The supermini estate is a curious niche, one occupied by only a handful of manufacturers.
Take a small car, add a few inches more space and hey presto – a slightly more practical car. Renault, Peugeot and Skoda are the main contenders here.
The Clio Sport Tourer boosts boot space by 50% over the hatchback version. A raked rear window limits some of the practicality; style is as important as substance.
Capacity with seats up is 439 litres, significantly better than the 207 SW’s 325 litres, but behind the Fabia’s 480. The difference is directly correlated to the length of the cars.
Powered by the durable 1.5-litre dCi diesel, here in 86bhp guise, the Sport Tourer moves briskly, even when laden down. This engine also sneaks in below 120g/km with a combined 64mpg.
Handling is as good as the hatchback Clio when unloaded (enjoyable); compromises obviously have to be made when the boot is full, although stiffer rear suspension ensures it is
stable when cornering.
While some question the wisdom of a supermini estate, suggesting that buyers could just opt for a C-segment car and its bigger boot, Renault has no such doubts.
It sold 1,006 Sport Tourers from July launch last year – 3.9% of all Clios. This year the car will account for 15% of total Clio sales.