Fuel economy 9/10
Very efficient if you choose the right engine
The two 1.2-litre petrol engines are a little thirsty, but the 0.9-litre turbo petrol averages more than 60mpg in official Government tests, while the 1.5-litre diesel has an official average of almost 90mpg if you choose the Eco variant.
These figures are comparable with those of the most efficient small hatchbacks, and while you’ll struggle to match them in the real world, the Clio is still a frugal choice. Just bear in mind that diesel versions cost more to buy, so you’ll have to cover a lot of miles before you see any savings.
Attractively priced and running costs are low
There are some pricey versions of the Clio, but it generally undercuts equivalent versions of the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, while costing about the same a similarly-equipped Peugeot208.
The Clio should still be worth a reasonable amount if you decide to sell it on after three years, too. And road tax and insurance bills are pretty low.
If you buy your Clio using Renault’s Selections finance scheme, you get free servicing for the first four years or 48, 000 miles - whichever comes first. Even if you don’t, you can buy a four-year fixed-price service package for around £300.
Should perform very well in a crash
The Clio comes with six airbags, including two that run the length of the car at window level, and this helped it earn a five-star rating when it was crash tested by independent safety body Euro NCAP.
True, the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo scored slightly better for adult occupant protection, but the Clio had the advantage over both these rivals when assessed for child occupant and pedestrian protection.
Renault also matches Ford and Volkswagen in fitting electronic systems that enhance braking force and stability.
Standard spec 7/10
Fine if you avoid the cheapest specification
The cheapest Clio is the Expression, which comes with front electric windows, a Bluetooth hands-free phone connection and a USB socket that lets you connect your iPod to the stereo.
You do have to upgrade to the Expression+ model, though, if you want alloy wheels and air-conditioning.
The Dynamique MediaNav version of the car adds a touchscreen satnav system, a more powerful stereo and some smarter interior trim. Meanwhile, the Dynamique S MediaNav also has rear parking sensors and a climate control system that automatically maintains whatever interior temperature you set.
The GT and Renaultsport models swap these last two features for sportier looks - and in the case of the Renaultsport, a more entertaining drive - while the Renaultsport Lux model has pretty much everything as standard.