Renault Modus review (2004-2012)
The Clio has been a huge success for Renault, but five-door models have always lacked family appeal. How do you cater for those seeking more space, without compromising the three-door cars' winning combination of compactness and sportiness? By designing an entirely new car as an addition, that's how. The Modus is based on the Clio III platform, but is available only as a five-door 'sub Megane' model; think of it as a cheaper Fiat Idea or Vauxhall Meriva. Inside there's space for five thanks to clever packaging, yet external dimensions are barely any larger than the current Clio.
There are also clever touches, particularly the 'boot chute'; either flip the hatchback up, or lower a smaller lid built into the tailgate, which imitates the original Mini's boot. ABS and four airbags are standard, curtain airbags feature on all but base models, and clever ESP with understeer control confirm the Modus' safety credentials. Renault expects a five-star Euro-NCAP crash result. Equipment levels are reasonable too, and either 1.2, 1.4 or 1.6 petrol engines, plus a 1.5 dCi turbodiesel in either 65bhp or 80bhp guise, will provide smooth running.