Renault Clio - Used

Car Review

Renault Clio GT-Line, rear
Renault Clio GT-Line, front
Renault Clio GT-Line, front
Renault Clio GT-Line, side
Renault Clio GT-Line, side
Renault Clio GT-Line, rear
Renault Clio GT-Line, interior

WE all cringe now when we remember the TV ad campaigns from the 1990s starring Nicole, Papa and a certain Renault supermini.

Well, while Nicole and her dad have long since received the order of the boot, thankfully, the evergreen Clio is still going strong.

As the only model to have been named European Car of the Year on two occasions, the chic and cheerful French fancy has grown up over the years.

Bigger than ever and with more interior space for driver and passengers alike, the Mk III Clio came with a level of refinement normally reserved for larger and more expensive vehicles.

Over the years, the Clio proved itself a real driver's car and the Mk III's suspension took its roots from the Megane while its wide track and low centre of gravity balanced the car perfectly.

There was masses of grip for safe, high-speed corning while the chassis also delivered just the correct balance and composure to make the Clio a joy to drive no matter how long the journey.

Not only was it at home on the back roads and in busy city traffic, the Clio was also a decent long-distance cruiser, with little wind or road noise encroaching into the cabin.

As for safety, well they didn't come much better than this machine. From the very beginning, Renault's objective was to get the maximum Euro NCAP occupancy rating, and this they achieved quite easily, thanks to ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist being fitted as standard.

Other driver aids and features available as extras included electronic stability programme with traction control, while up to eight airbags were also fitted depending on the model.

Three specification levels made up the Clio range, which came in three-door, five-door and sport tourer estate guises. They consisted of Expression, Dynamique and GT-Line - while Renaultsport offered the 200 Cup and 200 three-door hot hatches for those who sought out a sporty alternative.

While the lead-in Expression had split rear seat, Bluetooth, alloy wheels and CD sound system as standard, mid-range and high-end models came kitted out with TomTom sat-nav.

Three engine derivitives were available, a 1.2-litre and 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel. Power output ranged from 75 to 111bhp in the petrol models, while the oilburner delivered 88 brake, so used car buyers should find themselves spoiled for choice.

Fuel consumption was the name of the game for the Clio, and the thrifty, yet gutsy 1.5-litre common-rail diesel offered great economy, returning up to 70.6mpg on the combined cycle.

To achieve this figure, performance was compromised a little, but the 88bhp model could still achieve a top speed of 108mph and could reach 62mph from standing in 12.7 seconds.

With its better-than-ever external looks and interior that really did cut a dash, you'll find there's still plenty of life left in this little French fancy.

Look to pay anything between £2,705 and £3,670 for a 2011 61-plate 1.5-litre 88bhp diesel in Expression trim with up to 50,000 miles on the clock.

A similar age three-door model in Dynamique TomTom trim should cost from £3,260 to £4,425, while a GT-Line TomTom will be slightly more expensive at £3,485 to £4,725.

Move on a year to 2012 and a 62-plate and prices increase to anything from £3,165 and £4,005 for the Expression and from £3,905 and £5,140 for the Dynamique TomTom.

A nice example in GT-Line TomTom trim should be in the range of £4,085 and £5,375.

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