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In-depth reviews

Renault Clio Sport Tourer estate (2008-2012)

"Practical and surprisingly spacious, the Renault Clio Sport Tourer is a great alternative to a bulky, full-sized estate. It’s fun to drive, too."

Carbuyer Rating

2.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Large, comfy cabin
  • Light and easy to drive
  • Practical boot

Cons

  • Limited choice
  • Lacklustre entry-level engines
  • Poor resale values

Renault’s Clio Sport Tourer estate is comfortable and easy to drive, and adds even more practicality to the spacious and popular Clio hatchback. As demand for this model is fairly low, the Clio Sport Tourer isn’t offered with quite as many engine and trim options as the hatchback, but those that are available will appeal to its target customers. We’d recommend the 1.2-litre TCe petrol engine, although the 1.5- litre dCi diesel engine also makes sense if you’re going to cover bigger mileages on a regular basis, thanks to its impressive 64.2mpg fuel efficiency.

MPG, running costs & CO2

Frugal engines mean low fuel and tax bills

Running costs shouldn’t cause any shocks, except perhaps when you come to sell it – the Clio doesn’t hold its value quite as well as some rivals do. Frugal engines mean low fuel and tax bills though, as well as inexpensive insurance quotes.

Engines, drive & performance

The Clio Sport Tourer is easy to drive and park

The Renault Clio Sport Tourer’s steering is very light, making it easy to drive and park. Changing gear is easy and quick, and the suspension combines control and comfort very well. The non- turbocharged 1.2-litre engine struggles a bit in the estate with the turbocharged 1.2-litre TCe offering the best compromise for easy performance and near-50mpg capability. If you are planning on moving heavier loads or covering lots of miles, the 1.5 dCi diesel is worth a look. It can return 64.2mpg, but it’s not particularly quiet and costs more than the excellent 1.2-litre TCe petrol alternative.

Interior & comfort

Clio Sport Tourer really impresses when it comes to comfort

Thanks to its spacious cabin, supple suspension and supportive seats, the Clio Sport Tourer really impresses when it comes to comfort. Rougher roads result in the odd knock from the suspension, but the Clio is better than most of its rivals at smothering bumps in the road.

Practicality & boot space

It’s not quite as spacious as some rivals

In hatchback form, the Clio is already among the most practical superminis around, and the Clio Sport Tourer only builds on that. The boot’s maximum capacity is 1,277 litres, which compares favourably to the 1,038 litres available in the hatchback. That’s with seats fully folded, though. With the seats in position, the Clio estate’s 439 litres of boot space rivals that of family hatchbacks in the class above. It’s not quite as spacious as Skoda’s Fabia Estate, though. The Czech model betters the Clio’s boot space with the rear seats up or down, at 480 and 1,460 litres respectively.

Reliability & safety

Renault has worked hard to improve reliability

Renault has worked hard to improve the reliability of its cars, and the Clio’s top 40 position in the 2010 Driver Power survey for reliability demonstrates this. However, it’s not all-good news – as the interior feels a bit flimsy and is prone to squeaks and rattles. The Clio does have an impressive array of safety features, though, plus it boasts top scores in the Euro NCAP crash test.

Price, value for money & options

The simple range offers just three trims

With only three trim levels offered, the Clio Sport Tourer is a less confusing purchase than its hatchback relative. Expression+ trim brings little in the way of standard equipment, while the Dynamique and GT Line TomTom are the opposite – with satellite navigation and air-con as standard. Limited appeal as a second-hand buy, combined with Renault’s poor resale values, mean the Clio Sport Tourer won’t be worth much when you sell it on.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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