Long-term Review

Renault Clio long-term test review – second report

After spending a bit of time getting to know the Renault Clio, Phill is starting to build up his likes and dislikes...

Words by: First published: 9th June 2017
So, what of the dislikes? Well, they’re more focused around little bits and bobs that are irking me. The car itself, so far, has been really solid, but some of its ancillary systems are annoying. Take the sound system, for example. I generally eschew the radio in favour of music from my smartphone, courtesy of the Spotify app, or podcasts. There’s no special Apple Car Play-style interface between phone and infotainment system, so I simply set it to play auxiliary content through either USB or Bluetooth.

It starts off straightforward: set the stereo to the relevant source, and press play on the phone. But if I take a call through the hands-free system, whatever was playing doesn’t resume at the end of the call. Instead, it defaults to the generic Apple Music app, which I rarely use, and always to the first alphabetical track. Consequently, I’ve heard the introduction to Across the Universe by The Beatles more times than I care to remember, and have to stop the car to flick back to Spotify or my podcast app.

While I’m on about phone integration, the USB connection doesn’t provide enough power to charge my iPhone when it’s plugged in. If I want to listen to music while driving, the battery drains despite being plugged in. This seems to be a feature across several different Renaults I’ve driven, and is very frustrating. I’ve resorted to plugging my phone into an external battery pack and playing music through Bluetooth, just to make sure I have juice left at the end of the journey.

It’s a shame these little niggles are taking the shine off a fine base car. Hopefully I’ll find solutions or workarounds to these before the next report.
Key specs:
Model: Renault Clio Dynamique S Nav TCe 120
List price: £17,165
Price as tested: £18,040
Engine/gearbox: 1.2-litre 4cyl turbo, petrol, six-speed manual
Power: 118bhp
Torque: 151lb/ft
Top speed: 124mph
0-62mph: 9.0 seconds
Economy: 53.3mpg
CO2/BIK tax liability: 118g/km / 22% (2017/18)
Boot space: 300/1146 litres
Optional equipment:
An exhaustive list of everything fitted to our long-termer, and the price of each item:

Metallic paint: £625
Reverse parking camera: £250

Interested in buying a Renault Clio?