Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 105

Renault hasn’t been upgraded to give more mpg, so will be a good marker by which the rest are judged

  • Strong yet frugal diesel engine is most powerful in line-up, long range thanks to huge tank.
  • Struggled to stay on the pace against leaders in test, in both performance and economy.

Exactly how well does a standard supermini fare in terms of efficiency when lined up alongside lightweight city cars, hybrids and models with advanced fuel-saving technology? We included a Clio in our assessment to find out.

This 106bhp version is the most powerful of the three diesels Renault offers in the range, and all of them are based on the same 1.5 dCi engine. However, our test car claims exactly the same 61.4mpg official combined figure as the entry-level 68bhp model. Once again, this is down to the fact that a more powerful engine can achieve the same speeds with less work.

Nevertheless, from the word go, the Clio struggled to stay in touch with our leaders. Around town, it consumed a gallon of diesel every 36.2 miles – 7mpg down on the most frugal model in town, the MINI Cooper D.

As expected, once on the open road, it pulled ahead of the hybrid (the Prius was the only car not to top 60mpg), and matched the Bluemotion thanks to the long gearing of its six-speed transmission and its flexible engine. Add in a huge 55-litre fuel tank, and the Renault actually boasts the longest potential range of any of our six, at 617 miles.

This stood the Clio in good stead on the motorway, where it managed 52.1mpg despite averaging 69mph. However, even this excellent performance couldn’t prevent it falling 0.4mpg behind the Toyota overall.

Details

Price: £13,560Model tested: Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 105Chart position: 6WHY: Supermini doesn’t get any upgrades to boost efficiency. How does it compare in this company?

Economy

Urban: 36.2mpg Cross-country: 61.2mpg Motorway: 52.1mpg Combined: 53.9mpg

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