This Clio is the 3 door 1.2 16v sports package edition, including, 15" 5 spoke alloy wheels, sport suspension, sport seats, sport trimmings, sun roof, electrical mirrors, electrical windows, stalk control, control unit display, trip computer, motorised adjustable head lamps, variable viper speeds, remote central locking, fog lights, immobiliser. Extras include mud guards, side sill protectors, CAT1 alarm.
Steering: The most irritating aspect of the car has to be the steering. Although, on spec, the car is suppose to be PAS, the steering feels dead when parking, the car is heavy, so parking can be a drag. City driving the steering feels heavy, especially when over taking is required. On the motorways the steering unresponsive, but that is a benefit, when you do not want the car to be twitchy at fast speeds.
Driving view: There is plenty of blind spots on the car especially on the A pillars. When reversing the view is obstructed by the rear quarter panel - this is where learning the dimension of the car is useful.
Performance: The performance is below par, the car needs to be worked hard to build speed. The 16v engine does help, and is a notable difference from a 12v 1.2 engine. Gear changing is nice and smooth, this has been helped by Renaults quickshift technology which was implemented in this model. Smooth gear change is around the 3,000rpm mark, but for performance gear change should be done around 5,000rpm mark. The engine will scream by that time, but a sense of performance is felt, which can be satisfying. On motorways the car can cruise at 70mph with ease at 3,500rpm. The car can be pushed to 100mph, but by that time the engine will be revving at 5,500rpm, and that will be the limit if you do not want to damage the engine resulting premature faults. The engine in general is noisy, the engine rattles like a diesel, which is bizarre?
Ride: The ride can be comfortable, but having sports set-up can affect the ride in a massive way. You can feel very imperfection on the roads, which you can feel in your back, but overall the ride is comfortable. This is mostly due to the weight of the car.
Interior: It feels big inside with plenty of leg room in the front, but extremely cramped at the rear. This model comes with sporty seats, and sports trimming. The car is well insulated from sound, which helps reduce the noise from the engine and long trip driving on the motorways. The seats are very good to drive in, they hold the driver snugly which gives a secure feeling. The quality of the interior can be improved. Where the plastics join in the car, whether gear box terminal or the door trimmings, the edges are sharp. The plastic on the door feels cheap and hard. The plastics trimming on the dash are of better quality, and is fitted to German standards. The sound set up in the car are very good, with 6 speaker set up. The interior lighting has been given a thoughtful idea with an adjustable light that can be targeted. The glove box light will only work if the side lights are turned on. There are some extra stowage space, under the front passenger seats, the glove box is adequate, but the drinks holder is a talent less piece of design. The front drinks holder is below the central control unit, so 500ml bottles will not seat upright. Coffee cups will not be suitable, in fact the only thing this is designed for is for 330ml drinks can, even then where this is positioned the drinks cannot be reached whilst driving, also the can needs to be angled when inserting in the space or when taking it out of the space. There is also space to place bottles in the rear quarter panels for the rear passenger, this is useful.
Body: Very heavy, this is due to the impressive safety standards Renault have introduced across the range. Front wings are made from plastic, to bring the cost down, this also helps with insurance.
Boot: The boot is large enough for a weekend trip to Tesco. Although the car is a hatchback, the seats do not fold flat, add that to the front seat not able to fall back all the way, and you have a hatchback that defines as pointless. This car is not recommended for a trip to IKEA. The spare tire is kept neatly below the carpet which has the tools and the jack neatly assembled in a tool holder.
Maintenance: Change the oil to Castrol Magnatec, which will reduce the time the engine heats up on a cold start, also reduces wear in the engine, this is notably difference. Upgrade to Blue Vision lamps by Phillips, produces an intense light which is notably different. Wipers tend to wear quickly even with upgraded Bosch blades, perhaps try silicone blades. Fuel consumption is debateable. A full tank of fuel is £27 (76p/litre) this will last 360 miles combined. This is perhaps because the engines has to work hard. Insurance group 3.
The Clio in general is an good average car. The package one gets with the car is very good value for money compared to the competition. Even the basic spec trim the car offers lots of extras that will cost at least £1000 on a competitors similar spec. Running costs are just as same as any other super mini on the market. The car is safe, looks up to date, & feels well built enough. This is an ideal car for a young person, who wants all the extras at the fraction of the cost.