Does the Renault Clio 4 improve its, somewhat dull, predecessor enough to give it a fighting chance in the very competitive B-segment? Tech Net Africa was given the opportunity to drive and review the 66 KW Turbo Dynamique 5-door model.
The new Clio is completely different from the previous generation. Firstly the car is much bigger and it has a much curvier design, which tries to capture the essence of a sporty 3 door, with its hidden rear door handles. It has a bigger logo and intricately placed day time running lights in the front grill. This daring revamp makes for an anatomy of desire in a showcase of beauty and road presence.
Renault has jam-packed the latest technology into the Clio while keeping the price affordable. The Clio is unique in that it brings high quality sound, with its Bass Reflex sound system, that is often found in cars double the price. The sound system has some of the best speakers I have ever listened to in a car. The audio is crisp and clear with superb base.
The model we drove came with hill start assist, Eco mode, start-stop and a hands free key card. But the best feature of this model was the multimedia system, which is standard on the top of the range models. The 7-inch touch screen display, made in conjunction with LG, hosts a plethora of functions, from navigation to audio streaming and Bluetooth hands free. Renault’s new R-Link system was missing in action in the South African model, but hopefully, by the end of the year it will be standard in the more expensive models. The R-Link system provides a more thorough media-navigation system that allows you to download apps via the curated Android marketplace.
The Clio is the first model fitted with Renault’s three cylinder 900cc turbo engine. The 66 KW petrol engine delivers a superior driving experience, balancing acceleration and efficiency, with a 0-100 Kph time of around 12 seconds and fuel consumption of 4.5 L/100Km. CO₂ emissions are low at 105 g/Km. The 135 Nm of torque ensures that city driving is a pleasant experience warranting less gear changes. The engine is equipped with start-stop, which comes handy in traffic. The Eco mode, when active, offers a reduction in fuel consumption by nearly 10 per cent. The turbo technology in the Clio has really impressed me, as it does not manifest the slow take offs one would usually expect from such a small engine.
The Clio is an keyless car, as the key has been replaced by an electronic card. This card locks and unlocks the doors and permits the engine to be started, without the driver having to remove the card from his/her pocket, bag or wallet.
Renault guarantees the highest level of safety with a five-star NCAP rating. Some of the Clio’s safety features include: rear 3-point seat belts with retractor and load limiter on side seats; a seat belt reminder (SBR) for the driver, front passenger and the three rear passenger seats; front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger (including the ability to turn of the front passenger airbag).
The Clio engines also incorporate hill start assist to prevent the car from rolling backwards when pulling off from an incline. Additional active safety features include ASR traction control, ABS, EBD (electronic brake force distribution), as well as electric variable-rate power steering and cruise control with a speed limiter function.
Clio 4 – 55 KW Authentique 5-door R149 900
Clio 4 – 66 KW Turbo Expression 5-door R169 900
Clio 4 – 66 KW Turbo Dynamique 5-door R179 900
Keeping in line with Renault’s product range, the three Clio variants come standard with a five-year or 150 000 Km mechanical warranty, a three-year or 45 000 Km service plan and a six-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Renault has done an amazing job reinventing the Clio and I must say, being a previous Clio 2 owner, I am really impressed with the new range. The drive is superb and its sheer beauty really sets it apart from the other B-segment hatchbacks on the road today.
Tech Net Africa gives this an 8 and half out of 10.
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