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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.

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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.

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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.

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Which Is Best

Cheapest

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

Most Economical

  • Name
    1.5 dCi 85 Play 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £17,020

Fastest

  • Name
    1.3 TCe 130 S Edition 5dr EDC
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £20,020
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