2019 Renault Clio: new vs used

Toying with a 2019 Renault Clio? Prices start from £14,295, but 2015 versions of the outgoing Clio could be yours from as little as £6,100

John Evans
Sep 4, 2019

The Renault Clio is as familiar as Kelloggs Cornflakes and now there’s an all-new one. It’s a five-door hatchback competing in an extremely tough market whose other players include the super-successful Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa (there’s an all-new one coming in early 2020) and the all-new Peugeot 208 (also arriving in early 2020).

In many ways, the toughest act of them all is actually the outgoing Renault Clio. Despite being launched back in 2013, this little marvel continued to grow its sales with each passing year. In fact, 335,000 Clios were sold in Europe last year. And with low second-hand prices, the new Clio will have to be good to justify its higher prices.

In light of the current Clio's success, ‘if it ’aint broke, don't fix it’ seems to have been Renault’s mantra when designing the all-new 2019 Clio. It looks very similar and even shares the same engines, albeit tweaked for new regulations and with a little more power. Underneath, though, it is very different.

Meanwhile, there are all those used Clios to consider. With their prices dramatically reduced by depreciation, they represent a very tempting alternative to diving in with the new model with very similar looks. Let’s see what the new model has to offer in reply.

All-new 2019 Renault Clio

The all-new Clio may look a lot like its predecessor (it’s still got five doors, but the concealed rear door handles make it look like a three-door) but under the skin it really is all-new. We’re used to new models being longer and wider but this new one is actually shorter than the old car. Thanks to some nifty space-saving however, it’s actually roomier inside, while its huge 391-litre boot is the largest in its class. Bright LED headlights are a standard fixture, too.

Inside, the new Clio is higher quality than before and its interior is by far the car’s best feature. The outgoing model’s tough plastics have been replaced by soft-touch materials, while the steering wheel is well-padded and chunky. It’s dominated by an optional 9.3-inch touchscreen (a seven-inch screen is standard) that is angled towards the driver. There’s also a display in the centre panel that can be upgraded to a 10-inch screen. There are piano black switches, too, that give the console an upmarket look.

The new model earned the full, five-star crash safety rating when it was tested by Euro NCAP earlier this year.

The engines are a mix of 72hp and 100hp 1.0-litre petrols, a 130hp 1.3 petrol (which exclusively comes with an automatic gearbox) and, as before, a 1.5-litre diesel, this time producing 85hp. A mild hybrid-petrol engine will arrive next year, but if you want a pure electric Renault, you’ll need to look at the Zoe.

The 100hp petrol engine will be the staple motor. It has a little more zest than the 90hp engine in the outgoing Clio but still needs working hard. Once on the road, the new Clio has better composure than before and doesn't lean so much in corners, but its ride is a little rugged and its steering lacks the feel and precision of a Ford Fiesta.

Prices of the new model will start at £14,295 for the Clio 1.0-litre SCe 75 Play, or a reasonable £1,000 more than the cheapest current Clio, the 0.9-litre TCe 75 Play. The biggest seller is likely to be the Clio 1.0 TCe 100 Iconic, priced at £16,295, and again £1,000 more than its current equivalent the 0.9 TCe Iconic.

2013-2019 Renault Clio

This Clio’s ace card has always been its styling. Its concealed rear door handles give the model a sleek look, while upmarket trims bring ever more attractive chrome detailing and larger alloy wheels that nicely fill the wheelarches.

Add features such as a large touchscreen media system and darkened glass, plus, of course, some tempting finance offers, and it’s no surprise the outgoing Clio has been such a success for Renault.

It was launched in 2013, but we’re focusing on cars registered from 2015 that you’ll find on BuyaCar and whose prices begin at £4,995. In any case, the Clio recieved a facelift in 2016 and changes included a redesigned nose, improved upholstery and interior finishes, the addition of a new 1.5-litre diesel engine, the option of a manual gearbox with the 1.2-litre petrol engine (it had been exclusively an automatic) and the option of front parking sensors and hands-free parking on higher-spec versions.

Together, these mid-life improvements gave the Clio’s sales fresh impetus and are the reason nearly new ones look so tempting against the more expensive, all-new model.

The big seller is the 0.9-litre petrol engine. It’s a little lacking in power, but perfectly acceptable for popping to the shops or commuting over short to middling distances. The cheaper 1.2-litre petrol is a little more expensive to tax but almost as economical. The 1.5-litre diesel is almost a lone voice in this class - since nearly all small cars are petrol-powered - but is very economical.

What’s more, falling prices for used diesels mean you may not have to be covering long distances to justify buying one. Just make sure it’s a Euro 6-compliant engine to be free of inner city emissions surcharges.

The Clio’s curvy shape means it’s a bit cramped in the back for taller passengers but at least access is made easier by those rear doors. Visibility is restricted by the deep rear pillars, so it’s worth buying a car with rear parking sensors or a reversing camera.

In the front, there’s not much stowage and oddments space but forward visibility is good. The facelift brought welcome improvements to interior fit and finish but the equivalent Volkswagen Polo looks and feels more grown-up.

The Clio’s ride is firm and even brittle at times while the body leans noticeably in corners, an effect made worse by steering that feels too responsive and which can easily unsettle the car if you’re too aggressive when turning.

2013-2019 Renault Clio vs 2019 Renault Clio

‘Same looks but more grown-up’ is one way to describe the difference between the all-new Clio and its predecessor. By grown-up we mean how much better it is to drive and how much roomier, more practical and posher inside it is, too. Its predecessor was a three-star car but this all-new one is a four-star model.

