For anyone under the age of, say 35, the Renault Clio is probably the French marque’s most distinctive and popular model. It’s been around since 1990 and has sold more than 11.5m units in that time — placing is firmly in the premier league of small cars.
Today, Renault unveiled the all-new fourth generation model of its ever-popular small car — a model that will play a decisive role in the company’s future success.
Papa et Nicole
Back in the
dark ages 1990s, Renaults ‘Papa and Nicole’ television adverts for the Clio gave the car a sexy French appeal that the Ford Fiesta, good as it was (better, in fact), could not hope to match.
Renault is clearing hoping for the same result this time, as this quote from the Laurens van den Acker, the company’s Vice President of design, shows:
“New Renault Clio was conceived as a piece of sensuous sculpture which stimulates desire. Like muscles, its curves express the dynamism radiated by the DeZir concept car. No acute or aggressive angles, just voluptuous curves that make you want to go up to it and caress it.”
Oooh, I say.
That’s enough- what’s it really like?
The good news is that Renault’s quality is better than it used to be and some of its latest engines are really pretty good. The styling of the car reminds me of a scaled-down version of the current Megane and looks pleasing enough to my eye.
Some of the highlights of the new model are:
- New engines with low CO2 and impressive fuel economy
- The first Renault three-cylinder turbocharged petrol, the 0.9-litre TCe 90
- Also available with 1.2 TCe 120 (petrol) and 1.5 dCi 90 (diesel, up to 88mpg)
- New technologies: R-Link integrated and internet connected touchscreen tablet, rear parking camera and R-Sound Effect app
- EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) transmission offered for first time in Clio
- Five-door model only, including Renaultsport
- On average, 100kg lighter than predecessor
The inside looks more luxurious than any of its predecessors and is is the norm, the new Clio is wider and longer than the model it replaces. I expect it will do well when it goes on sale in the UK early next year.