In-depth reviews

Renault Clio review - Interior, design and technology

The Renault Clio’s interior is class-leading, especially in higher trims; strong infotainment also impresses

Renault deliberately took an evolutionary approach to designing the latest Clio – it doesn’t look too different to the previous model, but that’s no bad thing. Sharper design details feature but overall proportions are very similar despite an all-new platform based on the French manufacturer’s CMF-B architecture.

The new platform is claimed to improve the Clio’s safety credentials, efficiency and refinement, while also allowing for the use of more sophisticated technology than its predecessor – not least electrification, as found on the E-TECH version of the Clio.

Those familiar with the old Clio will be most impressed by the latest car’s interior, however. A big step forward has been made in terms of build quality, materials used and – perhaps most importantly in today’s market – infotainment. The car’s dashboard prioritises ergonomics more than ever, with all major controls seemingly raised to fall within easy reach for the driver. A touchscreen infotainment display – available in two sizes – sits proudly in the centre, canted towards the driver, and is easily reached and operated unlike the equivalents on some rivals. There’s a lot of plastic on show in the car’s interior but the majority of it feels of good quality and it’s all well put-together.

There’s plenty of tech on offer, even as standard – entry Play models do without touchscreen infotainment but get DAB radio, cruise control with speed limiter, remote central locking, auto-folding mirrors and a host of active safety features including automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and traffic sign recognition.

Iconic trim brings the smallest of two infotainment systems and an uprated stereo along with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus keyless go and rear parking sensors. The S Edition adds the full-size infotainment screen, digital dials, automatic headlights and wipers, plus a reversing camera and front parking sensors. Top-of-the-range RS Line cars receive largely cosmetic updates over Iconic.

Sat-nav, stereo and infotainment

The most basic Play models come with a fairly basic infotainment system with DAB radio and compatibility with Renault’s R&GO app. It’s best to step up to the seven-inch display offered as standard in Iconic models; it gets the aforementioned Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, a responsive touchscreen, an uprated stereo, two USB slots and Bluetooth connectivity.

The smaller seven-inch screen isn’t as sharp or responsive as that found in the Ford Fiesta, but it’s still easy and largely intuitive to use – not something that older Renault systems could be praised for. The larger 9.3-inch screen offered on S Edition and RS Line trims is much better resolved and is technically superior with much sharper graphics, but we found it intrudes on the driver’s view a little as it pokes above the line of the dash. Either system is a welcome improvement over those fitted to Renaults of old, however.

Audiophiles will welcome the £350 Bose premium speaker system that’s available in conjunction with either of the upper two infotainment setups.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    1.0 SCe 65 Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £0

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.6 E-TECH Hybrid 140 Play 5dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £19,170

Fastest

  • Name
    1.0 SCe 65 Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £0

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