New Renault Clio, a safe bet for uncertain times

It is the best-selling French car in history, with almost 16 million units sold worldwide since its launch in 1990, and more than one million of them in Spain.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
22 May 2023 Monday 15:22
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New Renault Clio, a safe bet for uncertain times

It is the best-selling French car in history, with almost 16 million units sold worldwide since its launch in 1990, and more than one million of them in Spain. Little more needs to be added to reflect the importance of the Renault Clio, a reference among utility vehicles for several generations of drivers that has just been thoroughly modernized to face the current turbulent period that the automotive industry is going through with guarantees of competitiveness.

An international bestseller, Car of the Year in Europe on two occasions and one of the most emblematic B-segment models on the market, the French urban reinvents itself once again in 2023. And it won't be the last... Renault has already confirmed that there will be a sixth generation in 2026 that should remain in dealerships for about 6 or 7 years, until the EU ban on combustion engines scheduled for 2035.

Until then, and for now, the fifth generation of the Clio can be seen in Barcelona with a more marked front, a completely redesigned light signature and aggressive lines that give it a more distinctive character, with status, vibrant and emotional. These features, more expressive and assertive, are intended to evoke two of the main hallmarks of the brand: precision and technicality.

Another novelty associated with this fifth generation will be the new Esprit Alpine version, which provides greater sportiness both to the exterior and interior, to further accentuate the new era into which the Clio has entered thanks to details inspired by motorsport and specific components in slate grey.

In the passenger compartment, the Clio 2023 is also conveniently updated, with new upholstery and materials of biological origin, which make this model a contemporary vehicle in which the quality and experience of life on board are significantly improved.

A sustainable textile made from 60% plant fibers produced from wood cellulose is used for the seats, door panels and dashboard. Used for the first time with this proportion inside a vehicle, these fibers contribute to the decarbonisation of the brand and make the Clio the first car to incorporate this textile on a large scale.

Known for their softness, these fibers are made from a renewable resource, wood, and come from sustainably managed semi-natural forests in Europe without the use of chemical fertilizers or artificial irrigation. Another important element is that animal leather is no longer used in the Clio. It is replaced by a granulated textile mix composed of fibers of biological origin and polyester fibers that need less water and energy to dye than conventional ones.

Updating could not ignore the latest technologies in connectivity and information. Thus, the French utility presents a digital instrument panel for all versions and a new frameless digital screen with a diagonal of 7 to 10", depending on the trim level. With a strong role on the dashboard, the Renault Easy multimedia system Link is an intuitive platform to make life easier for occupants by allowing access to a whole series of applications such as navigation, predictive maintenance and infotainment.

As for the engines, the fifth generation of the veteran French subcompact offers one of the most complete multi-energy ranges in its category, led by the 145 HP E-Tech full hybrid engine. This block, which makes the pleasure of electric city driving accessible to everyone, combines low levels of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions with a peaceful and responsible driving experience in urban environments.

Its series-parallel hybrid architecture combines two electric motors (one 36 kW and one 18 kW HSG -High-Voltage Starter Generator-) and a 94 hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, combined with a battery 1.2 kWh and an intelligent clutchless multimode gearbox. It has four gears for the gasoline engine and two for the main electric motor. In this way, up to 14 combinations of operation between the combustion engine and the electric motor are offered to optimize energy efficiency.

All starts are done in electric mode and, thanks to this, it is possible to drive up to 80% of the time with fully electric power in the city, achieving fuel savings of up to 40% compared to a conventional gasoline engine in the urban cycle. CO2 emissions are limited to 93 g/km, an excellent level for the category. All this enjoying the silence offered by electric driving and without the need to recharge.

The rest of the engines available are gasoline, diesel and LPG. The TCe 90 is a balanced 3-cylinder turbocharged engine with 90PS and 160Nm of maximum torque that is paired with a 6-speed manual gearbox. It is characterized by its smooth operation and stands out for its low fuel consumption, positioning it as one of the best in its category.

For its part, the Blue dCi 100, perfectly adapted to intensive use and fleets, offers performance and sobriety and is especially efficient on the road and motorway. With 100 CV and 260 Nm, it mounts a 6-speed manual gearbox that allows it to develop a calm and efficient driving.

Finally, the TCe 100 LPG option provides a high degree of versatility with low running costs thanks to its dual gasoline and LPG system. With its two independent tanks full, the vehicle has a combined range of more than 1,000 km. It is an easy-to-use, affordable and economical solution that improves performance while reducing consumption and CO2 emissions by up to 8% compared to an equivalent gasoline engine.