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.
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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.
In this review
- 1Renault Clio reviewThe Renault Clio is a star of the supermini class – well-built, good to drive and packed with tech
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Renault Clio is good fun to drive and rides well but some engines aren’t especially strong
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThe Clio’s engines aren’t the strongest but running costs and emissions are still very competitive
- 4Interior, design and technology - currently readingThe Renault Clio’s interior is class-leading, especially in higher trims; strong infotainment also impresses
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceIt’s not quite the most practical car in its class but the Renault Clio still offers plenty of space
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Clio remains untested from a reliability standpoint but it’s one of the safest superminis on sale