Renault Clio Review

Gumtree Rating

4.0 rating

The Renault Clio has been a family favourite for more than three decades, with a wide range of models and trims to suit every driver’s needs. Its five-star safety rating, low running costs, roomy interior and sporty exterior makes it suitable for both solo drives and family-friendly outings. Low insurance groups on entry-level models are an attraction for new drivers, and the higher-performance sports models give that gratifying hot hatch experience. As Europe’s best-selling hatchback, there’s no doubt there’s something for everyone in the Renault Clio.

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What we think about the Renault Clio

The Renault Clio is a practical and stylish hatchback with a wide range of available trims, engine sizes and models.

Pros

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Wide range of engine sizes and trims

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Five-star Euro NCAP safety rating

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Low running costs

Cons

Firm suspension

Average performance at low revs

Reversing view can be difficult

Available since 2012, both fourth- and fifth-generation Renault Clios have a sporty, sleek appeal and offer a variety of options. 2019 models onwards have petrol, diesel and hybrid engines and are available in several trims including the standard Play, Iconic, S, and the more powerful RS.

Driving performance of the Renault Clio

Our Driving Rating7 / 10

Recent models are lighter than their predecessors, helping with the Clio’s decent performance. The popular TCe 100 petrol model has the option of a 5-speed manual gearbox or 7-speed automatic transmission, and its performance is comparable to similar hatchbacks. The E-Tech Hybrid has a punchy getaway and is boosted once the petrol engine kicks in. Note that firm suspension can make it quite unforgiving on uneven roads, but you always feel under control thanks to the responsive handling.

Safety and reliability of the Renault Clio

Our Safety Rating7 / 10

The 2019 Clio has a five-star Euro NCAP rating and all models in recent generations come with airbags, ESP traction and stability control. Lane departure warning and lane-keeping assist safety features are also available as optional extras. Benefits for new drivers, in particular, include its traffic sign recognition system, distance warning alert and hill-start assist functions. New Renault Clios have a five-year warranty with unlimited mileage for the first two years and up to 100,000 miles for the remaining three, so this is something to bear in mind when making your used car purchase.

Under the bonnet of the Renault Clio

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

The popular 1.0-litre 100PS TCe engine has a respectable 0-60 acceleration of just over 10 seconds. But if it’s speed off the line you’re looking for, the 1.6T RS can achieve this in a little over 6 seconds with its 216 bhp. The hybrid model combines performance with economy, although you may find a little lag when getting up to full speed before the petrol engine kicks in. You can operate under electric power up to 80% of the time at low speeds, making it a great choice for city driving.

What you'll find in the Renault Clio

Our Design Rating7 / 10

The Renault Clio has evolved in its 30+ year history and is Europe’s best-selling car of this size for very good reason. Its fifth-generation edition follows the rest of the Renault range with significant styling improvements to previous models and includes a larger front grille and C-shaped lights. The interior has received an impressive upgrade, too, with sturdy plastics, soft-touch materials and smooth edges. Overall, the Clio has a sporty, fun feel that is matched by its design and flexibility in range.

Comfort and interiors in the Renault Clio

Our Comfort Rating7 / 10

Inside, you’ll find a spacious interior with a high-quality finish, especially in fifth-generation models that have been significantly improved from previous editions. If you’re looking for boot space, the Clio beats out most similar-sized cars. The gear stick is raised for improved ergonomic positioning, while adjustable seats make it a good fit for all shapes and sizes. For an even comfier ride, S line and RS trims come with sportier, cushioned seats. The different trims also offer some changes to the tech. Iconic models upwards include infotainment touchscreen displays, which can lag a little but offer an easy-to-use touch-sensitive display.

Renault Clio interior dashboard

What features you'll find in the Renault Clio

Our Features Rating7 / 10

In the fifth-generation Renault Clio, you’ll find the entry-level Play trim includes LED headlights, 16-inch wheels and, impressively, cruise control. Upgrade to the Iconic model and you’ll also have the benefits of keyless entry, a larger infotainment screen with navigation, alloy wheels and rear parking sensors. The S edition adds automatic lights and wipers, climate control and a larger screen along with 17-inch alloy wheels. Seek out the RS model for rear parking camera, front sensors and multi-sense driving modes. Whatever trim you pick, the basics are well covered.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Renault Clio

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

The Clio offers great fuel efficiency, making it the perfect choice for both inner-city driving and longer rides. You’ll find little difference between models and years, although the lower-powered entry-level engines will offer improved mpg compared with sportier models. Choose the TCe 100 turbo petrol engine and you can achieve 54.3 mpg, which makes for a very economical ride. The diesel variant offers an impressive 67.2 mpg and provides the best fuel economy in the Renault Clio fifth generation range, closely followed by the Hybrid.

Running costs of the Renault Clio

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

Entry-level models offer excellent insurance group ratings, making them an ideal first-car purchase. The 0.9 TCE is zero-rated for tax, as is the 2019 Hybrid and some low-emissions diesel options, with the majority of other models priced very moderately. As one of the most popular hatchbacks on the market, parts and servicing will be comparable with other manufacturers. Servicing should be undertaken every 12,000 miles or 12 months, and 5th generation Clios come with a five-year warranty as standard.

Our verdict of the Renault Clio

4.0 rating

4 / 5 Gumtree rating

A great all-rounder, the Renault Clio is a sporty hatchback that offers a safe and practical drive, with models suitable for first-time buyers and more discerning drivers.