We know that when a car is at a turning point, it has to emit less in cities, to make less noise and to use increasingly scarce energy more efficiently. At Renault they are doing this as well as making their cars affordable. On arrival at Charles Hurst Renault in Newtownards I was greeted by salesman Ash Higgins with a huge smile and the keys of a Renault Clio I-Music.
On the outside, the car looks a good size for its class and gleaming in bright red paintwork. Getting inside the driving position is comfortable and all instruments are within reach and very visible and the Clio has plenty of rear leg room.
As you may have guessed this i-Music model has some trick audio enhancements in the form of CD/MP3 player head unit with an aux input for your digital audio devices and Bluetooh connectivity for your phone to save you from those dreaded points. The Clio is more than capable of accommodating a family of four with child seats in the back and a buggy in the boot. The boot is also more than capable of holding a weeks shopping for a large family as well as a set of golf clubs.
On a reasonable drive to Comber on varying road types I was impressed with how the little Clio has evolved throughout the years. It is an easy to drive car with good feeling and sharp brakes, great visibility and its 1.2 16v engine is quite nippy with light steering perfect for that tight city driving. Performance wise, with a 1.2L 16v engine and 75bhp, no land speed records were to be broken. However it was surprisingly capable of all driving styles without fuss and even has a gear change indicator to help you achieve optimum economy.
As per most modern cars, the Clio has a 5 star EuroNCAP safety rating with six airbags in total, ISOFIX child seat fixing points x2 in the rear and ABS. the i-Music is a middle of the road model with the higher specked dynamique having sat nav and cruise control on top of the i-Music equipment. Whilst the lower model is the expression, which doesn’t have alloys, air con or Bluetooth. This i-Music also comes in a 1.5L DCi turbo diesel engine with 88bhp which will return 70.6mpg and costs a mere £20/12months to Tax. The privilege of such money saving is only around £1500 more than the petrol model so affordable.
TECH SPEC Engine: 1.2 16v petrol Power: 75bhp CO2 Rating: 135g/km Economy: 48.7mpg combined cycle Trim Level: i-Music Price: From £10,250 at Charles Hurst Newtownards (from £139 deposit & £139/month) Road Tax: £115/12months Insurance Group: 9e Words and Photos: Graham Curry