This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Renault Clio Hatchback review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.9 out of 5 3.9

Should you buy a Renault Clio?

We like the Renault Clio. It’s well priced, has a generous equipment tally, and looks smart, despite having been around for a few years now. It rides well and is roomy, too. It doesn’t have any particular weaknesses, either, although if we were being picky, then we’d counter that it’s not as sharp to steer as the Ford Fiesta. But, then, what is? As a trade-off, you get a slightly softer ride on the most basic models.

The Clio is wearing its years well, but a dated media system and some cheap interior plastics mean it’s not quite at the top of the class. As such, if you’re shopping for a mainstream Renault Clio, then the middle-ranking Iconic hits the sweet spot in terms of desirable kit; there’s nothing in the interior design or material quality to justify spending more. Only available as a five-door, Renault has kept some of the style of the three door by integrating the rear door handles into the pillar, which does impact on rear visibility.

‘The TCe 90 is the most powerful petrol engine you can have in the range before heading on to the high-performing Renaultsport model. It doesn’t scream excitement on paper, but it’s certainly eager enough for everyday use and feels quick for its size’

Tom Goodlad, Parkers Continuity Editor

We’d ward off going wild on the personalisation packs unless you plan to keep the car for a long time, as it may prove trickier to sell on than a standard car; instead, go for useful extras like full LED headlights, or the Techno pack. With that in mind, ensure the items you’re paying extra for aren’t standard on rivals – they’re not particularly cheap, particularly the upgraded audio when Ford includes B&O packs as an integral part of the Fiesta range.

Engine-wise, unless you are likely to cover higher levels of annual mileage that warrant choosing a diesel-fuelled Clio, we’d opt for the petrol-powered TCe 90. It’s still economical, but is less noisy and more efficient on shorter, urban-based journeys. If fuel economy is a concern then the pick of the range is the diesel model, but in reality, the little three-cylinder petrol alternative is such fun and not much less thirsty at the pumps, we’d plump for this model as the sweet spot in the range.

If performance is more your thing then of the two Renaultsport versions, the feistier 220 Trophy is the one to go for. It’s more visceral like hot Clios of old, although it’s still hampered by a recalcitrant gearbox.