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Big Blue

Holiday Rental 2016 pt1

Renault Clitoris diesel something five door. It looks like this:







Some may be concerned that the doors didn't close on this model, but they did.

I'm always keen to visit rental centres as one day I'm going to be given a decent petrol engined car (I had a Fiat 500 once) but this time wasn't it. The only time I experience Diesel cars is from rentals and I know for sure that I could never have a small engined one: utter shit but more on why later.

This car, then. What was bad? I start with bad because the first thing you notice when you drive a rental car is what's missing compared to your car: the way it feels, drives, equipment, the ergonomics etc. So on all those fronts: the clutch was bad. It could be that I am not used to car clutches any more but I use a clutch on the bike every day a gazillion times so I know that to disengage it I shouldn't have to put my foot through the bulkhead after what felt like 2 whole yards of travel! I crunched a gear twice due to this "feature" and failed to engage reverse once. It occurs to me that it could be the shit adjustment of this particular car but it had 1400kms on the car so it came out of PDI like that. That's poor.

Another gear related thing that makes me grind my teeth is that FUCKING UPCHANGE SIGN ON THE DASHBOARD. I decide if I want to be chugged along by an oil burning weevil at 1000rpm or actually feel like there is some chance of me making progress when I depress the accelerator pedal. I hate it on all cars that have it and if I test drove a car and it had one I would pull up at the kerb and just walk away.

The plastics were mid-low grade but that's unfair as my car is covered in leather everywhere. It did have (as did last year's Renault-jacked-up-clio-thing) that 1980s radio "remote" control on the right side of the steering console that automatically degrades all plastics in the car to "appalling".

Radio control aside the car had loads of kit: Nav, climate, cruise, seats.... but some glaring omissions. No one drop windows, so having to keep the button pressed as you approach a car park barrier is just a terrible first world problem I can't let pass unmentioned. The Nav was not the best: it couldn't find some of the beaches we sought out (we were in Sardinia) and the Via Michelin app basically shat on it from a great height. It also had a speed limit "bong" which no matter how deeply I delved into the media / nav / system thing I couldn't disable. I almost PM'd Humph for advice. I suppose you could say I should have just adhered to the limit but as the Nav was shit it assumed the 110kph highways were 90kph A-roads so bonged incessantly: if a screwdriver had been to hand it would have been forcibly inserted into the screen.

On to handling. Or not. I said small engined diesels are abominable and that's because no small engined diesel car should ever be included in any handling reckoning as they are permanently in the wrong gear: too high and you bog off the apex; too low and you puff-out as you get back on the gas. So you have to change gear mid corner: bollocks. The sooner they ban diesels the better.

It did do 6.3l/100kms over 360kms of utterly mixed driving. That's 42.8mpg. I'm only telling you that as it's a recognised measure of economy: I don't actually give a fuck hence that is the on-screen reckoning not my working it out on Fuelly.

So conclusion: as a family car we carry too much luggage for the boot space and the buggy eats up more still. You couldn't really expect teenaged kids to sit in the rear of this cabin for a drive to the South of France so it's a second, school-run car or for a first family car when you only have one small baby / toddler. It wasn't bad; it wasn't great: it was a quantity of vehicle aka "some car".

Finally though, style. Not just the Clio but generally. A neighbour has a red Clio like the one I rented (I only noticed when we returned which says a lot about how much they excite this car lover) and it looks very nice in the UK. Our silver one looked like bollocks in stylish Italy where the white Lancias, Fiats and Alfas looked effortlessly cool, no matter which model. And if you own an Audi, sorry: the land of style has a severe dearth of them (Racing's dad's may be the only one!) so they really must be uncool.

Next rental end of August: looking forward to it.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Re: Holiday Rental 2016 pt1

Big Blue wrote:
What was bad? I start with bad because the first thing you notice when you drive a rental car is what's missing compared to your car

Doesn't mean it's bad, just means it's not in the same "class" as your own car.

Big Blue wrote:

Next rental end of August: looking forward to it.

Which rental company has AMGs and Alpinas on their fleet???

Gear-change lights appear to be another curse inflicted upon us by the Eurocrats in their mistaken belief that everyone who drives a car so fitted will obey them, and this will cut emissions and reduce fuel consumption.  At least we told them what we think of this petty-mindedness in the recent referendum !

I don't think I'd call the Clio a "family car"; the CapturD is slightly bigger yet the boot is inadequate for a long week-end for a family of 4, so how you'd cope with lugage for 2 weeks is another story. It's also, in overall terms, an old design and I doubt that the just-announced facelift will help much.  It needs more inspiring engines too
Bob Sacamano

I still think that a Clio in that lovely metallic red is a fine looking car on the road and probably the best looking of the current Renault fleet.
PhilD

Bob Sacamano wrote:
I still think that a Clio in that lovely metallic red is a fine looking car on the road and probably the best looking of the current Renault fleet.


+1
Giant

PhilD wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I still think that a Clio in that lovely metallic red is a fine looking car on the road and probably the best looking of the current Renault fleet.


+1


+another, although I've never understood the pieces of black plastic below the front and rear lights, it's as though they changed the shape of the units but not the apertures in the body work.
Humphrey The Pug

Giant wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I still think that a Clio in that lovely metallic red is a fine looking car on the road and probably the best looking of the current Renault fleet.


+1


+another, although I've never understood the pieces of black plastic below the front and rear lights, it's as though they changed the shape of the units but not the apertures in the body work.


Those black panels are odd, that is where the DRL's should have been housed.

Silver is by far the worst colour for the Clio, red is by far the best.

