Renault entered South Africa in the early 50’s, with the first distribution of Renault vehicles through Curry Motors, and the first Renault Head Office subsequently being established in 1998. Renault South Africa now stands strong with a national footprint of over 80 Dealerships comprised of Renault Owned, Multi-franchised and Independent Dealer operations.
The Clio can be considered one of Renault’s household names and swims in a very competitive pool with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo, Hyundai I20, and Kia Rio all battling market supremacy. Granted, the Clio has been around for some time (since 2000, with the second generation model), and Renault’s other models like the Duster, Kwid, and Triber are doing exceptionally well in their respective segments bolstering the monthly sale figures.
Cutting straight to the chase – the French automaker didn’t deviate from an already established design DNA, and with each later model, only subtle touch-ups were made. The LED strip and horizontal front grille – found in previous versions – have been removed in favour of aggressive-looking C-shaped LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs) and headlights. Having driven previous generations, the V feels like a more premium offering, and the automaker has made modern touches to keep everything relevant.
French automakers never do things like everyone else, evident inside the Clio’s Smart Cockpit, which is explicitly honed at the driver and sprinkled with inklings of modern technology. In addition, there are also multi-sense customisable ambient lighting features and a unique tone that plays when you enter.
You can also see the French connection (as seen in Peugeot models) with the piano-like buttons that lock/unlock the doors, activate the hazards, and control the aircon. On the inside is where you’ll find a 7-inch digital cluster and a (category-leading) 9.3-inch multimedia touchscreen, integrated with the Renault CONNECT universe and is compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. It is straightforward to use and navigate and fills up the cabin nicely. There’s even a nice slot next to the electronic parking brake to place the Smart key card.
Clio Turbo Life – R309 900
Clio Turbo Zen – R324 900
Clio Turbo Intens – R349 900
Clio Turbo Intens (with Option Pack) – R364 900
Small capacity turbocharged engines have become the technology going forward. In the Clio V is a three-cylinder turbo unit that offers 74kW and 160Nm – 8kW and 20Nm than the previous generation – and the automaker claims a fuel consumption figure of 5.7-litre/100km. However, a figure upwards of 6.2-litres is more accurate where everyday driving is concerned.
Don’t be fooled by the numbers, though – boost kicks in almost instantaneously (around 2 400rpm) and provides a spritely drive between gear changes from the five-speed manual transmission. The transition between each gear change feels stiff (very minor) but nothing serious that will hamper how you feel behind the wheel.
The six colour options include – Flame Red (Metallic), Mercury (Metallic), Titanium Grey (Metallic), Diamond Black (Metallic), Glacier White, and Urban Grey. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), combined with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) are the safety features offered. The standard package also comprises six airbags, Park Distance Control, Lane Departure Warning, and High Beam Control.
The Clio range comes standard with a five-year or 150 000km mechanical warranty, a six-year anti-corrosion warranty, and a two-year or 30 000km service plan.
It’s clear that Renault paid attention to an established model and gave it more than enough love in every department to ensure prospective buyers have their minds all muddied when going for the ‘tried and tested’ options.
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