Renault Clio Hatchback 1.0 TCe 90 Iconic 5dr
Image for illustration purpose only
Ten Second Review
This fifth generation Clio supermini offers the kind of complete package that could return this model line to its old position as one of Europe's favourites. Tougher segment competition has forced Renault to up its game, particularly in terms of cabin technology, fit and finish. There's greater practicality, extra safety and media technology and a sharper look. Plenty to like then.
The Renault Clio. It's the definitive expression of this French brand's vast experience in the supermini class, building on the company's reputation for building compact cars that are characterful, fun to drive and technically accomplished - qualities that go back all the way to the famous Renault 4 and 5 models of old. Here's the latest, much improved fifth generation version. The last couple of decades have been characterised by a lack of investment from Renault in their key models as the company pursued an electrically-powered motoring future the market still isn't quite ready for. That changed with the development of this car. The marque knew it had to get this Clio right. Perhaps it has.
This MK5 Clio is the first Renault-Nissan Alliance model to use the conglomerate's latest sophisticated CMF-B platform. Predictably, the engine line-up will focus on petrol power, with a base Sce 75 unit that most will ignore in favour of the little Tce 100 0.9-litre turbo unit. Next up is the same Tce 130 powerplant used in Renault's Kadjar SUV (the Tce 130 variant only offered with EDC auto transmission). The brand also wants to continue to offer its long-running 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine - in Blue dCi 85 form. That's in a break with current trends that have seen rivals in this sector dropping diesel. The brand won't follow the rival Peugeot 208 in offering a full-electric version: Renault has its ZOE EV model to meet that brief. However, the company does sell a self-charging hybrid version of this model, powered by an electrified 140hp petrol engine two electric motors. This Clio will be the first Renault to use this new 'E-Tech' hybrid technology and by 2022, this petrol/electric variant will be one of 12 electrified models in the brand's range. This Clio has also been engineered for autonomous driving technology. We're promised more camera-driven assistance systems than have been seen in this segment to date.
Design and Build
Stylist Laurens van den Acker wanted this MK5 model Clio to be more expressive, while keeping the previous version's sleek profile. The body has been lowered by up to 30mm and big 17-inch wheels give top versions a more dynamic look. At the front, the bonnet incorporates ribs for a sculpted effect. The grille is bigger and the front bumper is more pronounced with a very expressive central air scoop. Full-LED headlights are now standard and the rear lights feature a more distinctive C-Shape signature. In terms of size, this fifth generation Clio is 14mm shorter than before, yet manages to be more spacious inside. The cabin is of much higher quality than before, with high-end materials and a soft coating on the dashboard, the door panels and the central console surround. The instruments are more driver-focused and there's the largest centre-dash infotainment screen in the segment, with two sizes available - 9.3-inches or (with navigation) 10-inches. There's another screen in the instrument binnacle, measuring between 7 and 10-inches depending on spec, replacing conventional dials. Plus an electric parking brake has been added. The seats on this Clio are much better than what you'd usually find in this segment in terms of comfort and support. They offer a longer seat base and a more enveloping shape. There's a useful gain in boot size, too; this Clio gets a variable-height floor so you can prioritise a low load lip or capacity, but the space on offer ranges from 330-litres up to as much as 391-litres.
Market and Model
Prices start from just under £15,500 and range up to just over £22,000, which is par for the course in the supermini segment. There are four trim levels - 'Play', 'Iconic', 'S Edition' and 'R.S. Line'. Standard kit includes what Renault calls its 'Smart Cockpit', a key component of which is the standard 9.3-inch multimedia screen, the biggest ever on a Renault model. This vertical and subtly curved tablet visually enlarges the dashboard and lends the cabin a more contemporary feel. Turned towards the driver, this screen, with its EASY LINK connected system, comprises all the multimedia, navigation and infotainment features as well as the car's MULTI-SENSE driving settings. Pay extra for GPS navigation and you get a 10-inch centre screen. All Clios also get a digital instrument binnacle and full-LED headlights. This car gets several new body colours this time round, including Valencia Orange and Celadon Blue. The Valencia Orange shade offers unprecedented depth and radiance thanks to a specific coloured varnish treatment making its first appearance in the automotive industry. In all, this Clio is available in 10 body colours and with three exterior customisation packs (in red, orange and black).
