Renault Clio (2012-2019) review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Sleeker looks mask a wheelbase stretch and a class-leading boot – but the Clio is still cramped in the back.

Interior space has been maximised for the fourth-generation Clio, despite striking looks and exterior dimensions only slightly bigger than the previous model. It's still not as good as the best in class, however.

Renault has provided the Clio with plenty of storage space around the cabin, but the tiny glovebox barely fits the owner's manual in it. There are cubby holes in front of the gearlever, centre armrest and door panels. 

The user-friendly interior has all functions within easy reach of the driver, although the location of some controls is less than intuitive. The starter button is on the wrong side, and the switch for the cruise control and speed limiter is oddly located by the handbrake. 

Visibility out the front is fine, but the thick rear pillar can make over-the-shoulder vision tricky when reversing.

Size

With an extra 30mm over its predecessor, the Clio has stretched its size advantage over rivals to the point where it’s one of the biggest in the supermini class. 

Renault has also tweaked the suspension to make the car 45mm lower, while the platform has been modified to produce a slightly longer wheelbase and wider track than the outgoing car. There's also a good-sized boot, but there's several superminis that are more accommodating for back-seat passengers.

Legroom, headroom & passenger space

The Clio has less space for rear passengers than the Ford Fiesta due to its low roofline, small side windows and high-mounted rear bench, which can make it feel cramped and narrow for taller passengers. However, given the Clio is only offered as a five-door, getting in and out of the back seats is easy.

There are three fixed-point seatbelts in the rear, but fitting three passengers in the car will be a squash. Up front, the driver and passenger do better, as accommodation is more than acceptable.

Boot

Boot space is larger than that of key rivals. At 300 litres, it beats the capacities of the Fiesta and Peugeot 208, which offer 292 and 285 litres respectively.  

When the rear seats are folded flat, the load area expands to 1,146 litres and a 60:40 split enables larger loads to be carried with ease. There’s a 1,200kg maximum braked towing limit on all models.   

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 SCe 75 Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £14,420

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.0 TCe 100 RS Line Bose Edition 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £17,420

Fastest

  • Name
    1.3 TCe 130 RS Line 5dr EDC
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £20,480

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