However, in making it look so much like the old Clio, Renault has merely confirmed just what an attractive car the older model still is. Add the appeal of lower used car prices and as we said earlier, the new Clio’s toughest rival, at least in its early months on sale, could well be keenly priced, nearly new examples of the outgoing model; something like a 2019/19 Clio 0.9 TCe 90 Iconic with 5,000 miles for £10,900 – or £4,000 less than the equivalent new model.

If price is your guiding star (when is it not?) then outwardly at least, there may not be enough separating these two generations of Clio from each other. Look harder and you’ll find the new model is better all-round but whether it’s £4,000 better is a moot point. Meanwhile, the case for buying an older example of the outgoing Clio is clear enough.

 

Which Clio to buy – new or used?

New or used, the outgoing Clio, especially a post-2016 facelifted model, is cheaper than its successor, is almost as decent to drive and looks almost as good. It looks like case closed.

We wouldn’t recommend buying a new one of these with cash though, since the arrival of the all-new model in a few months will fuel its depreciation, meaning you get less back when you come to sell. Instead, we’d buy a cheaper nearly new or used Clio that has already suffered much of its initial depreciation. However, it would have to be substantially cheaper than the new model.

For example, we’d be wary of buying a nearly new example of a high-spec, outgoing Clio since it’s not strong enough in the areas that matter to make it worth whatever saving it represents.

We’re thinking of something like a top-spec, 2019/19 Clio 0.9 TCe 90 GT Line versus an all-new Clio Play 0.9 100 TCe. Each costs around £15,000 but while the older GT Line may have a few more features than the all-new, lower-spec Clio it is unlikely to be as complete or capable as the new model.

If considering older and cheaper, then you have no choice but to buy an old-model Clio. However, given how good the car is, that’s hardly a difficult decision to make, although do check there’s enough rear interior and boot space for your needs.

Current Renault Clio deals

2019 Renault Clio deals from under £11,000

Renault Clio 0.9 TCe 90 Iconic

2019/68, 6,000 miles, £10,695

Iconic trim is a good example of the merits of buying a runout model where the manufacturer is keen to wring every sale from its final months by stuffing the car with standard equipment for a low cost. Although only the second of three trims, it’s packed with features including 17-inch black alloys, a touchscreen media system, sat-nav and rear parking sensors. Even the rear windows are darkly tinted.

The downside is a 0.9-litre engine that struggles to pull the Clio with any real enthusiasm on faster roads, although around town it’s capable enough.

Renault Clio 0.9 TCe 90 Play

2019/19, 50 miles, £11,993

Play trim, the lowest runout trim, is designed to get the Clio’s price right down so don't expect much in the way of luxuries, although it does have air-conditioning and 16-inch black alloy wheels. This example represents a £2,000 saving compared with its new price and a £3,000 saving on the cost of an all-new TCe 100 Play.

With savings like this you may find yourself forgiving the engine’s slightly lacklustre performance.

Renault Clio 0.9 TCe 90 GT Line

2019/19 50 miles, £13,975

GT Line trim is the highest of the Clio’s three runout trims and goes down fighting with a bodykit, full LED headlights that are also automatic, climate control, and electrically heated and folding mirrors.

New it costs from £16,370 but this nearly new example with delivery mileage is a far smarter buy at less than £14,000.

2017 Renault Clio deals from under £7,500

Renault Clio 1.2 75 Play

2017/67 20,000 miles, £7,495

A new outgoing Clio 1.2 Play model costs £13,260, so the savings here are clear. The 1.2-litre engine isn’t the most up-to-date (that title falls to the 0.9-litre), a fact reflected in its higher emissions but for an undemanding driver whose journeys are short, it’s ideal.

Play trim has all the essentials: air-conditioning, a split-fold rear seat, electric front windows and alloy wheels.

Renault Clio 1.5 DCi 90 Dynamique Nav

2017/17, 20,000 miles, £8,695

Dynamique Nav is a popular specification and for good reason. The highlight is sat-nav but there are also plenty of upmarket details that give this Clio a better quality feel.

Diesels may have fallen from favour of late but that only means used ones like this are bargains since new, it cost £17,000. If you have a long commute or weekend trips to far-flung friends and family to make, it’s ideal.

Renault Clio 0.9 TCe Signature Nav

2017/17, 18,000 miles, £9,680

Signature Nav trim wants for little. Obviously, there’s a sat-nav system in the mix but there’s also climate control, rear electric windows and cruise control, too.

The small 0.9-litre petrol engine isn't the liveliest of its type but it is efficient and capable enough around town.

2015 Renault Clio deals from £6,100

Renault Clio 1.2 Dynamique Nav

2015/65, 44,000 miles, £6,100

At four years old, the Clio’s value is clear to see. Here’s a stylish, modern and well-equipped hatchback for not much more than £6000, or less than half what it cost new.

The 1.2-litre engine isn't as sweet as the 0.9-litre or as clean but is powerful enough for light duties while Dynamique Nav trim brings sat-nav in addition to an array of creature comforts.

Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 Dynamique S Nav

2015/15, 43,000 miles, £7,395

The Clio’s powerful 1.5-litre diesel engine is perfect for long motorway drives and can return around 60mpg (the official economy figure is an optimistic 85.6mpg). On top of that, being Dynamique S trim means it has rear electric windows, climate control and rear parking sensors, not to mention sat-nav, so is very well equipped. It’s an example where, if your budget allows, you’re better off choosing Dynamique S Nav over more basic Dynamique Nav.

Renault Clio 0.9 Dynamique S Nav

2015/65, 16,000 miles, £9,250

If motorway drives don't figure very often on your itinerary, this well-equipped 0.9-litre petrol Clio should be just the ticket. However, it’s done remarkably few miles, which is why it’s quite strong money. Raise your sights to around 40,000 miles, though, and prices tumble to around £6,700 – not a lot for such a well-equipped car.

 

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