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Expert Review

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.

The Auto Trader expert verdict:


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.

Reasons to buy:

  • tickGreat chassis
  • tickRefined diesel engine
  • tickFive-star EuroNCAP rating

At a glance:

How good does it look?

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.
Expert rating: 3/5

What's the interior like?

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.
Expert rating: 3/5

How practical is it?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

What's it like to drive?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

How powerful is it?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

How much will it cost me?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

How reliable is it?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

How safe is it?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

How much equipment do I get?

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.
Expert rating: 3/5

Why buy?

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.
Expert rating: 4/5

Still interested in buying the Renault Clio?

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