Buying a Renault Clio? Just hang on there…

  • Re-design, equipment revamp for French favourite
  • Hands-free parking, daytime running lights
  • Top-end equipment filtering down through range
2016/7 Renault Clio Image: Renault
NEW HEADLIGHTS, LEDs ACROSS THE RANGE: The upcoming 2016/7 Renault Clio Image: Renault

PARIS, France – The fourth-generation of Renault’s Clio, launched back in 2012, adopted a styling revamp based on the brand’s DeZir concept car. Four years on, here come technical improvements and a facelift

They should reach South Africa by the end of 2016 after launch in Europe in September with prices to be announced closer to that date..

The automaker says this the latest version “is more appealing than ever wit full-dode lighting and new design cues and interior changes that exude quality and careful attention to detail”.

For a start, hands-free parking has joined the tech improvements; the cars, according to model, also get three multimedia options that introduce the innovative R&GO system and the latest R-Link system.

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THE ROUNDED BUM REMAINS: New model but familiar lines for the 2016/7 Renault Clio Image: Renault

The cars also, Renault says, now have “one of the most comprehensive powertrain ranges on the market”. That means the introduction of a 1.5 dCi 110 engine and the mating of a six-speed manual gearbox to the TCe 120 – the two figures representing their horsepower.

That would translate to 82 and 90kW respectively.

Four equipment levels will appear on the spec sheets and sales pamphlets along with “numerous customisation possibilities”.

“The New Clio,” Renault says, “has been designed to increase our customer base with a wide spectrum of requirements and expectations and the Clio RS incorporates advances by drawing on RenaultSport’s knowledge and expertise.”

READ other Renault features on Carman’s Corner

The Clio range, the automaker says, was the choice of more than 400 000 people and led its class in Europe (car and LCV registrations in 2014 and 2015). “It’s also among the best-selling vehicles in its segment throughout the rest of the world.”

To meet the hoped-for demand a plant in Slovenia will in February 2017 become the fourth to assemble the Clio. The others are in Bursa (Turkey) and Flins and Dieppe (France) – Dieppe being responsible for RenaultSport versions.

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NEW TEXTURES, NEW MATERIALS: The cabin of the 2016/7 Renault Clio Image: Renault

The range has, since its original launch way back in 1990, sold more than 13-million units; as the automaker boasts: “It’s the best-selling French car of all time.”

Here’s what Renault has done to cover the next few years until the Next New Renault Clio appears…

On the outside…

Full-LED front lighting (depending on version) in line with other Renault models. The LED “Pure Vision” headlights handle high and low beam with 20% more powerful than halogen globes “while also reducing glare”.

More-expensive units also have C-shaped diode daytime lights – the “new lighting signature” of all Renaults. Rear LED lights also follow the ‘C’ theme. Entry and mid-level models get diode day lights and chromed trim along the base of the grille, whose top bears a redesigned Renault logo.

On the inside..

More models have upholstery materials until now reserved for upmarket versions and, Renault says, “the texture of its plastics is of a higher visual and tactile quality, its chrome is more subtle, the cabin colours more refined”.

The steering-wheel has been redesigned, losing some of its plastic components; those on dearer units are leather-sheathed. The gear-shifter and door panelling have been redesigned for a greater impression of quality and the armrests havea new grained finish and new controls.

2016/7 Renault Clio Image: Renault
25 YEARS ON: The 2016/7 Renault Clio is,for sure, the best-looking yet. Image: Renault

“The central air vents have changed,” Renault adds, “and diode lighting produces a pleasant, warm glow. The seat fabrics are of a higher quality across the board and, in higher grades, the design of the seats is more enveloping for superior lateral support.”

…and the customisation

The 2016/7 Clio will be available in more than 30 colour combinations involving:

  • Five roof decals (graded design or single colour) and painted door mirrors for a two-tone effect.
  • Four exterior customisation packs: grille bars and side protective mouldings.
  • All decals are applied during factory assembly to “guarantee an impeccable finish”.
  • Two new cabin ambiences – red and grey.

EVEN MORE CONNECTED

Renault claims 25 years of “revolutionising” the market for small city-cars with technology spreading from more-expensive cars. “The next Clio,” the automaker says, “remains faithful to those roots by proposing three different multimedia systems, plus features that simplify driving.”

For the first time Bose sound quality appears on B-segment Renaults. As an increasingly connected car, right from the entry level version, they now have instant connection with the driver’s smartphone through a universal cradle.

Phones will be able to access the car’s most frequently used functions in four areas: Navigation, Phone, Multimedia and Vehicle. The cars will also report on fuel consumption and suggest ways to improve it; Bluetooth music streaming and a reversing camera/multiple proximity monitors are also available.

Futher up the techno ladder, the R-Link Evolution incorporates:

  • TomTom satnav, including live traffic info and road-safety warnings with a year’s free subscription (depending on market).
  • Bluetooth and 3G.
  • DAB radio.
  • Voice recognition.
  • Photo playback and video streaming (when the vehicle is stationary).
  • Renault R-Link Store for access to a catalogue of applications.
  • Management of the new driver aids (depending on version).
  • Features that simplify and enhance the driving experience.

Hand-free parking covers parallel and perpendicular slots but the driver still has to handle accelerator, brakes and gear-changes.

…AND UNDER THE BONNET

Ther are two new diesel powertrains, as mentioned earlier, driving six-speed transmissions: the dCi 110 and TCe 120, each with a six-speed manual transmission.

More power and enhanced driving enjoyment with the 1.5 dCi 110 diesel engine

New Clio has expanded its diesel offering with the addition of a unit that promises more power and enhanced driving enjoyment: the Energy 1.5 dCi 110 mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Its petrol line-up offers similarly encompassing, with options for 55, 65 or 90kW with a choice of manual or dual-clutch auto transmission. Altogether, nine powertrain choices will be available from launch.

The RenaultSport version will be available with a choice of two power outputs (150 or 264kW, the latter on the Trophy version) with a six-speed dual-clutch autoc transmission with paddle shifts.

CHOICE OF WHEEL RIMS

As with the fourth-generation version, the Clio line-up has Expression, Play, Dynamique Nav and Dynamique S Nav along with the hot RenaultSport version. Cars come with stability control, traction control, hill-start support, six crash bags, cruise control and speed limiter.

Also available will be 16 or 17″ alloy wheel rims, front fog-lights, aircon, power windows and heatable and powered external mirrors, central keycard locking and adjustable steering-wheel and front seats and a glass roof panel.

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