What’s Changed In The New Renault Clio?

The Renault Clio from Renault Retail is one car model which has undergone more costume changes than a runway supermodel.

That hasn’t stopped the French manufacturer from selling more than 11.5 million of the cars around the world, and its success has been such that it has found a market in 115 countries.

However, the latest iteration of the French company’s best-selling supermini has only recently gone on sale. Yet it looks substantially different from the model which it replaces.

The new car is the fourth generation of the French company’s supermini, and in essence, many of the changes which have taken place are aimed at blurring the edges between many cars in this class, and more family-orientated coupés or hatchbacks.

Five doors only

To begin with, the latest Clio is only being offered as a five-door model. Yet, it has taken a leaf out of the book of the space-age Honda Civic, in that its rear doors are cunningly disguised so that, to the less observant, it appears like a three-door vehicle.

Another car which has had a heavy influence on the new Clio is the BMW Group’s MINI. That small hatchback has long been regarded as a trailblazer in terms of the number of options which are available for individual owners to customise their car to their individual tastes and needs.

Many people criticised Renault for the ultra-conservative approach it took with the Clio Mk III. Yet, from the outside, the French car-maker has retained its same range of models as on the earlier iteration, meaning that it comes in two main ranges of trim level: Expression and Dynamique.

Lower and sleeker

The new model has gone very sporty, adopting a silhouette which looks lower on the road. But as mentioned earlier, one key selling point of the new car is the degree of customisation options which can be ordered, with many of the main body panels and interior fittings being capable of being supplied to the owner’s own requirements. Dashboard, upholstery, door panels, steering wheel, grab handles, gear lever and air vent surrounds can all be specified in several different colours and finishes.

However, it’s on the technological front where the Clio has taken the biggest strides compared to its predecessor. A new app, linked to the on-board computer, warns drivers of dangerous road conditions ahead, while the new on-board ‘COYOTE’ app enables owners to manage their diary – while safely parked up of course – find the nearest service station or place to park, or even send a tweet.

Every new Clio’s radio is equipped with Bluetooth capability so that hands-free mobile phone operation is possible, along with audio streaming from all portable music players.

Bigger car features

Big-car innovations now available on the Clio include a new six-speed, dual clutch transmission, while modern innovations designed to encourage ecologically sound driving include an Eco mode, which works at the push of a button and enables up to 10 per cent fuel economy savings, as well as a driving style monitor and gear change indicator.

So while most people will still consider the Renault Clio to be a small hatchback, it, like many of its competitors, has grown in size in recent years. But it boasts much more flexible engines which mean that extra weight isn’t penalised on sloping or twisting roads.

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