By Mike Torpey on 2016-10-14 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Dynamique Nav dCi 90
IT'S a measure of the enduring appeal of the Renault Clio that since its arrival on the small car scene 22 years ago it has sold close to 12 million models in 115 countries.
Each of the Clio's four generations has seen a different set of virtues to endear it to buyers. None though have flaunted the style of the latest version.
This is a supermini supermodel in the true sense of the word.
There's a chic design there that resonates perfectly with the French brand's image - from the low roofline and sloping nose to the smooth angles of the tail end.
And such is the shape of the rear doors and their concealed handles that the visual appeal of a three-door model is evident, even though the Clio only comes as a five-door.
Add a bright interior made up of premium quality materials and ample legroom for rear passengers to the mix and you have an extremely desirable small car.
On the downside that low slung shape means rear headroom could be better but space overall is pretty good and the boot has a reasonable 300-litre capacity.
A trio of petrol engines ranging from a 0.9-litre three cylinder turbo to the lively 120bhp 1.2-litre unit are up for grabs along with the 1.5-litre dCi diesel driven here.
The latter is both strong and efficient. In the standard Clio with Stop & Start its headline figures are 85.6mpg and emissions of 85g/km, but go for the ECO version and there's the potential for an average 88.3mpg and 82g/km, which means zero annual road tax and lower fuel bills.
ECO mode is available on all models above and including Dynamique Nav grade, and drivers can adjust performance to optimise fuel economy by using a button on the dashboard to reduce engine torque and modify throttle response.
As a visual reminder, there is a driving style indicator in the display, which moves through green, yellow and orange zones, and a gear shift indicator.
This doesn't mean you have to drive too sedately though as the Clio is a car that engages well with the road; it handles the way you would expect a spirited supermini to perform with its smooth ride, accurate steering and balanced body control.
All models are well kitted out, even the entry grade Expression featuring the likes of cruise control, Hill Start Assist, Electronic Stability and Traction Control, a speed limiter, six airbags, daytime running lights, electric front windows and door mirrors, Bluetooth and keyless entry.
On the Dynamique Nav you also get Renault's MediaNav touchscreen tablet, automatic headlights and wipers, an Arkamys premium sound system, leather steering wheel and black gloss trim.
Renault Clio Dynamique Nav dCi 90 ECO
Mechanical: 90bhp, 1,461cc diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 112mph
0-62mph: 12.0 seconds
Combined MPG: 88.3
Insurance Group: 12
C02 emissions: 84g/km
Bik rating: 18%
Warranty: 4yrs/100,000 miles
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