The current Clio is a bigger, more up-market and more expensive car than the popular little runabouts that have gone before it.
Stylish, spacious inside and safe, it has plenty of appeal for buyers. Quality has been improved so it’s better able to resist becoming tatty and unsaleable.
There’s a wide choice of engines from frugal petrol and diesel models to the 2.0-litre Renaultsport Clio 197 which takes its name from its 197bhp output.
The hot-hatch versions are well respected by performance car fans, especially the stripped-out, more affordable ‘Cup’ version.
The original petrol line-up was simplified in 2007 when the 1.4 and 1.6 engines were replaced by a 1.2 turbo which is both zesty and economical (there’s also a nom-turbo 1.2).
The 1.5 diesel is popular as it makes for an exceptionally frugal runabout, but be aware that it was offered in differing power outputs of 68, 86 and 106bhp with the most powerful version being alone in getting a six-speed gearbox.
The Clio’s increased size gives occupants plenty of room – it’ll seat four adults with ease – and on the move it feels like a car from a class above, with low noise levels and a relaxing ride. Air conditioning was a £500 option on lower-spec models, and where fitted, makes them easier to sell.
A five-star occupant protection score in the Euro NCAP tests makes the Clio unbeatable for safety-conscious buyers.
All models have six airbags (front, side and anti-submarining bags in the front seats) as standard, while all but the Extreme and Campus models have side airbags too.
Stability control is optional on all but the Renaultsport models which have it as standard.
On the forecourt
The diesels are sought-after by used buyers although the less powerful version is too slow for most.
Trade: 05/55-07/57: £5,500 - £9,850
Retail: 05/55-07/57: £6,750 - £12,800
Ones to avoid
136bhp petrol engine is comparatively costly to run and lacks any of the thrills of the Renaultsport models.
Trade: 06/56-07/57: £6,425 - £7,400
Retail: 06/56-07/57: £7,795 - £11,300
In the workshop
There have been two recalls: 24/10/2006 – auto gearbox may malfunction. 13/04/2007 – stop light failure.
Parker's buyers' lines
“More room in the back of my three-door Clio than there was in the back of my five-door 307.”
“Very roomy and comfortable; cruises effortlessly; amazing economy.”
“Has plenty of power and I get more than 70mpg on a run.” (1.5dCi 86bhp)