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Top seller gets latest technology
8:00am Saturday 16th February 2013 in Road Tests
FOLLOWING its eagerly anticipated world debut at the Paris Motor Show, Renault is ready to relaunch one of the UK’s most loved cars, the Clio.
Now in its fourth-generation, the latest version of the 12 million selling (over 1m in the UK) chic supermini boasts an all-new, sensual look on the outside, with a more upmarket feel on the inside.
And combined with attractive pricing, plenty of new technology, a wide array of new options and state-of-the-art engines, the French marque is aiming for the top of the hotly contested supermini class when the new model hits showrooms next month.
UK ordering for Renault’s striking newcomer, which marks the beginning of its new design direction under the leadership of Laurens Van Den Acker, opened in November.
Breaking with tradition, the new Clio will be available solely in five-door guise, but with a coupélike silhouette incorporating hidden rear door handles and a sportier profile. To back up its contemporary look, UK models will also be priced to tackle its rivals head on, including an eyecatching entry price of £10,595.
Kicking off the initial four-trim level line-up is a new Expression trim level, available with the 1.2 16V 75 engine. Far from being a stripped-out base version though, and in keeping with Renault’s reputation for providing well-equipped models versus the competition, it benefits from a 4x20W radio with Bluetooth and USB connection, Bass Reflex system (enhanced speaker sound quality), driver/passenger/side and curtain airbags, 60/40 splitfolding rear seat, cruise control, daytime running lights, ESC, Hill Start Assist, height and reach adjustable steering wheel, electric front windows and door mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, plus speed limiter.
Moving up to Expression+ adds 16in Passion alloy wheels, air conditioning and front fog lights.
The next stage takes in the UK’s likely best-seller, Dynamique MediaNav, which not only ups the equipment stakes, but also the overall sporty feel, both inside and out. Among its highlights are black gloss exterior touches with chrome inserts (doors, boot lid strip and grille) and 16in Passion alloy wheels with a choice of black or grey inserts. The specification tally moves upmarket with the addition of auto lights and wipers, 7in touchscreen with MediaNav incorporating Navteq’s Nav ’N’ Go satellite navigation, Arkamys radio with Bluetooth and USB and fingertip remote controls, leather steering wheel with gloss black insert and the convenient hands-free keycard.
Rounding off the core range, at least for the time being, until the new GT Line and Renaultsport versions arrive later in 2013, are Dynamique S MediaNav versions.
Luxury additions to the Clio flagship include a choice of 17in Desire alloy wheels (with a selection of four different colour inserts), chrome side window surrounds, centre armrest, climate control, electric folding door mirrors, rear electric windows, gloss black interior door handles and rear parking sensors.
The whole range is priced £10,595 to £16,095. New five-door only versions are priced between the current three and five-door. The new Expression+ costs £230 less than before, with even more equipment New GT Line with TCe 120 EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch) will follow New ECO versions come in Expression+ and Dynamique MediaNav trim levels.
The Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo pricing is to be announced this month, ahead of an early summer showroom launch.