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Renault Clio Review

8 / 10
10 January 2024
Renault Clio review header image

If it’s style you’re after in a small car, the Renault Clio deserves a place on your shortlist.

But the Renault’s appeal isn’t just skin deep. Its interior is high quality and easy to use, there’s enough space for four adults, and the hybrid engine is particularly impressive.

What we like:
  • Sophisticated interior
  • Excellent safety score
  • Long warranty
What we don't like:
  • Rear seat space only average
  • Underpowered entry-level engine
  • Hybrid is a bit more expensive

Should I buy a Renault Clio?

For more than 30 years, the Renault Clio has been one of the top choices in the supermini class. It might not sell as well as the Vauxhall Corsa or Volkswagen Polo – in the UK at least – but it’s right up there in terms of interior quality, boot space and innovation.

It’s the one to pick if you want a dash of style with your small car. The latest Clio launched in 2019 and brought arresting looks, but the facelifted car – introduced in 2023 – steps it up even further, with LED strakes down the full height of the bumper and a spotty chrome grille.

Come for the styling, stay for the Clio’s numerous other qualities. It boasts a five-star Euro NCAP safety score – including 96% for adult protection – and a five-year/100,000-mile warranty, and that’s before we mention the clever hybrid and classy interior.

Interior and technology

One of the compromises of older Clios was a plasticky interior that didn’t feel particularly robust. Thankfully, that’s not the case with this latest model, which has really improved – both in terms of the materials used and how well they’re screwed together. The only potential downside is that most of the Clio’s bits have been fitted to the cheaper Dacia Sandero, too.

The dashboard is neat and logically laid out, without too much reliance on the touchscreen. Heating and ventilation is controlled by chunky dials and buttons, which are super easy to use, and the row of keys beneath the screen feels very tactile. It’s a bit of a shame that a few of these are blank, as they’re in a prime position.

We’re glad that Renault has kept so many buttons and dials, but it wouldn’t even be a massive issue if they were replaced by on-screen functions. Renault’s infotainment system is one of the best on the market right now, with quick responses, glossy menus and a useability that’s missing from the likes of the Peugeot 208.


On the whole, the Clio’s practicality is more than acceptable given it only takes up four metres of Tarmac. Rear-seat space is good, if not class-leading – there’s enough space for adults unless the driver is very tall, but a VW Polo or SEAT Ibiza are both much more spacious.

Boot space is better. In fact, buy a petrol Clio and you’ll have a class-leading 391-litre boot, which is more than many family-size hatchbacks from the class above. Hybrid cars get a still-decent 301 litres – on a par with the Honda Jazz and Toyota Yaris.

Engines and performance

The Clio has a wider choice of engines than a Polo or Jazz, and most buyers should find something they’re happy with. Many Clios come with a turbocharged 1.0-litre ‘TCe’ petrol, which offers decent performance and the promise of 54mpg. Below that is a rare SCe 75 non-turbo petrol, if you really need low insurance costs and can put up with its sluggish acceleration. You might also come across used Clios with an 85hp diesel engine, which can return up to 67mpg.

But the more impressive eco-friendly Clio is the E-Tech hybrid. Capable of 64mpg – and potentially more around town – the Clio E-Tech is also one of the quickest engines in the range, thanks to its immediate electric power. The hybrid is our top choice if you can afford it, as it’s incredibly easy to drive and feels like an electric car at low speeds.

Driving and comfort

Besides overly light and numb steering, the Clio drives very nicely. It feels like it enjoys corners – its alert handling and refined body control add up to an enjoyable driving experience. Overall, it’s on a par with the Polo, 208 and Ibiza.

It manages to be comfortable at the same time, which makes the Clio feel like a bigger and more expensive car from behind the wheel.

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