Test Drive: Renault Clio IV TCe90 image

The new generation of the Renault Clio is finally here and this is probably one of the best looking hatchbacks in the B-segment.

Engine and Transmission

The new Renault Clio generation is coming with a 0.9-liter turbocharged gasoline unit, with a 1.2 liter gasoline and with a 1.5 liter common rail diesel, while the RS is getting a 1.6-liter turbo. The model we tested was powered by Renault’s answer to the EcoBoost, the 0.9-liter turbocharged engine, which is producing a total output of 90 HP at 5,250 rpm and it has a peak torque of 135 Nm available at 2,500 rpm. 90 percent of the torque is available from just 1,650 rpm, and this should help you climb that hill faster. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission and it has the stop / start technology. The same engine is also being used on other models in the company’s lineup, like the new Twingo generation, and it was also “borrowed” to Dacia, where it can be found on the Logan II and Sandero II.

Fuel Consumption

Renault says that the new Clio generation, equipped with the TCe 90 engine, is burning 5.6 liters of fuel every 100 km in the city, while on the highway, the figure stands at 3.9 liters. There is a huge gap in between the official figures because the trip computer indicated an average of 7.7 L / 100 km in the city, with a slight use of the AC, while on the highway, with cruise control set at 90 km/h and the AC on, the fuel consumption stood at 4.6 liters / 100 km. If you will pass the 100 km/h mark, the fuel consumption will also pass the 5 L / 100 km mark.

The Ride

The suspension system isn’t that brilliant in combination with the regular chassis because in the version we tested, the car had stiffer springs, and this can be quite annoying in driving it in the city on a daily basis. The recipe might work on the Clio RS, but that has a different chassis, so if you want to order this variant, be sure to pay some attention on its suspension. The steering system is precise so you won’t have to put a lot of effort in order to go around a corner, but don’t forget that understeer may appear.

The driving position in the new Clio generation is low and this will sometimes make you forget that you’re driving a normal B-segment hatchback. The seats are comfortable and they offer good side support, but you won’t feel the same about the headrests. You get HAS (Hill Start Assist), which works just like it should, and you can also turn off the stop / start system at the touch of a button.

Interior Design

The Clio IV has been designed to appeal to young people and this is a good thing on the outside, because from every angle you look, the car is simply beautiful. But this can’t be said on the interior design too, because sharp angles, some cheap plastic panels, which can also be found in the competition, glossy accents and some chrome will make the adult in you feel like a child, in the bad way, so my guess is that Renault compromised a wide target in order to focus on the youth.

Some of the features present on the tested version were the MediaNav, from the Dacia Logan / Sandero / Lodgy and so on, Bluetooth connectivity for your mobile phone, USB, Aux, a multi-function steering wheel, single-zone AC, cruise control, an “ECO” button to tell you when to shift gears, a front armrest, which may feel too short sometimes, front electric windows with driver’s side push up-down, electric adjustable side mirrors, remote lock, keyless entry, push-button start, rear parking sensors and a lot of ISOFIX related items.

The things which will probably make you go mad will be the rain-sensing wipers, which will either swipe your windscreen 3 times a second or they won’t work at all, no matter what the setup is, the mid air vents, which will blow air in your eyes or on the roof, because they can’t be lowered enough, the headrests, which are useless and that’s about all. Oh, and let’s also mention the annoying noise made by the wind at speeds over 80 – 90 km/h, which is related to either the side mirrors or the windscreen wipers, the engine noise or the vibration felt in the steering wheel and other components when you will stand still and the stop / start will refuse to cooperate.

Likes / Dislikes

The “Like” category will definitely have to mention the exterior design, which is simply staggering. Then we will move to the low driving position, to the front armrest, which even if it’s a little short, you will use it on a daily basis, you get front heated seats on this version, which work just like they should and, unlike larger models, like the Megane, you will also get two cup holders near the handbrake lever, even if one of them is too small. It’s the intention that it’s worth mentioning. Let’s not forget the glossy panels, which will get dirty very fast but they are worth it, the multi-language trip computer or the HAS.

On the other hand, you will become annoyed by the wind noise, the steering wheel vibration felt when standing at a red light and the engine won’t turn off, the mid air vents, which will eventually make you sick of conjunctivitis, the headrests, which simply cannot be used, or the engine sound, which wants to be there but it simply isn’t. Last but not least, you won’t enjoy the official fuel consumption figures compared to what you will actually find.

Is this enough to make you choose the Clio instead of the Fiesta, Polo, Corsa or the 208? Well the exterior design is translated into a definitely “yes”, as for the other parts, you be the judge. The cheapest Clio starts at just over 10,000 euros but the version we testes will set you back for approximately 14,000 EUR.