Cost of Ownership
Let's get to the WLTP figures. Renault still thinks there's a place for diesel in the supermini segment and the 1.5-litre dCi 85 unit certainly still has its supporters, given its impressive frugality. You can expect 67.2mpg on the combined cycle and a CO2 reading of 109g/km. For the Tce 100 petrol unit, the figures are 54.3mpg and 119g/km, while the Tce 130 EDC auto manages 49.6mpg and 130g/km. The dCi 85 diesel and the Tce 100 are both rated at insurance group 10. The Clio Hybrid manages 64.2mpg on the combined cycle and 98g/km of CO2, plus there's an 'EV' option that gives limited all-electric driving range. You can plan ahead for maintenance costs by opting at point of purchase for a pre-paid servicing plan covering you for either three years and 30,000 miles, or four years and 40,000 miles. The four year '4+' warranty deal looks good too, given that most rivals restrict you to three year cover. This package also includes roadside assistance for the duration, though bear in mind that the final two years of the policy will be invalidated in the unlikely event that your Clio covers more than 100,000 miles. Depreciation levels will be very similar to those of other mainstream-brand superminis in this segment.
There's nothing wrong with any car company that good cars won't fix. Well this MK5 model Clio looks to be a good car, with a more appealing look and feel than most of its supermini contemporaries. The cabin's much nicer than the supermini norm, with a level of technology that will surprise and interest many small car buyers. As for engines, well go for the light and agile TCe petrol variants and there's plenty of fun and character. Opt for the dCi diesel and you get a more mature and sensible performer: choose to suit. No small car is perfect of course - and this one isn't. You might feel a Volkswagen Polo is more solid or a Ford Fiesta a little sharper to drive. You might be right, but as a very accomplished all-rounder, this Clio continues to merit a significant place on any serious supermini buyer's shortlist.
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Vehicle maintenance packages are provided to you by the finance company and generally include and exclude the following elements. This cover is an addition to the standard full UK manufacturer’s warranty and roadside assistance that comes with all new vehicles.
Please note: Terms and conditions of vehicle maintenance packages can vary slightly depending on the finance company. Full details of the maintenance contract provided on your chosen vehicle will be forwarded to you with your quotation once you have enquired.
Maintenance Contract includes:
- Mechanical and electrical repairs or replacements, including associated parts and labour
- Bulbs, Batteries, Exhausts, Wiper Blades, Alternators & Starter Motors (dependent upon finance provider)
- Tyre repair and replacement
- Breakdown assistance
- No recharges for punctures or damaged tyres (dependent upon finance provider)
- MOT tests (if applicable)
What are the key benefits of a Maintained Contract?
- Planned fixed monthly cost
- No unexpected maintenance costs
- Protection from rising inflation costs
- Dedicated qualified technical team to deal with any problematic vehicles
- VAT is 100% recoverable on the Maintenance element of your contract for VAT registered businesses
What are the exclusions?
- Repairs or replacements due to driver error or driver induced faults
- Repairs due to accident damage
- Missing or Broken items e.g. Bent Aerials, Missing Hub Cabs
- Vandalised and Stolen Wheels and/or Tyres
- Damaged windscreen and/or glass replacement
- Lubricant and Fluid Top Ups between service intervals (e.g. Oil Top Ups, Screenwash Top Ups)
- A relief vehicle is not guaranteed as part of your maintenance package. However, this may be available at an additional cost, dependant on your finance provider
What is WLTP?
The Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaced the NEDC test procedure for establishing official fuel consumption and CO2 emissions for all new cars and became mandatory from September 2018. WLTP is a more accurate way of reading the statistics of an engine’s economy outputs based on realistic driving on an every day basis. The cycle of WLPT is divided in to 4 sections which fall under different average speeds of the vehicle being at low, medium, high and more high. It also includes various driving scenarios such as breaking accelerating and stops.
How will this effect me?
From 1st April 2020 the first registration tax for new cars will be higher. If you currently have a car on order which has not yet been registered then the price will increase and this will vary depending on the cars. If the new car you have on order is being taken on finance or lease then your monthly payments will increase by the amount the first registration has gone up. The new payments will be displayed on the finance documents you receive to sign before delivery of the vehicle.
In addition, from the 6th April 2020 company car tax known as benefit in kind, increased as a response to the WLTP new testing procedure.