Renault Clio V a good Polo alternative?
While the new Renault Clio might be one of the most popular small cars in Europe, here in Mzansi the Polo is the king of the hatchbacks. Despite this, the new Renault Clio remains a stylish, practical, and technologically advanced car that has been designed to appeal to a wide range of drivers. We spent time with it to see how it stacks up to the competition.
Let’s start with the design of the Clio 5, which might not look all that different from the model that it replaces. There are some changes though which can be found up front. Take the new C-shaped headlights for example which give the car a modern appeal. The lower bumper has also been refreshed, especially around the fog-lamp area. The Clio also benefits from updated rear styling which gives it a more imposing look, with larger LED rear lights now built into the tailgate. We also like the finely integrated chrome finishes and the concealed rear door handles which give the Clio an elegant, uncluttered exterior design.
Renault has offered visually appealing cabins and the Clio 5 is no different. Step inside the new Clio and you will find a rather neat cabin with familiar switchgear. The design is somewhat angled towards the driver which is a nice touch. There is also a large, centre mounted 9.3-inch touch display complete with good graphics, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Two USB ports can be found on the console as well as a wireless charging try. Our correspondent also liked the digital instrument cluster which offered different themes depending on driving mode.
Space is decent within the cabin and luggage capacity is rated at around 391-litres with the rear seats up, lower them and that increases to around 1069l. Now some might find that the cloth seats, even on the top-spec model are a bit of a no-no but they are comfortable and now include an enhanced head-rest which improves safety.
As for safety, the Clio seen here features Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), combined with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and up to 6 airbags.
So we have established that the new Clio V has retained that French Flair in terms of interior and exterior design, but what about under the bonnet? Well, South African customers will have the option of one engine and gearbox paring as of now. This comes in the form of a 1.0-litre turbocharged unit that develops 74kW and 160Nm of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual gearbox. There is unfortunately no auto ‘box as of yet. In fact, due to the car’s late arrival we can expect an updated model sometime this year which might see a second engine and gearbox option.
While the motor and gearbox is on-par with the segment leader, the VW Polo it is slightly down on power, even when compared to the likes of the other Frenchie in the boxing ring, the Peugeot 208. Nevertheless the Clio feels nippy, responsive and eager, just plan your overtaking manoeuvres in advance.
Those who are stressing about the imminent fuel price hike will be pleased to know that the Clio has a claimed fuel consumption of 5.7L/100km. Our correspondent did admit that he was in Sport mode most of the time as it offers a sharper throttle response, thus only managing a 7.0L/100km consumption figure.
The new Renault Clio is a stylish and well-equipped car that offers a great driving experience and a high level of safety. It is a practical car that is well-suited to city driving, with a compact size and excellent fuel efficiency. The interior of the car is comfortable and modern, with a range of advanced features that make it a pleasure to drive. Overall, the new Renault Clio is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a small car that is both practical and stylish. We just which that the local buying public would expand their options and look beyond the norm.