I bought the 2003 1.2 16V Dynamique model brand new froma Renault main dealer on an 03 plate as standard with no extra option packs. 4 months and 3500+ miles later I still smile every time I get in the car, aside from the extremely minor problems listed its been a joy from day one. Unfortunately day one took a long time to arrive, as from the day I bought my new Clio it took over 3 months for my car to be delivered.
I won't go too much into how the car drives as everybody finds cars different, a test drive is of course a good idea, I will say however that the new Clio is an absolute joy to drive. Compared to the old 1.2 Clio's the new 1.2 16V models are seriously quick, actually quicker than most 1.4 cars on the market. Of course its no use being quick if the handling isn't up to it, thankfully it corners like a dream and tackles any bend you throw it at with a smile on its face when it comes out the other side.
The drive is very comfortable, the interior consists of lovely sports seats, a great standard 4 speaker CD player, intelligently positioned controls and good boot space. Sadly room in the back seems to have been seriously restricted since the old Clio, its anything but spacious for rear passengers.
As seems to be standard from new Renault cars you get a whole range of extras built into the car; rain sensitive wipers, light sensitive headlights, fog lamps, cup holders (!), CD control stalk and much more. Sadly the sensitive headlights can't be switched off as far as I know, so everytime you enter a multi-storey car park they switch on regardless. Suprisingly the rain sensitive wipers are very effective, once you are happy with the sensitivity all thats needed is a quick flick of the stalk when you get in the car and it will do everything for you.
As you would expect the 1.2 engine is very economical, on average I've managed 49MPG, which includes a range of motorway and fast open road driving, and lots of quick around town trips. The tank holds a good £30 of fuel which seems to last forever.
In conclusion I really don't have anything bad to say about the new Clio. I owned a 1996 1.2 Clio before this and things have come along greatly since then, the speed, the handling, the extras and the comfort are all miles ahead of older models. And for the money you get a small car with a lot of extras as standard.