Not content with winning European Car of the Year 2006 and every single group road test the media has conducted Renault’s New Clio remains the car to beat after scooping the prestigious Best Supermini at the 2006 What Car? Awards confirming its entrance at the top-of-the-class.
The New Clio was launched in October 2005 to build on the success of its much-loved predecessor, initially as a three-door, and it’s in this guise it has won this coveted award tested in mid-range Expression 1.4 16V 98 trim.
In a hard-fought, extremely competitive category, New Clio particularly impressed the judges with its driveability, interior quality and sophistication, five-star Euro NCAP safety, road-handling and list of standard features.
What Car? commented; "No other supermini does as good a job of cutting out wind and road noise, while our favoured 1.4 petrol engine is smooth and quiet, especially when driven at speed. This ensures longer trips are something to be savoured, not dreaded…the Clio’s driving manners always impress. The suspension provides a brilliant blend of comfort and control…excellent grip (gives) the Clio a more composed feel than most of its rivals".
Not only is the quiet, smooth engine praised but the judges were also enthused by New Clio’s excellent fuel economy and whole life costs; "as well as being quiet, the 98hp 1.4 engine provides useful extra oomph over the 1.2, yet still returns decent fuel economy. Servicing intervals of 18,000 miles keep maintenance costs down and a group four insurance rating means sensible premiums".
New Clio has received particular praise for both its exterior and interior quality since its launch, and it doesn’t fail to impress here either. The judges said; "The sophisticated feel continues inside…the new one is as roomy and classy as you could hope for. There’s ample head and legroom up front, and a good-sized boot…the dash is simple and stylish, and the cabin materials have a sturdy, modern feel. Supportive seats and steering-wheel mounted stereo controls help to take the strain out of motorway jaunts".
Renault is renowned for its safety as the only manufacturer with eight cars having received the maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP. New Clio is the latest recipient, and safety is applauded by What Car? as well; "Safety is another of the Clio’s plus points - front, side and curtain airbags are standard and it’s one of only a handful of superminis to score five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests".
Philippe Talou-Derible, Managing Director, Renault UK, said; "For New Clio to win the coveted Best Supermini award from What Car? is a fantastic achievement and endorses the hard work that has gone in to ensuring Clio sets the benchmark in its segment especially for our customers.
"New Clio has enjoyed an incredibly successful launch already demonstrating it’s the car to beat after only four months on sale. With the launch of the five-door Clio at the end of this month and the hotly anticipated New Clio Renaultsport in the summer, we intend to offer a full range by the end of 2006".
New Clio is on sale now, with prices starting from £8,895 for the three-door Clio Extreme 1.2 16V 75, rising to £12,650 for the three-door £12,650. The car tested by What Car? magazine was the Expression 1.4 16V 98 which has an on the road price of £9,950.
Clio five-door coming soon
The five-door New Clio will arrive in UK showrooms on January 27th, bringing two luxurious trim levels exclusively to the five-door version, Privilege and the top-of-the range, Initiale. Five-door New Clio is available to order now with prices staring from £8,995 for the Authentique 1.2 16V 75, rising to £15,050 for the Initiale 1.5 dCi 106 six speed.Published 22 January 2006