By Mike Torpey on 2018-06-24 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Renault Clio Urban
Nav TCe 90
MAKING a supermini stand out from the crowd - and its rivals - is no easy task, but Renault has hit on the secret with its new Urban Nav edition of the Clio.
Undoubtedly one of the coolest lookers on the scene anyway, this latest Clio variant ups the ante again courtesy of extra features and kit.
One of the surprises is a fresh colour that really stands out - especially as it's grey.
We aren't talking the drab sort of grey that can make some less stylish models look like a slab of concrete, but a soft, creamy, almost blue grey that could have jumped straight off a Grand Master's palette.
Add some 16-inch alloy wheels with grey inserts, the body-coloured electrically adjustable heated door mirrors and piano black touches around the cabin to the Urban Grey colour and the effect is compelling.
Visually, the design team at Renault have done a slick job with the Clio, its cleverly disguised rear doors making it look like a three-door car - even though it is now exclusively made with five.
Costing from Â£16,225, the new special edition's spec builds on the Dynamique Nav version of the Clio and includes a year's free insurance when bought via a Renault Selections PCP or HP scheme, starting from Â£149 a month.
What you get is a comprehensively kitted out small car that, in this case, offers a choice of dCi 90 diesel or TCe 90 petrol engines.
The latter unit powered this model, which felt lively given the three cylinder unit is only 898cc and develops just 90 brake horsepower.
It may have been designed with economy in mind but it's a fine little engine both in and out of town while the Clio's handling abilities remain as sharp as ever.
Overall it's a rewarding performer that's capable in real world terms of topping the 50 miles per gallon mark - even if the official average figure is actually 60.1mpg.
Inside, the Renault is spacious for the size of car if a bit cramped for three in the back but the upholstery - in dark carbon cloth with mesh inserts - contrasts well with the soft touch dashboard and gloss air vents.
You also get a seven-inch touchscreen tablet, complete with downloadable apps, in the centre of the dash, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a steering wheel which adjusts for height and reach.
As for carrying capacity the rear seats split and fold 60-40 and you can stash a fair amount in the 300-litre boot.
Add the likes of full LED headlights, rear parking sensors, sat-nav, automatic wipers, air-con plus hands-free key card with start/stop and it's a thorough package for the cash.
The latest revision to the Clio was in October 2016 and, in addition to the Urban Nav Special Edition, there's a total of five trim levels, plus two Renault Sport models.
: 3yrs/60,000 miles
Renault Clio Urban Nav TCe 90
Mechanical: 90bhp, 898cc, 3-cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max Speed: 113mph
0-62mph: 12.2 seconds
Combined MPG: 60.1
Insurance Group: 105g/km
C02 emissions: 22%
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