The new Renault Clio – the latest generation of France’s best-selling car and which has sold over 1.1 million units in the UK – has undergone a reinvention for the modern world, becoming a perfect illustration of Renault’s New Wave, brimming with its latest breakthroughs.
The New Clio debuts with a more assertive and elegant exterior that showcases Renault’s new design language. Notably, the completely redesigned front end boasts taut lines for an overtly sporty look and features the brand’s new signature lighting that is inspired by the Nouvel’R logo and incorporates slender full-LED headlamps.
The New Clio complements its high-tech style with the option of an electrified drivetrain that is at the cutting-edge of hybrid technology. The petrol/electric hybrid produces 145hp for strong, effortless performance and offers a range of up to 550 miles, while also emitting as little as 96g/km of CO2 and returning as much as 67.3mpg combined (WLTP). The latest Clio can use the electric motor up to 80% of the time in cities – cutting consumption by up to 40% compared to a conventional petrol engine – with the benefits of near-silent running and no need to plug-in to charge the battery.
The advanced technology extends to the availability of up to 17 ADAS functions, including those usually found on much larger and more expensive vehicles, such as adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning, and rear traffic cross alert.
Inside, the chic interior mirrors the sophisticated feel of the stylish exterior. Noted as a highlight of the previous Clio, it is improved further still in the New Clio. Core to Renault’s new people-centric, tech-focused design, the welcoming interior now benefits from more sustainable materials and a significant leap in quality. Importantly, there is now no leather: instead the surfaces are covered in TEP, a grained coated fabric made of bio-sourced and recycled polyethylene fibres.
The design of the New Clio captures the brand’s aim to build more modern, more distinctive and more sustainable cars for life. Yet despite this, the New Clio is no larger externally than the previous model, measuring 4,053mm long, 1,988mm wide and 1,440mm high. Its sculpted, tauter contours add a modern vibe to a highly successful formula, while the enlarged chequered grille introduces a sporty and upmarket feel.
The brushed-satin chrome Nouvel’R logo at the front honours the brand’s heritage with its simple, timeless geometry. It sits at the heart of the New Clio’s bold and distinctive styling, the first vehicle in Renault’s ‘Nouvelle Vague’ to feature the new signature lighting. Drawing inspiration from the famous double-diamond logo, the LED daytime running lights each form one half of an upright rhombus to add a sparkling element to the New Clio’s appearance. Slender full-LED headlights feature higher up the range, their compact design combining up to five high-tech beam patterns that automatically adapt the light distribution between high and dipped beams.
The Techno and Esprit Alpine trims feature a striking aerofoil beneath the grille that is directly inspired by Renault’s long experience in motorsports. The chiselled, aerodynamic blade is presented in body-colour on the Techno trim, while the Esprit Alpine version is highlighted in Matt Shadow Grey.
The rear profile has also received a comprehensive makeover. The bumper’s aerodynamic profile and side vents visually enlarge the rear while enhancing the car’s technical prowess. The lower diffuser – finished in Matt Black on Evolution models, Gloss Black on Techno, and Matt Shadow Grey on the Esprit Alpine version – bolster’s the New Clio’s sporting appeal.
The modernised rear lights now feature crystal clear covers that provide a glimpse of the optical components inside, adding to the technical, up-to-the-minute feel. The rear lights’ bright outer edges mirror the lighting pattern at the front.
Seven elegant body colours are available for the New Clio: Glacier White, Diamond Black, Shadow Grey, Ceramic Grey, Iron Blue, Valencia Orange and Flame Red.
Three distinctive alloy wheel designs are offered in sizes up to 17 inches in diameter, all with the new Renault logo in brushed aluminium at the centre. Evolution models wear 16-inch Boa Vista alloy wheels, while Techno features 17-inch alloys in the ‘Monastella’ style. Esprit Alpine versions come with a striking and unique diamond cut design.
The Esprit Alpine trim – first introduced on the New Renault Austral E-tech full hybrid – intertwines the Alpine brand’s sporting hallmarks with Renault’s modern style playbook to elevate the New Clio’s intensity to new heights.
