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Supermini of the Year 2021: Renault Clio

The Renault Clio is the 2021 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Dacia Sandero and Vauxhall Corsa commended

The Renault Clio retains its top spot in the supermini class this year, beating some really tough contenders, such as the Vauxhall Corsa, Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208 and the latest Dacia Sandero.

One of the Clio’s strongest points is its practicality, which is far better than you might expect of a car of this size. It has a 391-litre boot that is more spacious than in cars from the class above, plus plenty of space for passengers inside.

The interior in general is a high point, because it comes with all the tech you need, including a useful touchscreen display incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus it’s well built and looks really smart considering the car’s affordable price.

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We really like the Clio’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine, too. It’s got enough power to keep up with traffic, but thanks to CO2 emissions of 119g/km and official fuel economy of 54.3mpg, it’s efficient, which will help to keep running costs down.

The motor is quiet too, which is another big part of the Renault’s appeal; it’s very refined. True, it’s still a supermini, so don’t expect luxury-car silence, but this is one of the best small cars in this respect.

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That’s reinforced by the Clio’s comfortable ride. Big potholes are the only thing that you really notice, but even then, the suspension does a great job of keeping the car settled. While it might not be the most engaging supermini to drive, it’s nimble enough and comfort is a much more important factor for most buyers in this class.

The final point here is price. The Clio does a class-leading job at an affordable price, especially in the lower and mid-spec trim levels, where it represents excellent value for money.

Best deal

Renault Clio TCe 90 S Edition (£19,100)

Those willing to take up a two-year PCP deal are treated to a zero per cent finance offer on every Clio. That means even the high-spec S Edition, which gets a huge 9.3-inch touchscreen and parking sensors all round, comes to £214 per month with a £4,218 deposit.

Commended

Dacia Sandero

Dacia Sandero

Dacia’s new Sandero is related to the Clio, and it brings many of the same benefits at a bargain price. This is one of the cheapest cars in the UK, yet it offers everything from hi-tech kit to practicality and comfort. The Stepway version adds mini-SUV looks, yet costs less than most normal superminis, too.

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Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa

The latest Corsa is the best version yet of one of the UK’s best sellers, bringing comfort and smart looks along with plenty of kit. Best of all, it’s available with electric power in Corsa-e form. This EV is ultra-quiet and brilliant in town, offering strong performance plus a fair range, and it’s relaxing and easy to drive.

New Car Awards 2021: the winners

Special edition of Auto Express

For the full experience, make sure you pick up a copy of our special New Car Awards collectors' edition of the Auto Express magazine, which is available in shops now.

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