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Test Drive: Renault Clio TCe 120 EDC Dynamique

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Test Drive: Renault Clio TCe 120 EDC Dynamique
The new generation of the Renault Clio, the fourth one, has been introduced approximately two years ago, starting a revolution in design for the subcompact French car. We have recently went for a spin in the new Clio TCe 120 EDC Dynamique and our impressions on it can be read below.

Engine and Transmission

The tested car was equipped with the 1.2 liter TCe petrol engine, which is good for 120 HP, at 4,900 rpm, and it has a peak torque of 190 Nm, available at 2,000 rpm. This basically makes it better than the equivalent Fiesta or Polo and, despite being a small engine, it doesn’t feel like the next hill will be the last one to climb, even with four people inside it and the trunk full of luggage. This version of the Clio is the solution for those of you who hate diesel but still want to keep a low fuel consumption and an acceptable torque level.

The unit is connected, in this case, to an EDC (electronic double clutch), which is the French alternative to the famous DSG transmission, made by Volkswagen. Some might say that the EDC has no chance of ever competing with the DSG in this form but I have a different opinion, I prefer the EDC instead of the DSG because the gear changing is made extremely fast (keep in mind that we are talking about a B-segment hatchback) and smooth and most of the times you won’t even feel it. The transmission works just brilliant in a hill climb or a hill descent so the result on a highway is predictable. In the city you will quickly get used to it and, even if you’re a fan of manual gearboxes, you will remain addicted to double clutch trannies.

Fuel Consumption

Renault says that the average fuel consumption stands at 5.2 liters, with 6.6 liters in the city and 4.4 liters on the highway. Our test showed figures which were kind of different, but not that different, if you know what I mean. The Clio TCe 120 burned just over 7 liters of fuel every 100 km, in the urban environment, but things can quickly go up to 8L, if your driving style is a bit sporty. On the highway, the trip computer indicated just over 5L burned at approximately 100 km/h, but if you will go up to 130 km/h, the small Clio will get thirstier and request about 8L. This can be improved, in the future, by adding another gear, the seventh one. Our conclusion is that achieving the official fuel consumption figures isn’t that hard.

The Ride

Just like we said when we tested out its less powerful version, the Clio TCe90, the suspension system isn’t that brilliant in the city but it quickly makes sense when you will eventually try to go around a corner fast. The steering is very precise, the brakes do their job just good, the seats are comfortable in the front and not so comfortable in the back, but I’m sure your children won’t get too upset with it.

Interior Design

The fourth generation of the Clio has went through a complete restyle and if its exterior design can be named simple “attractive”, the same thing can be said about its cabin too. You people would appreciate it, with its sharp and round corners, and those of you who are past your second youth will suddenly feel younger. The quality of materials used by Renault inside has increased and we can dare to say that the change was so significant that Renault could have used a different name. But this would have meant more problems to try to explain to its customers what it is exactly.

Besides the new “goodies” found in the cabin, the new generation of the Clio also has a “déjà vu” feel when talking about the side mirror controls, the light switch or the cruise control button, which has been placed on the same central console. If the noise made by the wind in the TCe90 version used to drive me crazy, things can’t be said about this model, so the problem was most likely with the windscreen wipers, so make sure you buy the right ones when you will eventually replace them.

Likes / Dislikes

We have to mention the exterior design which makes you think you’re driving the “RS” version, as other traffic participants asked me and they couldn’t believe that this is really a 1.2 liter powered car. You should have seen the surprise on their faces when we tested the 0.9L version, which basically has the same design. The low driving position is a “plus” once again, along with the car’s ability to go around corners, which will put a lot of shame on more expensive vehicles. The fuel consumption is also great, along with the R-Link and the trunk volume, of 300 liters, which is one of the most spacious in the B-segment.

The “dislike” part includes the lack of a stop/start system or the rather uncomfortable rear bench. The rain-sensing wipers are, as we are used to in almost every vehicle, pretty much useless. The fact that you can’t order this version with a manual transmission may turn against Renault which might lose some customers and, if we are in this category, we have to mention that the EDC needs another gear, the seventh one, to be complete.

Price
Entry-level – 10,200 euros
Tested car – 16,600 euros

Tested Vehicle
Renault Clio TCe120 EDC Dynamique
Engine: 1.2L petrol
Power: 120 HP @ 4,900 rpm
Torque: 190 Nm @ 2,000 rpm
Transmission: automatic double-clutch
Dimensions: length 4,062 mm, width 1,732 mm, height 1,448 mm
Weight: 1,090 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 45L
Trunk Capacity: 300L
0-100km/h: 9.4s
Top Speed: 199 km/h
Rating:

4.3 / 5

inautonews

by Cristian Gnaticov (my Google+) - Monday, June 2nd, 2014 - filed under News, Renault, Sticky news, Test Drive. Image credit: .
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