Renault has been quite coy about billing it as such. Apart from discreet badging there is little to identify it as the high-mpg version
Ride and Handling
The Renault Clio rides and handles pleasantly, it has likeable manners and feels competent through the bends. There is nothing much to complain about in the way it drives, but there is nothing particularly inspiring about it either. If your priorities are economical motoring in a comfortable modern hatchback that rides reasonably over the bumps and holds the corners calmly enough, you may well find this frugal little Renault just the ticket. For a keen driver who relishes a twisty road, it is just a bit on the dull side, so do not expect too much stimulation from the experience of a cross-country trip in the Clio Eco.
Around town it handles tidily and is small enough to zip through tight gaps. It is also easy to slot into tight parking spaces, helped by good all-round vision and light steering. Away from urban areas you notice a bit more the bumpiness of suspension travel over coarser surfaces, and could wish for a bit more informative feedback through the steering to tell you what’s happening under the wheels.
Ease of Use
Considering that this is the green model of the range, Renault has been quite coy about billing it as such. Apart from discreet badging there is little to identify it as the high-mpg version. On some eco models the dashboard bristles with extra features to coax you to drive in a certain way, or dials and gauges to show how you are doing. This one does not. Apart from a fuel consumption reading that you can easily become a bit obsessive about, there is not much else to shout ‘green’ at you.
So it is an easy car to live with, and does not distract you with eco-addictive frippery. It is also well sized for ease of use around town. Its dimensions are 3,984 mm in length and 1,707 mm wide, with a 2,575 mm wheelbase. The standard boot size is 288 litres, and with the back seats folded this extends to a useful 1,038 litres.
Headroom is reasonable for a car this size, and four adults can fit fairly comfortably into the cabin. There is not all that much kneeroom in the back, though, with six-footers in front. The front seatbelts are height-adjustable. There is no spare wheel. In its place is a puncture repair kit, which saves weight and boot space, but can be less convenient in the event of a flat tyre.