Parkers overall rating: 4.6 out of 5 4.6

Verdict Should you buy a Renault Clio Hatchback?

The outgoing Renault Clio was one of Europe’s bestselling cars – ever – and so it has big shoes to fill. We’re happy to report that it’s done that, and is currently our favourite small car, winning Best First Car in the 2020 Parkers New Car Awards.

It drives well, with a good choice of engines and gearboxes. We’d opt for the TCe 100 petrol manual, but the presence of a diesel model is great too – it shows that manufacturers haven’t totally banished the fuel from their line-ups just yet.

The Clio isn’t the most thrilling car to drive, nor is it the most comfortable. Instead, it strikes a great middle ground between sporting and relaxing – or, if you like, between the Ford Fiesta and the Volkswagen Polo. The Clio’s interior is one of the best in the class, with a great design, good levels of technology and really pleasant materials used throughout. It certainly sets a template for the next generations of supermini – plenty of rivals will have a long way to go to beat this.

The Clio's specification is quite impressive across the board. All cars, starting from the Play trim, get air-con, cruise control, alloy wheels, LED headlights, electric front windows and plenty of safety aids. Step up to Iconic trim and you can add a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, LED foglights, rear parking sensors, tinted rear windows and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

S Edition will bring digital dials, a larger infotainment screen, electric rear windows, climate control and automatic lights and wipers, while the range-topping RS Line gets a sporty exterior makeover, sports seats and selectable driving modes. It's possible to brighten up the interior ambiance across the board with colour packs, while premium options such as self-parking or a Bose stereo can be selected. However, in keeping with Renault's 'Easy Life' pledge - that aims to make the car ordering process as simple as possible for consumers - there aren't many optional extras.

Mid-spec Iconic trim will be the best value for most and is expected to be the best seller, accounting for 41% of sales. RS-Line provides a stylish alternative for those who want to look good, but its effect on the car’s ride and refinement does leave a bit to be desired – especially in a vehicle that doesn’t have a true sporty variant yet.

Refined, good to drive, economical and spacious, the Renault Clio has all the makings of a great supermini. Depending on your priorities, we reckon it should be at or near the top of your shopping list.

>> Want to see how the Clio stacks up to the competition? We've tested it against the Peugeot 208 and Mazda 2 here

>> Need an automatic gearbox? The Clio automatic is one of our best small automatic cars

>> Prefer electric? Try the closely-related Renault Zoe