Renault Clio hatchback (2005 – 2013) review

Read the Renault Clio hatchback (2005 -2013) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.

Last updated: 19th November 2014
The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.7
The Renault Clio is good to drive, well mannered and practical, making it a great choice for those in the market for a chic supermini.


  • Great chassis
  • Refined diesel engine
  • Five-star EuroNCAP rating


  • Steering provides little feedback
  • Rivals offer better interior
  • 1.6 petrol is thirsty
Best on a budget
Clio 1.2 16v Extreme
1.2 Extreme is the cheapest Clio available
Best seller
Clio 1.5 DCi 86 Dynamique TomTom
Popular Clio enjoys frugal diesel and built-in satnav
Blow the budget
Clio 1.6 VVT 128 GT
The GT is the pick of the regular Clio bunch

Interested in buying Renault Clio?

Exterior 3/5

The nose of the latest
Renault Clio has been heavily revised to bring it in line with the appearance of the new
Megane. Its gaping lower grille is much wider and more aggressive, while the headlamps have also been stretched further forwards. The rear has new light clusters and a revised bumper which tricks the eyes into thinking the Clio is wider than it actually is.

Interior 3/5

While the interior of the Clio is spacious and comfortable, it’s not quite as stylish as the chic interior of the Fiesta and lacks the premium-car quality found in the
Volkswagen Polo. Dynamique trim and above brings a softer dashboard with better materials.

Practicality 4/5

The Clio has one of the biggest cabins in the supermini class, and can even seat five over shorter distances. The boot can hold 288 litres of luggage, and can be extended to 1,038 litres by folding down the rear seats.

Ride and handling 4/5

The Clio has a fine chassis which strikes a good balance between ride quality and handling prowess. Well-tuned for British roads, it grips well and still filters out the worst road imperfections. The only weak link is the electric powered steering which offers little feedback.

Performance 4/5

We drove the 1.5dCi with 86bhp – expected to be the big seller. It’s a great engine, which is quiet and refined, offers enough performance and has sparkling green credentials. It accelerates the Clio from 0-62mph in 12.7 seconds and gives a top speed of 108mph.

Running costs 4/5

Ignore the thirsty 1.6-litre petrol and the Renault Clio is a very cheap car to run. The 1.5-litre dCi is a gem, returning 64.2mpg on the combined cycle and emitting just 115g/km, it’s a seriously cheap car to fuel, tax and insure.

Reliability 4/5

As this is a facelift of an existing model, the technology fitted in the Clio is well-proven and any problems should have been ironed out by now.

Safety 4/5

Renault continues to place maximum emphasis on safety and the Clio scored five stars in EuroNCAP crash testing. Between six and eight airbags are fitted depending on trim and anti-lock brakes are standard.

Equipment 3/5

Extreme models have a CD player with MP3 jack and electric front windows, while Expression models get electric mirrors. Dynamique upgrades the dashboard materials and you get auto headlights and wipers, air conditioning and alloy wheels. GT models get unique 16-inch alloy wheels, white dials, cruise control, bodykit and twin tailpipe exhaust.

Why buy? 4/5

The always-evolving Clio has nimble handling, a good ride and strong engines. It also performs admirably in safety tests, so it should be a strong contender on anybody’s supermini shopping list.

Interested in buying Renault Clio?