Renault Clio hatchback (2013-2019) - Interior & comfort
The Renault Clio feels like a larger and more grown-up car than many of its competitors – it’s quiet and comfortable inside
Climb into the Renault Clio and you'll immediately notice the front seats are mounted quite high, so you get a good view of the road ahead. However, their stepped arrangement makes finding the ideal driving position a challenge.
The standard seats also don’t have a great deal of side support and the quality of the cloth varies widely from trim to trim, which is another reason to avoid the most basic version.
Another niggle is the stereo controls, which aren’t as intuitive as the best the competition has to offer. You can choose an optional Bose stereo upgrade that promises higher-quality sound, but if you’re playing a particularly lively song, you can hear the speakers rattling the door trims. It’s just one more sign that the interior of the Clio was built down to a price.
Renault Clio dashboard
Following a refresh in mid-2016, Renault Clio interior quality is better than it used to be. Many surfaces are more pleasing to the touch than before, with greater use of soft-touch plastics on the doors and satin-effect metal trim, plus matt-black details on the air vents to give the car a classier look.
But although this represents an undeniable improvement, there are still areas where the finish is lacking: namely the scratchy plastics in the centre console and lower dashboard, and cost-cutting items like a glovebox that doesn't close softly.
The centre console and steering wheel are both trimmed in attractive glossy black plastic, but the materials lower down and on the tops of the doors look and feel quite cheap, which is a bit disappointing after the stylish and modern exterior.
There are three trim levels in the Clio range, with Play being the entry-level model. It features a DAB radio, Bluetooth, cruise control, 16-inch alloy wheels, manual air-con and electric front windows. Next up is Iconic, which adds 17-inch alloys, rear parking sensors and Renault’s MediaNav system with a seven-inch touchscreen complete with sat nav and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Sitting at the top of the Clio range are the GT Line models, which feature sporty body styling, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and tail lights, auto wipers and lights and electrically folding, heated door mirrors. Additionally, you’ll find a climate control system, black upholstery with synthetic leather facings, a leather steering wheel and electric rear windows.
Step inside a Clio Iconic or GT Line model and the first thing you’ll notice is the colourful seven-inch touchscreen mounted high in the middle of the dashboard. As the name suggests, it lets you control everything from the radio station to the Bluetooth connection. It includes sat nav, too, making it quite an impressive gadget to get thrown in as standard.
However, in our experience it can be frustratingly slow to react when reading out directions, so if you’re buying a Clio we’d recommend the R-Link system (discussed below).
The long list of standard equipment means the Clio has a fairly small number of accessories to choose from. Still, extras like LED headlights, a fixed panoramic sunroof and an additional set of sat-nav maps for European travel are all well priced and worth getting
For £600 (only on Iconic and GT Line models, it’s not available on the Play), you can upgrade from the standard MediaNav setup to the Technopack. This includes an R-Link touchscreen, which has better graphics, a higher-quality TomTom navigation system with real-time traffic information, parking sensors and a reversing camera. Renault has updated the system, so it’s now more sensitive and allows you to use 'pinch to zoom' gestures like on a smartphone. The Techno Pack Premium adds a hands-free parking system, while the Techno Pack adds a Bose premium sound system. Do note though, when adding the Bose sound system this will have an impact on your boot space, reducing it from 300 litres to 230 litres. This may not be an issue but if space is a priority, it's worth bearing in mind.