Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

If you live in a hilly area, drive four-up regularly, or carry lots of heavy luggage, we advise you ignore the entry level 75bhp 1.2-litre petrol because it will struggle to cope. Instead, Renault Clio Sport Tourer performance comes from the more powerful turbocharged 1.2-litre, that boasts a healthier 100bhp and can haul the little load lugger to 62mph in 11.2 seconds.

Originally, there was a larger more powerful petrol – the 128bhp 1.6-litre, but that was only available with only a four-speed automatic and dropped along with the May ’09 facelift. Our pick of the range is the sole diesel offering. The 1.5 dCi 86bhp power output might sound puny but the little diesel is a punchy performer and copes admirably. Against the clock the Clio takes 12.7 seconds to hit 62mph and tops out at 108mph.

Both are almost identical figures to the 90bhp 1.6-litre Skoda Fabia diesel estate.

Neat and tidy, rather than engaging and enthusiastic, best describes the way the little Clio estate goes about its business. Owners will appreciate the little effort it takes to thread the Sport Tourer through urban traffic while being cosseted by a comfortable ride. The more focused driver, meanwhile, will complain that the steering begins to feel a little too light at speeds to judge accurately, but overall the Clio remains capable and well-matched to take on the Skoda Fabia estate and Peugeot 207 SW.