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Renault Clio Dynamique 1.5 dCi 86 Maryport

It’s in the rear where the Renault really scores. Making full use of its 2,575mm wheelbase in Maryport – the longest in this test – it has a comfortable bench and the most head and legroom. The Clio is also capable of transporting nearly 300 litres of luggage; drop the back seats and boot space rises to an impressive 1,028 litres.

Soleway Car Sales
01900 813325
Mealpot Road
Maryport

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North West Motors Ltd
(019) 006-8789
24 Ling Beck Park Seaton
Workington

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Central Motor Co
01946 832646
High Street
Workington

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Longmile Car Sales Ltd
(019) 006-7081
Longmile Service Station
Workington

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Dobies Carlisle Ltd
01900 871234
Dobies Business Park
Workington

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J Edgar & Son
01900 604393
Dunmail Park Shopping Centre
Workington

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Darren Woodend Cars
01900 607416
Harrington Road
Workington

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N And M Walkingshaw Limited
01900 608000
Workington

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Dobies (Cumbria)
01900 603573
Workington

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Solway Car Sales Ltd
01900 813325
18 Scawfell Avenue
Workington

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Renault Clio Dynamique 1.5 dCi 86

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Compared to the Polo, the Clio is a mere upstart!

But while the Renault has only been in production since 1990, the firm has a rich supermini heritage that stretches back to the pioneering 5 of 1972.

Make no mistake, the French company knows a thing or two about small cars, and has now sold more than one million Clios in the UK.

The latest version has been here for four years, making it the oldest model in this group. Yet recent revisions have ensured
it can still cut it with newer rivals.

The mid-life makeover was subtle, but included a new nose and fresh rear-end styling, as well as some minor detail changes.

At the front the Clio takes its lead from the latest Mégane, with bold headlights and a smooth, faired-in snout. It won’t appeal to everyone, although to our eyes it gives the baby Renault a distinctive appearance.

At the back the updates are harder to distinguish, with new light clusters and a bumper design that sharpens the car’s looks.

Get inside and the Clio is as spacious, well built and comfortable as ever.

Our test model was fitted with the firm’s optional hands-free keycard system (£300), but all variants from Dynamique trim upwards feature an attractive and high-quality soft-touch dash.

And despite slightly fiddly audio controls, the cabin is easy to get along with.

It’s in the rear where the Renault really scores. Making full use of its 2,575mm wheelbase – the longest in this test – it has a comfortable bench and the most head and legroom. The Clio is also capable of transporting nearly 300 litres of luggage; drop the back seats and boot space rises to an impressive 1,028 litres.

Turn the ignition key and the 1.5-litre diesel’s refinement is instantly apparent. It’s punchy and smooth, and while it could not match the performance of the Mazda and Ford at the test track, it never feels underpowered or sluggish like the Polo.

The little hatch is particularly impressive on the motorway, where its ample torque provides responsive in-gear performance.

And with the best fuel economy here, the appeal of the diesel Clio is obvious. On the road its supple suspension impresses, but the trade-off is a chassis that fails to match the involvement offered by the Ford or Mazda.

It also suffers from a notchy gearchange and artificial weighting to the electric power-steering. Even so, it grips keenly and is surprisingly agile.

At £13,920, the Clio is more expensive than all its rivals here, except the Fiesta.

However, it does get a lot of kit as standard, such as stability control, curtain airbags and 16-inch alloys.

Thanks to the latest changes, the comfortable, refined and economical Renault is still vying for class honours four years after first hitting the road.

Renault Clio Dynamique 1.5 dCi 86