2017 Renault Clio Zen quick review

By David Bonnici, 24 Jul 2017 Car Reviews

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2017 Renault Clio Zen quick review

The well-equipped Clio is a fun car to drive around town despite some of its interior quirks

TELL ME ABOUT THIS CAR

The Renault Clio landed in Australian showrooms in May with a new-look, updated features and a lower price tag. The Zen is the second model in the range above the entry-level Life and comes with a good range of standard features for its $19,990 retail price.

STRENGTHS

  • It’s a handsome looking car with sporty styling that stands out from the city car pack.
  • It also looks great inside with soft-touch surfaces, appealing touch points and cloth seats with premium looking patterned stitching.
  • It comes with a great list of standard features for the price including front and rear fog lights, infotainment with digital radio and satellite navigation, LED headlights, LED running lights, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, heated powered door mirrors and day-night mirror and 16-inch alloy wheels.

  • It’s a fun car to drive around town with nicely weighted and direct electrically-assisted steering.
  • The 88kW/190Nm 1.2-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine performs well once you get going and has enough grunt for highway overtaking.
  • The cruise control and speed limiter are very simple to use despite the selector switch for both being on the centre console and control buttons located on the steering wheel.

  • The deep boot space holds 300-litres and you can fit 1146-litres with the rear seats folded down.
  • It comes with five-year unlimited kilometre warranty and roadside assist.

WEAKNESSES

  • The six-speed dual clutch automatic seems to think it’s a CVT. It doesn’t trouble the engine until you hit around 2500rpm resulting in a noticeable lag especially from a standing start.
  • The suspension is comfortable for city driving however it’s pretty bouncy on bumpy country roads and doesn’t feel very secure on bends.

  • Interior storage space is minimal. The glove box is tiny as are the cup holders which seem to be a French way of mocking any coffee choice beyond a short black.
  • There’s a place to put your phone but instead of putting a USB port there they’ve put it up next to screen meaning having to run a messy cable. 
  • It still lacks driver assist such as automatic emergency braking which is becoming more common in the light car class.

ANY RIVALS I SHOULD CONSIDER?

Mazda 2 Maxx is well worth a look but of you prefer another European option try the Volkswagen Polo Trendline, Peugeot 208 Active or Ford Fiesta Trend.