Dynamic improvements over the old Renaultsport Clio 182 in the 197/200 models have been matched by the cabin revisions. Gone is the terrible driving position of the old car, replaced instead by a steering wheel that adjusts for both rake and reach, a set of pedals placed at a better, if still not ideal, angle and a cracking pair of front chairs.
At last, this is a cabin in which you can take advantage of what’s underneath you. Different instrument faces, including a revcounter shift light, a swanky gearlever and some subtle logos, make it feel significantly more serious than the base car.
Overall, the car’s interior is bland but that’s where some of its appeal lies – it’s clear that the money was spent on developing the chassis and the running gear instead.
There’s no denying the space created in the front, back or boot over the old car in this a larger-than-ever Clio. Four six-foot adults can sit comfortably on board (although comfort may not be the word to describe how those sitting in the back will feel on a B-road blast) and access to the rear in the three-door model is excellent, with a simple handle on top of the front seat back pulling the chair forward and then returning it to its original position.
Lowering the rear seat is less satisfactory: for maximum room, you need to pull the seat squab forward and tilt it vertically before the seat back will collapse into the space it has just vacated. This still leaves you with two distinct floors in the boot, rather than the completely flat load area that would be ideal.