The latest Mk5 Renault Clio has been made official at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and comes with a new design and features. There will be a number of different models including a hybrid version with a new E-Tech hybrid engine developed by Renault. At the moment, there are no indications whether the new Renault Clio will be available in South Africa but let’s keep our fingers crossed.
Among some of the upgrades, the 2019 Renault Clio features new body panels and although the exterior is an evolution of the preceding model, the French automaker remained true to the old car’s styling. In 2018 alone, Renault sold 450,000 Clio’s making it Europe’s best selling supermini. Unsurprisingly, many buyers’ cited the car’s design as a primary reason for purchasing the Renault Clio.
New Styling And Features
While the overall shape of the new Renault Clio remains much the same, the small details set it apart from previous models. The new Clio’s headlights look stunning with a more aggressive feel using only LEDs and a similar C-shape design as the Renault Megane.
The rear of the Clio keeps the proportions like before as it helps maintain the supermini’s identity. However, Renault has changed the rear lights and bonnet surfacing which adds more detail where there was none before.
The side of the car features a groove that starts behind the front wheel arch and turns into a crease, mirroring the rear light panels. It’s all about the small things for the new Renault Clio as the tapered roof also improves aerodynamic performance. At 0.64cda, it is something Renault claims is best-in-class.
Overall, the Clio has seen a significant engineering overhaul under the redesigned panels. More than 400 sections have been improved including the door cuts, the bumpers, wheel gaps and panel gaps to give the new Renault Clio a more solid feel. Something that is especially noticeable when opening the doors is the much-improved interior ‘insulation’ thanks to double seals.
Interior Styling And Technology
According to Renault’s design chief Laurens Van den Acker, the new Clio has a “more athletic, sporty interior” that also feels slightly larger. This may be surprising as the new car is actually a little smaller than its predecessor but they trimmed millimetres off certain interior components.
“As an example, we have a smaller steering wheel and a smaller steering wheel column. This helps to free up a bit more knee room for the driver” Van den Acker explained.
There is also more boot space as the Renault Clio gets a variable-height floor which means drivers can prioritise a low load lip or capacity. Either way, the space on offer ranges from 330 to 391 litres, ahead of many competing hatchbacks in its class.
In the search for better ergonomics and spaciousness, the Clio’s seats have been revised. They now offer passengers more support underneath and on the sides, it is easier to adjust, and the shoulders are rounder giving those in the rear a better view.
The air vents have been moved to make room for the new 9.3-inch touchscreen which is the biggest in this segment. While it is still an infotainment system, the design is more smartphone-like in terms of quality with anti-reflection coating and improved brightness and contrast.
Even though it is compatible with Android Auto and Apple Carplay, Renault feels that their native UI is good enough without having to use them. In addition, the new Clio switches to a digital instrument display with either a seven or 10-inch panel where the larger version can show navigation information in between the virtual dials.
The instrument cluster was a key area that needed addressing and van den Acker admits that the previous generation was rich on decoration but not in information. “The [new] cluster had to be extremely visible, with simple access to multiple modes, navigation, classic, sports, eco, more zen, minimalistic – and easier on the eye.”
2019 Renault Clio Engine Specs
The new engines start with a three-cylinder, naturally aspirated 1.0-litre petrol producing 75bhp and 95Nm paired with a five-speed manual gearbox. Next up is a turbocharged 1.0-litre unit, called TCe, with 99bhp and 160Nm of torque with noticeable gains on the unit it replaces. This engine will be a standard option with the five-speed manual although it will also be available with the X-tronic ‘stepped CVT’ transmission.
A 1.3-litre TCe 130 GPF four-cylinder unit producing 129bhp and 240Nm of torque is the range-topping petrol motor. It will only be paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox and likely restricted to mid and higher-end trim levels. There is also a diesel option in the shape of a 1.5-litre motor called Blue dCi sporting 85bhp, 220Nm and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The hybrid powertrain, called E-TECH, is due in 2020 and pairs a 1.6-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine with an electric motor integrated into a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. A 1.2kWh battery acts as a back-up for the motor with sufficient power and range. Renault claims it can complete most urban trips on 80% pure-electric running which offers a 40% better fuel economy.
It doesn’t appear as if Renault will follow the Peugeot 208 by offering a pure-electric model considering a new generation of Zoe is already in the works. The French automaker believes the Zoe will meet the ever-growing demand for electric superminis.