Renault Clio (2013-present)

The current Renault Clio is the latest in a long line of stylish yet practical French superminis

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Looks great
Rewarding to drive
Efficient petrol and diesel engines

Weaknesses 

Interior quality not the best
Back seats could be roomier
Doesn’t hold its value very well
Best New Discount

Renault Clio Hatchback 0.9 tce 75 play 5dr

Total RRP £13,495

Your quote £10,975

You Save £2,520

French manufacturers have always excelled at building cheap and cheerful small cars, and the latest Renault Clio is no exception.

It faces stiff competition in the form of renowned names like the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo, SEAT Leon, Skoda Fabia, Peugeot 208 and Kia Rio, but manages to stand out from the crowd with distinctive styling, inside and out.

A facelift in 2016 brought a redesigned nose and headlights, a slightly better quality interior, new technology and a new diesel engine. However, with the arrival since then of the new Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo and Citroen C3 it could be argued the Clio needs more than a new face to keep it competitive.

For example, its interior might look distinctive but it’s not on the same level as the VW Polo’s when it comes to quality. There are also some lingering concerns about the Clio’s long-term reliability reflected in its low ranking in the 2017 Auto Express Driver Power ownership satisfaction survey.

Meanwhile, the update did nothing to improve the Clio's ride over bumps where it can be a little bouncy and short of the best of its rivals such as the Mazda 2 and Ford Fiesta. Its steering isn't particularly sharp or responsive either, which can make the Clio feel lazy and makes it difficult to take corners precisely - so you'll be constantly twitching the wheel left and right to keep the car in the right place on the road.

The Clio is only available as a five-door hatchback, but some clever design work and door handles that blend into the body mean you could easily mistake it for a stylish three-door

Five engines and trim levels – or versions – mean there’s a Clio to suit all needs and budgets, from the basic Expression 1.2 to the well-appointed and economical Signature Nav dCi 110. There’s also a hot-hatch version called the Renault Sport Nav 220 Trophy, not covered here. Safety has long been a hallmark of Renaults and the Clio doesn’t slip up here, scoring the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash-testing when it was evaluated back in 2012. In fact with the recent facelift came front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and hands-free parking, at least on some versions.

Last Updated 

Monday, June 4, 2018 - 10:30

Key facts 

Warranty : 
Four years/100,000 miles
Boot size: 
300 litres
Width: 
1,732mm
Length: 
4,063mm
Height: 
1,448mm
Tax (from second year): 
£140

Best Renault Clio for... 

Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 90 ECO Play
Renault has long been known for efficient diesels. The frugal ‘ECO’ version of the 1.5-litre dCi engine can return over 88mpg and is exempt from CO2 emissions-based road tax.
Renault Clio 0.9 TCE 90 ECO Play
We think moving up to Play from the entry-level Expression is a must for family buyers, as its standard air-conditioning will make things much more comfortable inside for all occupants. This version also gives you the choice of more efficient engines to keep running costs down.
Renault Clio 1.2 TCE 120 Dynamique S Nav
The Clio Renault Sport Nav 220 Trophy is without doubt the quickest Clio but is not covered here. GT Line trim, which was offered on pre-facelift Clios, echoed the look of high-performance Renault Sport cars but without their power and high running costs. Now it’s no longer available, the Clio 1.2 TCD 120 Dynamique S Nav version will have to do. At least it can do 0-62mph in a reasonably sporty 9.0 seconds. For the record, the automatic version takes 9.2 seconds.
Renault Clio 1.2 16v Expression
The entry-level Clio Expression has no air-conditioning and the 1.2-litre 16v engine is pretty lacklustre, so you should only go for this version if you simply can’t afford one of the others.

Renault Clio History 

2013 The current generation of the Renault Clio goes on sale

June 2013: High-spec GT-Line model with sportier looks is added to line-up
October 2013: EDC (‘Efficient Dual Clutch’) automatic gearbox arrives
August 2014: Recall of over 20k Nov 12-Jul 14 Clios for potential braking problem
April 2015: Recall of 383 Apr 13-Apr 14 Clios for potential fuel leak
July 2015: Recall of nearly 50k Mar 13-Apr 14 Clios for potential braking issue
November 2015: Specification upgrades – all but entry-level now have DAB radio
November 2015: Special-edition Iconic 25 Nav model added to range
September 2016 Updated Renault Clio with improved interior and new engines is due to go on sale

Understanding Renault Clio car names 

  • Clio
  • Engine
    0.9 TCe 90 ECO
  • Trim level
    Dynamique Nav
  • Engine
    Renault Clio model names start with the engine size in litres (here it's 0.9). Bigger engines aren't always more powerful, so the power output is also included here: 90 horsepower. Turbocharged petrol engines are badged TCe and diesels can be identified by their dCi badge. ECO is the designation Renault gives to the most economical Clios
  • Trim level
    The amount of standard equipment on your Clio will depend on its trim level. They start at Expression, running through Play and Dynamique Nav to the top level, Dynamique S Nav.

Renault Clio Engines 

1.2 16v, 0.9 Energy TCe 90, 1.2 Energy TCe 120 (petrol); 1.5 dCi 90, 1.5 dCi 100 (diesel)

If you want to spend as little money as possible on your Clio, you’ll need to go for the 1.2-litre 16v petrol engine. But it’s a bit of a false economy, as it’s much less efficient than the newer small turbocharged engines in the range and also less satisfying to drive. It’ll only manage just over 50mpg fuel economy and takes a lazy 14.5 seconds to get the car from 0-62mph.

