Last month Autocar honoured Laurens van den Acker, Renault’s head of design, with its coveted Sturmey Award for his work in transforming the look and appeal of his employer’s products. The first of the new generation of models to emerge was the Renault Clio Mk4, launched in 2013. When it first arrived, prices started at £10,595 for the 1.2 75 Expression, and today they top out at £19,170 for a new GT Line Energy dCi 90 auto. But you don’t need to be paying that…
Instead, over the past six years a world of used Mk4 Renault Clios has emerged, with prices ranging from around £3900 for a 2013-reg Clio Expression 1.5 dCi with 96,000 miles, to £16,000 for a 2019/19-reg Clio GT Line TCe 90 with 5000 miles. Fancy something livelier? Your £16,000 will also buy a 2018/18- reg 1.6 Renault Sport Nav 200 with 9000 miles.
Us? We’d put our money into a two-year-old Clio that has suffered its biggest initial drop in value. Something like a 2017/17-reg Clio TCe 90 Dynamique S Nav with 17,000 miles for £9400 – which is about £8000 less than it cost new. It would be a close call between that and its diesel equivalent, an officially approved used 1.5 dCi 90 with 20,000 miles for £9500.
The engine line-up, as you may already have noticed, features petrol (TCe) and diesel (dCi) engines. Of the petrols, the old-school 1.2 is good value used, but the TCe 90 is more efficient. The 1.5 dCi 110 is a cracker: punchy, refined and frugal. In 2013 the warm GT Line TCe 120 was launched, but before you dive in, there are better alternatives out there, including the Citroën DS3.
Dynamique S is a good spec because it comes with alloy wheels, climate control, sat-nav, electric windows all round and rear parking sensors. However, from launch all versions, including basic Expression (later renamed Play), had Bluetooth, electric mirrors and front windows, and an uprated sound system. From Dynamique upwards, all trims have Renault’s R-Link infotainment setup, with its wide, 7.0in touchscreen and a digital radio. For a time, Signature Nav trim sat at the top of the heap, boasting front parking sensors, a reversing camera and part-leather trim, but we prefer midspec Dynamique or uprated Iconic for their sheer value.