We are off to Sardinia in a month.
Frank Bullitt

PhilD wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
I still think that a Clio in that lovely metallic red is a fine looking car on the road and probably the best looking of the current Renault fleet.


+1


+1 more
Stuntman

The M3 and the GT4 have the gearchange upshift indicators too.  When I first noticed it on the M3 (it was installed as part of a  software update I had done in about 2011) I had the same reaction as you, Jeff.  

But after about a week I was ambivalent to slightly positive about it.  I cheerfully ignore it when pressing on (in fact, when you put the M3 in M Dynamic Mode the upshift indicator disappears because it knows that you don't give a stuff what it recommends) but when I'm not pressing on, I will now happily change up earlier than I would have done previously, and this has improved the fuel economy from about 20mpg to about 22mpg!

I enjoyed your review and entirely concur about small diesels.
Martin

You can turn the gear change indicator off in the M3 Dan, I did it very early in into 130i ownership.

The Clio sounds (and looks) better than the Fiesta I had, a small diesel would have improved it, but I'd have one of the new small petrol turbos in this type of car.

Wouldn't moving up a rental group of two and having a conversation with the agent give you a better chance of getting a petrol engine?
Nice Guy Eddie

I have to agree that the Clio is a fine looking thing on the outside but the interior is a rather depressing place to be. Add me to the list of someone who just doesn't get small diesels, however driving anaemic 0.9l petrols aren't exactly fun now either as they struggle with turbo lag. Get us back to 1400cc engines that you could thrash the crap out of and made the whole hire car experience great fun.
Humphrey The Pug

1.2 turbo manual coming soon; 120 hp, should have been available from launch.
Big Blue

Martin wrote:


Wouldn't moving up a rental group of two and having a conversation with the agent give you a better chance of getting a petrol engine?


No. I had an A6 Avant last summer (I think) and it was still a Diesel. Sixt are probably the most likely for a petrol car but I haven't won the lottery this week.
Martin

Sixt isn't that expensive or have I missed the point?

I'm using Sixt in 10 days time, but as I didn't go mad and book the Ghibli, I'm expecting a diesel, but something a bit more powerful than the one in the Clio (I hope) but about half the power of my last holiday hire car
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Humphrey The Pug wrote:

Those black panels are odd, that is where the DRL's should have been housed.

The current Clio has always had the DRLs in the grille, unlike the Captur.  The recent facelift appears to move them.

Wife would like a red/black Captur instead of blue/white but that will have to wait a while, unless........
Roadsterstu

BB, clearly Die Schreibmaschine has spoiled you! As for the clutch, I reckon the bike has spoiled you.

The gear change lights give some extra eco points I think and maybe give lower carbon emissions claims? Regardless, I agree they are bollocks and have you in an inappropriate gear if you follow their instruction, at times.

The speed limit bong is in there somewhere. I can't recall where. The Captur has the cruise and speed limiter button on the console beside the handbrake. Is it in the central "off" position?

And ignore the ECO button if there is one. Do not use it. Ever.
Big Blue

Martin wrote:
Sixt isn't that expensive or have I missed the point?

I'm using Sixt in 10 days time, but as I didn't go mad and book the Ghibli, I'm expecting a diesel, but something a bit more powerful than the one in the Clio (I hope) but about half the power of my last holiday hire car


I'm thinking more along the lines of the petrol models they carry in Austria and Germany being M3s and M5s thus attracting a premium.
Martin

Ahhh, yes, that would make your holiday a fair bit more expensive.
JohnC

I had a 1.5 diesel Clio estate last time we were in Marbella and I liked it. Admittedly it never got pushed near its limits but unlike the petrol Meriva we had previously it went up hills without needing 2 downchanges and it could hall itself out of the very steep underground carparks without 4000rpm and a slipping clutch.

The connectivity was great and we got a decent colour. It was all I needed for easy holiday driving. We are off again in 3 weeks and have a mid range something booked from Sixt (Astra/Focus/308) so we'll see what we get.
Martin

Isn't there a risk of getting a Juke or a Meriva in that group?

I'm hoping to try a FWD BMW (2 series tourer) and have booked an auto to reduce the risk of getting an Insignia or A3 saloon.  Nothing wrong with those cars, just not something I'm interested in trying.  Hopefully it works out as it was as much as an A6/5 Series but I don't want something similar to what j have at home either.  It's a lottery I know.
JohnC

Martin wrote:
Isn't there a risk of getting a Juke or a Meriva in that group?



They are supposed to be the group below so I sincerely hope not.
Martin

I thought it was the same group as a 308 when I was looking, so hopefully I was wrong!
Andy C

I think the current Clio is a nice looking car, especially in Red

The interior, like I've said elsewhere, is a massive let down though
Chocy Rocky

Every time I see one of these Clios my eyes are drawn to the cheap looking plastic that hides under the rear bumper.
The shiny appearance makes it look like it's made of the same stuff as the plastic tray within a box of black magic.
Roadsterstu

Roadsterstu wrote:
BB, clearly Die Schreibmaschine has spoiled you! As for the clutch, I reckon the bike has spoiled you.

The gear change lights give some extra eco points I think and maybe give lower carbon emissions claims? Regardless, I agree they are bollocks and have you in an inappropriate gear if you follow their instruction, at times.

The speed limit bong is in there somewhere. I can't recall where. The Captur has the cruise and speed limiter button on the console beside the handbrake. Is it in the central "off" position?

And ignore the ECO button if there is one. Do not use it. Ever.


Speed limit bong is in the satnav. Somewhere.

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