Renault brings supermini’s entry price down by £3500 in response to “difficult economic climate”
The new Renault Clio has gained a cheaper pure-petrol engine option in the UK, after the supermini was made hybrid-only in a facelift earlier this year.
The decision was made in response to the cost of living crisis, which has affected consumer demand for new cars across the entire market.
Renault said in a statement supplied to Autocar: “We are committed to becoming 100% electrified in the UK thanks to Renault’s E-Tech electric technology, available in both 100% electric and full-hybrid powertrains.
“The new Renault Clio will launch with an E-Tech full-hybrid [143bhp] engine.
“In order to meet the needs of some customers in a difficult economic climate, the new Clio will also be available with [an 89bhp] TCe petrol engine.”
The hybrid powerplant comprises a 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors, which combine to drive 143bhp and 151lb ft through the front wheels. It can only be had with an automatic gearbox and yields 67.3mpg.
The TCe 90, on the other hand, is a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine outputting 89bhp and 118lb ft. It gives 56.5mpg.
The new powerplant, which is shared with the Dacia Sandero and is only available with a manual gearbox, is £3500 cheaper than the hybrid.
As such, prices for the Clio now start from £17,795 instead of £21,295. This undercuts several key rivals in the supermini segment, including the Peugeot 208 (priced from £20,610 but set to increase with an upcoming mid-life facelift), the Hyundai i20 (£20,770) and the Vauxhall Corsa (£19,275).
The Clio’s update ushered in bolder, sharper styling than the previous iteration, bringing it into line with the brand’s new design identity. It features an enlarged chequered grille, a fresh lighting signature and Renault’s new, and simplified, 2D logo. At the rear, it receives redesigned brake lights and a more angular bumper.
It remains largely unchanged inside, with a new 10.0in edgeless instrument display (7.0in on lesser trims) added. Top trims continue to get the 9.3in infotainment touchscreen.
An uplift in material quality arrives as part of Renault’s recently pledged push for profit, integrating more soft-touch materials around the dashboard and doors. However, the car is now not offered with any leather trims – a nod to sustainability. Options packages have also been simplified.
The range is topped by the new Esprit Alpine trim, first offered on the Renault Austral SUV, with bespoke badging, colours and diamond-cut 17in alloy wheels. Pricing for this variant starts from £20,595, still undercutting mainstream rivals.
“Clio has enthralled us with every new generation,” Renault design vice-president Gilles Vidal said in April. “The new Clio E-Tech successfully combines generous shapes and chiselled volumes with very technical, structured, precise and efficient lines.”
Additional reporting by Will Rimell