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Renault Clio Hatchback review

2012 - 2019 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 53.9
” Stylish, cheap to run and good to drive “

At a glance

Price new £11,145 - £22,795
Used prices £2,305 - £12,936
Road tax cost £0 - £180
Insurance group 3 - 28
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Fuel economy 46.3 - 57.6 mpg
Range 465 - 871 miles
Miles per pound 6.8 - 7.4
View full specs for a specific version

Available fuel types



Pros & cons

  • Stylish and modern to look at
  • Plenty of kit and tech for the money
  • A comfortable ride and fine handling
  • A wide span of model variations
  • Engines are efficient and punchy
  • Interior plastics are disappointing
  • Not as practical as newer rivals
  • Numb steering robs it of fun factor
  • Add options, and things can get expensive
  • Renaultsport models aren’t sharp enough

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019


The Renault Clio is a five-door supermini that’s been a household name in the UK since the early 1990s (you may remember the advertising featuring Nicole and Papa), competing for sales with a wide variety of very competent rivals. 

It’s certainly popular, with more than a million of them finding homes in the UK since it was introduced, and this is the fourth-generation model boasting stylish looks, economical turbocharged TCe petrol and dCi diesel engines, a practical interior and a good drive. 

With three-door cars falling out of favour with buyers, Renault made the decision to make this Clio five-door only, but has cleverly disguised the rear door handles so it looks like a sleeker model when viewed side-on. Putting the door handle in the rear pillar does dramatically reduce rear visibility though.

But are all these stylish features, economical engines and a spacious interior enough to see off its rivals? It has got plenty to defeat, including the Ford FiestaPeugeot 208Vauxhall CorsaVolkswagen PoloSEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia. Not to mention less-common models like the Citroen C3Hyundai i20 and Mazda 2.

Clio Mk4 is more mature than ever

The Clio couldn’t be anything other than a Renault, featuring a look that’s similar to every other car in the range, with similarly sharp lights to the Kadjar crossover and a dashboard similar to the one in the Captur. 

Having a five-door body is more practical, while the car sits lower and wider than the version it replaced, which contributes to a lower centre of gravity and makes the car feel more grown up and safe on the road. 

When it was introduced however, Renault injected a little fun into the car, with various bright colour options and customisation packs to personalise the Clio – including a selection of door mirror caps, grille bars, rear panel skirts, lower door protectors and wheel finishes, as well as a choice of roof graphics.

To create a more bespoke interior, there was a menu of options regarding the dashboard, door panels, steering wheel, grab handles, gear lever surround, air vent bezels, upholstery materials and optional floor mats.

However, this has now been consolidated into just a few options that come in much more muted tones – a sign that people don’t necessarily want all these wacky features. Avoiding crazy colours should help make the car more desirable to the dealer if you hand it back at the end of the finance contract, and easier to sell on if you buy it outright. 

Renault Clio interior: plenty of connectivity tech

Of greater benefit is that many Clios feature Renault’s R-Link multimedia system. This features a 7.0-inch touchscreen incorporating sat-nav (on some models) with traffic updates.

Renault Clio dashboard
Renault Clio dashboard

The system also links to Renault R-Link Store, the automobile world’s first app shop, where users can view or download a range of services from their car or computer.

R-Link users can also check their messages, manage their diary, locate the nearest service station or place to park, or send a tweet.

Clios at the lower-end of the range are available with R&Go, using an app on the driver’s smartphone to connect to the car’s system.

However, this tech was introduced back when the Clio was launched in 2012, and in-car tech has moved on signifcantly, with the Clio’s system feeling out of date not as user-friendly as newer systems.

Renault Clio engines: choice of efficient TCe or dCi units

All of the Clio’s powerplants are turbocharged for both performance and efficiency.

The petrol engines are badged TCe, with a choice of 75hp and 90hp units, while the Clio diesels are called dCi, but there’s only one option with 90hp, but this comes with a choice of manual and automatic gearboxes.

The dCi 90 is particularly efficient, returning up to 57.6mpg, but if you’re just using the Clio around town, one of the petrols will suit your needs just fine, plus they tend to cost a little less to purchase in the first place, with petrols likely to come with much lower monthly finance payments.

Renault doesn’t offer an electrically-powered Clio despite its expertise in EVs. Instead you have to opt for the electric-only Zoe for zero-emission driving.

High-performance Clio Renaultsport

Renault has a long and illustrious history in producing compact hot hatchbacks and while the fastest Clios have between 200hp and 220hp on tap depending upon which version you go for, they’re hamstrung for enthusiasts by an obstructive EDC dual-clutch automatic gearbox – there’s no manual alternative.

Still, they’re quick: the Clio Renaultsport 220 Trophy can reach 146mph and gets from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds. The handling will put a smile on your face, too, but as a package it falls short of the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTi.

However, this version is no longer available, and with a new Renault Clio due in 2019, you’ll have to wait for an all-new version or find a used one if you really want it.