From £10,855
Clio gets Twingo’s turbo engine and it’s a hidden gem

Our Verdict

Renault Clio
Distinctive styling details are taken from the showstopping Renault Dezir concept car

A multi-talented contender that can stand comparison with the best

What is it?

Most new models arrive with almost ridiculous amounts of fanfare. But occasionally they merely creep onto the price lists, presumably hoping that someone will notice.

The new Clio 1.2 Turbo is one such model. It’s just gone on sale in the most discreet way possible. Which is a shame, considering that it’s a strong contender for being the best Renault supermini of all. And yes, I’m including the 197 in that list.

The motor that’s been unceremoniously slipped into the Clio is the same one that powers the range-topping Twingo. Basically it’s a blown version of the familiar 1.2-litre 16-valver. So it’s good for 100bhp and 107lb ft of torque, optimised at a lowly 3000rpm. And all the while achieving 47.9mpg, according to official combined figures.

What’s it like?

On the move this new Clio reminded me why everyone is starting to gain a huge appreciation of the new breed of small turbo petrol engines that are starting to appear.

Considering the 1149cc capacity it’s almost indecently punchy in any of its five gears and stays gamely refined too – even when you start creeping towards the red line. Best of all there’s a zest and a zip to it, that’s lacking from all the Clios, save the hot shoe 197.

Sadly it doesn’t have the same chassis tweaks as the hottest Clio. So while it rides and handles neatly and tidily, it’s not as sharp as a Corsa or Fiesta. And the steering feels as wooden as ever.

Should I buy one?

Yes. The Clio TCE has one of the best supermini engines, is well priced and in the right colour it looks great. Perhaps Renault should shout about it.

Chas Hallett

Join the debate

Comments
1

19 October 2007

[quote Autocar]

What is it?

Most new models arrive with almost ridiculous amounts of fanfare. But occasionally they merely creep onto the price lists, presumably hoping that someone will notice.

[/quote]

Testing......

 

 

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run