Renault have done an ‘inside job’ on their new Clio.
The car, unveiled yesterday in advance of its debut in Geneva in March, is due in Irish showrooms later in the year.
This fifth generation Clio has a new ‘smart cockpit’ with a big 9.3in vertical multimedia screen and 10in TFT digital instrument binnacle as the brand concentrated big time on improving the cabin.
The major criticism of the outgoing model was the quality of plastics and materials in general.
Now, as well as improving material quality, the interior layout appears better too.
And there are as many as eight cabin design schemes (the exterior is not forgotten, though, as it gets a range of 10 colours).
With the brand planning on having 12 electrified models in its range by 2022, the new Clio will be the first (2020) with the E-Tech hybrid engine (89bhp) combining with a 40bhp electric motor and 1.2kWh battery.
They claim it will drive like an EV and use electric power 70pc of the time in urban driving. A similar drivetrain with a 9.8kWh battery will power the Captur SUV.
The new car is 14mm shorter than the previous one. But there is more internal room (thinner seats, for example, increase rear leg room by 26mm) even though it has a 6mm-shorter wheelbase and the roof is up to 30mm lower.
Boot space is up 26 litres to 391 and has a double floor to make loading as easy as possible. There’s a flat floor when the rear seats are folded.
They are making a big thing of having a new RS Line trim with sportier looks and touches which include an F1 blade and honeycomb grille.
LED headlights are standard across the range.
They say the car comprises 100pc new parts but its engines are likely to include some, or all, of the following: a 1-litre naturally aspirated petrol (65bhp, 75bhp), a 1-litre turbo (99bhp, 129bhp) as well as a 1.5-litre diesel (84bhp, 114bhp).
Around 15m Clios have been bought since its 1990 initial rollout and it remains the brand’s best-selling car worldwide.