality 9.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s even a digital instrument panel, so it feels very modern.

Its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is great to see as well, thanks in part to autonomous emergency braking as standard and even an optional 360-degree camera to make parking as easy as it can be.

The Clio is a fun, accomplished car to drive. It stands as a very effective compromise between comfort and handling; it means the Clio matches rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and SEAT Ibiza in the dynamics department without bettering them. The Clio’s steering has been sharpened up slightly and there's little body lean, while the 1.0-litre petrol with 89bhp offers decent performance. Up until late 2021, you could also choose a languid non-turbo 1.0-litre or a range-topping 1.3-litre TCe petrol only offered in top trims with an automatic gearbox. A diesel engine was also previously available.

The alternative to the TCe 90 petrol engine is the Clio E-Tech hybrid version which could make more sense, thanks to even lower CO2 emissions. With a small battery pack, an electric motor that harvests energy under braking, and another that can power the front wheels at up to 40mph, Renault reckons it will save up to 40% of the fuel normally used in stop-start urban driving. Sure enough, the hybrid manages 64.2mpg - just shy of the diesel. With no effort on our part, we found it easily topped 50mpg in mixed driving.

The latest Renault Clio matches the driving finesse of the Ford Fiesta and outshines the Ford in other areas. Its interior is one of the best in class, while generous interior space, excellent safety and low running costs should help make it a firm favourite. Renault will often provide finance incentives, too, such as 0% APR or a deposit contribution.

Next Steps

Which Is Best?

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 SCe 65 Iconic 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £16,520

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 E-TECH Hybrid 140 Iconic 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £20,970

Fastest

  • Name
    1.6 E-TECH Hybrid 140 Iconic 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £20,970

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