Lots of Clio for

your money

Renault Clio, front action 2
Renault Clio, front action
Renault Clio, side action
Renault Clio, rear action
Renault Clio, dashboard
Renault Clio, boot

I KNOW many people will be waiting for the new Renault Clio due to hit the showrooms around midsummer, but the existing model is still a strong contender for your money and is likely to be available with big discounts.

In fact, the next offering looks very similar to the present one, despite sounding as though it is new from stem to stern and from the outside at least, there is little to choose between them.

The present model still looks stylish and svelte in a way that for me at least, leaves the Peugeot 208 and even the big-selling Ford Fiesta way behind.

This shows how far ahead it was when it was launched and as far as practicality is concerned it's still ahead, because all Clios have five doors where many others have three.

All the cars in the narrowing range, as the company gets ready for the new model, are good value with plenty of kit for your money and a good level of technology.

I've just been driving the more powerful of two 898cc turbo petrols - the TCe90 - which as you might expect, has just under 90bhp.

This little engine is smooth and free revving and, at town speeds, always feels peppy and willing.

But, despite this feeling, it's actually not particularly fast, covering the standard 0 to 62 miles an hour sprint in a leisurely 12.1 seconds.

There's just about enough acceleration in fifth gear at motorway speeds for gentle lane changes but often a change down to fourth is needed.

There is fair acceleration from low speeds but you often have to stir the slick changing gearbox with its light clutch to help maintain momentum.

Comfort has long been part of the Renault owning experience as long as you avoid the Renaultsport versions and the Clio does very well, soaking up poor surfaces with great ease and yet still feeling poised and sharp through the corners.

Here, there isn't much too lean even when pressed hard and that means the level of grip is excellent on dry roads, only showing slight understeer in the wet.

The cornering feel is generally good, only let down by rather inert steering that doesn't give much feedback.

Make no mistake though, the excellent handling and road holding make this a very safe car.

Inside is one of the largest spaces in the supermini class, with well-shaped front seats giving good support in corners and good head and legroom both front and rear.

With the front seat back for my six foot frame, I could also fit in the seat behind, which means there's space enough for four adults over a reasonable journey.

The GT-Line comes with a wide array of standard equipment from sat nav to rear parking sensors and including DAB radio and Bluetooth on the same seven inch touchscreen as the navigation, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, stability control, 17 inch alloys, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, LED front and rear lights and climate.

FAST FACTS

Price: £16,370

Mechanical: 89bhp, 898cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 110mph

0-62mph: 12.1 seconds

Combined MPG: 56

Insurance Group: 9

C02 emissions: 114g/km

Bik rating: 26%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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