We think the 0.9-litre TCe petrol engine is a much better bet. Don’t be fooled by its tiny capacity: it’s a pretty eager performer and well matched to the Clio’s character. If you crave more power there’s a larger and more powerful 1.2-litre TCe petrol that is less economical but usefully quicker.

Diesel drivers are catered for by the familiar 1.5-litre dCi 90 engine. In especially frugal ‘ECO’ form, it returns up to 88.3mpg, but even the cheaper regular version can top 85mpg if you drive it gently. It’s as quick as the turbocharged petrol, too, so makes a good choice if you do a lot of motorway driving or regularly exceed 12,000 miles a year.

The facelift brought a second , more powerful diesel engine in the shape of the dCi 110 that’s little less economical but a little faster. It’s also more powerful at low revs so is more relaxed at cruising speeds and pulls better when the car is heavily loaded. 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

top speed

1.2 16v

Petrol

50.4mpg

75hp

0-62mph: 14.5sec

104mph

0.9 Energy TCe 90

Petrol

67.3mpg

90hp

0-62mph: 12.2sec

113mph

1.2 Energy

TCe 120

Petrol

53.3mpg

120bhp

0-62mph: 9.0sec

124mph

1.5 dCi 90

Diesel

85.6 - 88.3mpg

90bhp

0-62mph: 12.0 - 12.9sec

109 - 112mph

1.5dCi 110

Diesel

80.7mpg 108bhp

108bhp

0-62mph: 11.2s

121mph

Renault Clio Trims 

Expression, Play, Dynamique Nav, Dynamique S Nav, Signature Nav

Like most superminis and small family cars, the Clio has a fairly basic entry-level version to tempt buyers in with a low purchase price, called the Clio Expression.

Although it features cruise control, digital radio, Bluetooth hands-free calls, a smartphone-based navigation system and a height-adjustable driver’s seat, the Expression has two major drawbacks. Firstly, it’s only available with the basic 1.2-litre petrol engine, which is comparatively inefficient and slow. And secondly, it doesn’t come with air-conditioning (not even as an option), so you’ll get a bit sweaty on a hot summer’s day.

That’s why we prefer the Play, which is about £1,500 more than the Expression (more if you choose one of the better petrol or diesel engines, which we would recommend). For the extra cash, you get air-conditioning, 16in alloy wheels and front foglights.

If you like your in-car toys, you’ll probably want to move up another grade to the Dynamique Nav – a price jump of about £1,000. This has a better stereo system than the Expression and Play with integrated satellite navigation, as well as soft-touch dashboard material and a synthetic leather steering wheel, plus gloss-black and chrome exterior trim detailing.

Better equipped again (but rather expensive) is the Dynamique S Nav. On top of all the Dynamique Nav’s kit, it features automatic climate control, a central armrest, rear electric windows, 17-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors and heated power-folding door mirrors.

Finally, there’s the Signature Nav which has a more sophisticated TomTom-based sat nav system, parking sensors all round with reversing camera, hands-free parking and part-leather seats.

Renault Clio Reliability and warranty 

French cars in general and Renaults in particular used to have a pretty dismal reputation for unreliability, and while things have definitely improved these days, it’s evident that there’s still some room for improvement. This current Clio was rated 114th out of the top 200 cars for reliability by owners in Auto Express magazine’s 2015 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Its build quality result was even less impressive – 145th out of 200. On the plus side, Renault does offer a generous four years or 100,000 miles of warranty cover, so you’re covered for a long time if something does go wrong.

Used Renault Clio 

No two ways about it – the Clio doesn’t hold its value very well on the used market. This is partly due to Renault’s lingering reputation for making somewhat fragile and unreliable cars and partly due to the fact that the Clio isn’t considered as prestigious or desirable as a Volkswagen Polo. This means that buying a used Clio can be a savvy idea.

There’s definitely value in low-mileage one or two-year-old examples, however. You can pick up a well-specced Clio for around two-thirds of its original asking price – or close to half if you stretch to a three-year-old car.

They’ll all have some manufacturer warranty cover left, too, thanks to the generous four-year/100,000-mile limit. Look out for the ‘ECO’ badge (on both petrols and diesels), as these Clios come with special features such as low-resistance tyres and better aerodynamics to improve economy and thus reduce running costs.

Renault Clio Prices

Renault Clio GT Line

0.9 tce 90 gt line 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £14,278

You could save up to: £1967

1.5 dci 90 gt line 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £15,996

You could save up to: £1829

1.5 dci 90 gt line 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £17,112

You could save up to: £1913

Renault Clio Iconic

0.9 tce 75 iconic 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £12,317

You could save up to: £2378

0.9 tce 90 iconic 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £12,887

You could save up to: £2288

1.5 dci 90 iconic 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £15,046

You could save up to: £1709

1.5 dci 90 iconic 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 70.6mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £16,010

You could save up to: £1945

Renault Clio Play

0.9 tce 75 play 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 56.5mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £10,975

You could save up to: £2520

0.9 tce 90 play 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 60.1mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £11,545

You could save up to: £2430

1.2 16v play 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel petrol
  • Economy 50.4mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £12,389

You could save up to: £1556

1.5 dci 90 eco play 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 88.3mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £14,505

You could save up to: £1720

1.5 dci 90 play 5dr

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 85.6mpg
  • Gears manual

Starting at: £13,591

You could save up to: £1964

1.5 dci 90 play 5dr auto

  • Doors 5
  • Fuel diesel
  • Economy 72.4mpg
  • Gears automatic

Starting at: £14,576

You could save up to: £2179