To say that the new Renault Clio has a difficult mission would be an understatement. Even the segment where the Clio belongs sounds difficult. Seriously, these days it’s not enough to be a small car, you have to be a “supermini”.
In front of this challenge, the Clio did what every cool guy in the world would do. Display a playful mood and salute everybody with a big smile.
We all love smiley faces, we’re programmed to, so we invited the new Clio to spend a few days with us. This would be enough to see if this car’s new-found identity is as true as some Facebook profile photos or if, on the contrary, the Clio has what it takes to make you want to stay with it for longer than that.
There were things from the Clio’s past that we wanted to see translated here and there were also problems that we hoped had disappeared. There was something about the first two generations that made you feel young and a bit crazy (crazy good, that is) when driving them.
Alas, the Clio III lost some of that charisma. Sure the Renault Clio RS
was a blast, but you couldn’t simply rejoice behind the wheel of a 1.2-liter version like in the good ol’ days. It wasn’t necessarily the model’s fault, as the market started asking more and more from small cars like it. However, perhaps Renault could’ve found a better way to integrate this without affecting the car’s personality.
The French did just that with the second-generation Twingo, which was an enjoyable car to drive with
or without the facelift
. Thus, we knew there were enough chances for the new Clio to let us have our cake and eat it.
Downsizing! Downsizing! This is all you hear these days, so downsizing we did. We chose the 0.9-liter, three-cylinder TCe engine, an unit we first met on the Dacia Logan
. Some would probably say that the Jaune Eclair hue of our test car is trying to compensate for the small engine, but we found this rather appealing as we set off for our drive.