The original Clio sold more than 300,000 in the UK during its seven-year production run, its best 12 months being 1997 when no fewer than 58,000 found homes. Its combination of build quality, refinement and chic appeal made it an instant hit, sufficient for it to penetrate Britain's top 10 best sellers list and remain there through most of its life.
Now Clio has evolved with a brand new floorpan shared with the equally new Kangoo small van, fresh styling and a range of safety, security and equipment enhancements designed to consolidate its position within the UK's top 10. Most importantly, Renault has cut prices across the range by as much as ú1,500, giving the Clio new-found competitiveness. There are three petrol engines - 1.2 60bhp, 1.4 75bhp and 1.6 90bhp - and a 1.9-litre 65bhp diesel. A new 110bhp 1.6 16v unit debuts in the autumn, and a 1.9-litre direct injection turbodiesel completes the range in January.
Prices start at ú8,350 on the road for the 1.2 base model and rise to ú12,500 for the 1.6 RXE automatic. Tested here is the 1.4 RT in best-selling three-door form, priced at ú9,850.