There is a large range of small cars on the German market. Of the Renault Clio IV wanted to draw attention to itself with a chic design and a large range of engines. And should cut a better figure than its predecessor at TÜV. Will that work?
Renault has had the Clio in its range since 1990. The small car quickly became a bestseller in Europe and is now in its fifth generation on the market. Their predecessors (2012 to 2019) can be found in large numbers on the used car exchanges. However, according to the TÜV report, one should pay attention to some weaknesses.
Body and interior: The Clio IV is neither cuddly cute nor inconspicuous. With its wide track, the flared wheel arches, the accentuated headlights, large bumpers and the rhombus logo polished to a high gloss, the small car makes an impression and looks mature. It was offered both as a five-door hatchback and, since early 2013, as a station wagon. The station wagon, known as the Grand Tour, is 4,27 meters long and offers between 443 and 1.380 liters of luggage space, depending on the position of the backrest. The 4,06 meter long five-door comes to 288 and 1.146 liters. With a little consideration for each other, front and rear passengers can travel comfortably and there is sufficient storage space for luggage in both variants. Depending on the taste of the first buyer, the interior is colorful. Renault had design accessories in its range, for example for the top of the dashboard, in blue, yellow or red.
In 2016, the Clio received a facelift. Among other things, the front got a different radiator grille look with larger air openings and full LED headlights for the highest equipment levels.
Motors and drive: A 1,2-liter four-cylinder with 54 kW/74 hp and a 0,9-liter three-cylinder with 66 kW/90 hp were available at market launch. Another 1,2-liter four-cylinder with 88 kW/120 has been added to the petrol range since 2013. The 120 hp was initially only available with a six-speed dual-clutch transmission (EDC); since the facelift it was also delivered with a manual six-speed gearbox. The small petrol engines have a five-speed gearbox. The standard consumption is between 5 and 5,5 liters. In addition to the bread and butter engines, Renault came up with significantly more power in the top RS and RS Trophy versions. The RS delivered 147 kW/200 hp, the Trophy 162 kW/220 hp.
The 1,5-liter Renault diesel in the expansion stages with 55 kW/75 hp and 90 hp and since 2016 with 81 kW/110 hp should convince frequent drivers with consumption values between 3,5 and 4 liters. With the 110 hp, a six-speed manual switch provided the power transmission to the front wheels, with the others a five-speed gearbox was used. As an alternative, there was a six-speed EDC for the 90 hp diesel.
Equipment and safety: At the market launch in 2012 there were the equipment Expression, Dynamique and Luxe, since the facelift in 2016 the lines have been called Start, Life, Limited, Intense and Initiale Paris. Even the basic versions offer amenities such as cruise control, central locking, key card or central locking. Those who want air conditioning automatically have this on board starting with the Dynamique/Limited versions. Those who want lots of extras will find what they are looking for in the “Luxe” and Intens comfort levels, for example. Here there was, among other things, automatic climate control, LED headlights or Navi. The top version of the Initiale Paris has the R-Link infotainment system on board, which also offers some online services in addition to navigation and audio functions. The Clio achieved a five-star result in the NCAP crash test. However, it does not have the assistance systems that are common today.
Quality: The Clio IV does better than its direct predecessor in the TÜV main inspections (HU), but the TÜV inspectors still find a few things to complain about. The Clio stands out due to problems with the axle suspension, starting from the second HU. With older models, you should also have the brake system inspected carefully. Springs, damping and exhaust have so far been rather free of defects.
And finally ... The Clio IV is a chic small car that spoils with a decent amount of space and in the higher equipment lines with all kinds of comfort. You have to invest at least 5.000 euros, with well-equipped vehicles 7.000 euros and more are often called for. The Grand Tour models are available from around 8.000 euros.
My aunt also drives a Renault Clio. Unfortunately, she had a minor accident with it and would have to have the body repaired or replaced. I can only agree, the Clio is not big, but due to its shape it doesn't look small.