The assertive effect starts with an exclusive new grille. Its hot-stamped design ranges from dark at the centre to glossy chrome at the edges, creating depth and instilling a sense of power to the New Clio’s exterior. A Gloss Black line cuts across it horizontally and stretches towards the headlights, while the central logo has been recast in Ice Black brushed aluminium, accentuating the Esprit Alpine’s technical edge. A specific Esprit Alpine badge takes its position on the front wing.
The Esprit Alpine’s Matt Shadow Grey aerodynamic blade at the front conjures images of Renault and Alpine’s illustrious motorsport campaigns. The same finish is also used on the lower door trim and rear diffuser. The Esprit Alpine’s 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels complement the look, their black and smoky grey finish enhanced by blue or grey wheel centres, depending on body colour. As a final touch, the Clio badge at the rear is finished in Deep Gloss Black.
A more welcoming and sustainable interior awaits in the passenger compartment of the New Clio, with spaciousness and ergonomics still key strengths, alongside enhanced quality and comfort. An up-to-the-minute digital connected experience helps driver and passengers relax and enjoy the journey.
The New Clio’s dashboard includes an edgeless display spanning 7 or 10 inches diagonally, depending on the model, that interacts seamlessly with the Easy Link multimedia system and its own 7 or 9.3-inch touchscreen. The New Clio’s MULTI-SENSE technology adjusts the cabin’s ambient lighting settings to suit your driving mood.
Automatic air conditioning, a hands-free key card and wireless smartphone charger join other available amenities such as a height-adjustable front passenger seat, heated steering wheel, automatic electronic parking brake and central armrest with integral storage to make driving and travelling in the New Clio more enjoyable than ever. Generous cabin space, even for rear seat passengers, combines with boot capacity of up to 391 litres to rank the New Clio among the best in its class.
The contours of the New Clio’s seats exude both class and sportiness, with an appealing selection materials, colours and contrasting stitching delivering a unique character for each trim model. The Esprit Alpine trim features its own bespoke seats worthy of its sporting aspirations, finished with the famous Alpine logo.
As part of the Renault brand’s core focus on sustainability, there is now no leather used within the interior. Instead, the surfaces are covered in TEP, a grained coated fabric made of bio-sourced and polyester fibres. One key advantage is that much less energy and water are needed to add colour to TEP than are required to dye fibres in the conventional way.
In addition, the seats, door panels and dashboard in techno models are clad in a specially-developed sustainable fabric that comprises up to 60% TENCEL-branded Modal fibres, a bio-based cellulosic fibre that contributes to the Renault brand’s decarbonisation strategy. This marks the first time these sustainable fibres have been used extensively inside a vehicle.
Renowned for their exceptional softness, the fibres are made from a renewable resource – natural wood that is sourced from sustainably-managed semi-natural forests in Europe. These forests absorb large amounts of CO2 and do not require any chemical fertilisers or artificial irrigation. Furthermore, the TENCEL Modal fibres are produced using renewable energy and have been certified with the EU Ecolabel, an indication of environmental excellence that is awarded to products and services that meet the highest environmental standards throughout their lifecycle.
Esprit Alpine models feature a sporting elegance all of their own. The seats are more enveloping and provide a greater degree of lateral support. The carefully-chosen materials are exclusive to this trim level, and use a lighter grey in the seat’s centre sections and thicker, contoured side panels to underline the sporting theme. A Y-shaped pattern, reminiscent of that seen on athletes’ sports shirts, is used across the seat fabric, while blue overstitching adds appealing highlights. Finally, the Alpine brand’s letter ‘A’ is heat-welded onto the seat back, while a red, white and blue flag – symbolising France – is stitched onto the side.
These materials were carefully chosen to continue the focus on sustainability. The fabric is made from 65% recycled PET (polyethylene) with a 13% recycled grained coated textile on the seat sides.
Elsewhere in the Esprit Alpine cabin, the steering wheel uses an appealing combination of red, white and blue double overstitching, perforated material, and a Deep Gloss Black background for the Ice Black central logo. The dashboard, meanwhile, carries its own subtle French flag; the seatbelts in both the front and the rear wear distinctive blue edges; the pedals are made from aluminium; and the front door sills are exclusive to the trim.
As you sit in the driver’s seat, the Renault Easy Link screen fires up and displays a welcome message with a sequence depicting the Alpine brand’s hallmarks.