Renault Clio 98g/km

Greenest Clio ever aims to blend efficiency, style and good on-road manners. We took to the road to see how it fares

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

There's plenty of eco supermini variants on sale today, but few manage to blend efficiency and uncomprised driving dynamics as seamlessly as the Clio. Admittedly, it can feel sluggish at high speeds but for most people the huge savings that can be made will be enough to off-set the lack of performance.  

Say hello to Renault's most efficient production car yet! With a 1.5-litre dCi engine, this 'eco2' badged Clio boasts CO2 emissions of just 98g/km and an impressive 76.3mpg combined fuel economy figure.
The French company have worked hard to improve efficiency without sacrificing the driving experience or the looks. And, judging by the fact you have to examine the exterior closely to spot the new lip under the front bumper and the extended front wheel arches, they've certainly achieved the latter.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Renault Clio
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But how has the driving experience suffered? Turn the key and the 86bhp diesel engine comes to life, eventually settling to a smooth and quiet hum. It sounded harsh when worked hard but compared to other eco editions it's surprisingly refined.
On the short town route we were limited to for the test, the Clio felt punchy enough at low speeds but the 0-60mph time of 12.7 seconds suggests it might struggle to keep up with traffic at motorway speeds. But the trade-off is an extra-urban economy figure of 85.6mpg.
When the road gets bendy the Clio's agile chassis shines through. There's quite a bit of body roll if you're too aggressive but otherwise the Renault feels nimble enough.
The French firm have also made sure that the Clio is not only cheap to run but it's cheap to buy too. The most efficient car in their range, costs exactly the same as the £12,690 1.5-litre dCi Extreme model on which it's based.
Add in the free road-tax, theoretical 923 mile range on each tank of fuel and accomplished on-road dynamics and the greenest Clio ever becomes an extremely attractive proposition. 
Rival: SEAT Ibiza Ecomotive The Ibiza's long gearing means that it boasts an astonishing 94.2mpg extra-urban economy figure. But, the 3-cylinder diesel engine is noisy and harsh, even at idle and feels low on power. It also commands a £100 premium over the Clio.

 

 

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