Renault adds to green credentials

  • New 98g/km free-to-tax Clio added to 'eco' range
  • No price premium for low-emission small hatchback
  • Collection of new features to bring lower emissions

French manufacturer Renault has increased its line-up of low emission models with a new Eco2 version of the Clio that emits 98g/km of CO2.

The Eco2 is in the free-to-tax VED banding and as well as the low emissions the new model also gets improved fuel economy over the regular models with Renault claiming it can achieve 76.3mpg.

This latest version of the Clio is available as a three-door Extreme model or five-door Expression version, with both options powered by the 1.5-litre dCi 86 engine already used in other models in the line-up.

While the introduction of low-emission model might not be a major development, the big bonus for car buyers is that the savings in running costs are not cancelled out by a heavy premium at purchase because the Eco2 will cost the same as the regular models already in the line-up.

Compare this to the Skoda Fabia Greenline model that comes with a £300 premium compared to the equivalent regular model while the Peugeot 207 Economique + 5DR will set buyers back £800 more than the equivalent higher emitting model.

The Clio also fares well when compared to the price of other 'eco' models. While a Ford Fiesta Econetic (AC) 5DR will cost £15,365, the Clio Expression (AC) 5DR comes in at £13,205 - a saving of more than £2,000.

Renault has managed to achieve the extra mpg and reduced emissions with a number of engine tweaks and minor changes to the exterior.

The 1.5 dCi engine has been given longer gearing as well as dedicated engine mapping purely focused on reducing the emissions and improving the fuel economy.

On the outside the lip under the front bumper has been extended with front wheel arch liner extension flaps and it also gets low rolling resistance tyres.

Buyers will still get decent equipment levels including radio CD with fingertip remote control, front fog lights and electric front windows, but you will have to pay extra for air-con.

The Renault Clio Extreme Eco2 three-door model is priced at £12,690 rising to £13,855 for the Expression Eco2 five-door version with air-con. All are available to order now.