Archive for The Motor Forum "We are mature men in the highest cadres of our careers"
 


       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
Racing Teatray

Renault Clio Sport Tourer

So, we were in Italy for 4 days over last w/end skiing, which involved renting a car to get around as usual. Given my wife's stated interest in getting one, and the notion that it might be sort of useful to have an SUV-type car, I went for the "500X or similar" category. Naturally, however, when we reached the Avis desk at Malpensa airport, there were no 500Xs to be had. We were offered a 500L and a Nissan Pulsar, which were I rejected out-of-hand, and then either a Ford B-Max or a Renault Clio Sport Tourer. So I opted for the Renault purely because it wasn't an MPV and it interested me more.

I'm not entirely sure I knew that you could get a mini-estate "lifestyle" version of a Clio but actually it's a more successful design than the hatchback in my view. In metallic black with natty five-spoke alloys, brushed alloy roof bars and barely 300kms on the clock, it looked decidedly sleek and smart for what it was and it met with universal approval from pretty much everyone we took in it, which included my father and his wife. I particularly liked the hidden rear doorhandles that remind me of the 156. The only wrong note is the headlights, which are too big for the rest of the car, but that goes for all Clios and the effect is less pronounced on the estate than on the hatch. It's also quite nicely designed inside as well, if inevitably rather black and plasticky and with a slightly austere aesthetic. Felt robust enough too, but there was quite pronounced wind rustle around the large wingmirrors at speed – enough to make us think to start with that there was a window not quite closed. You get used to it.

There was sufficient room for five, the boot swallowed three suitcases full of ski clobber hidden below the load-cover, and the rear seat had 60/40 split fold to enable skis to be carried at the same time as two backseat passengers. It came, rather surprisingly for a hire car, with a built-in touchscreen navigation system whose graphics indicated it was made by LG. It worked well and functioned very similarly to a TomTom. The only irritant was that it pinged whenever you exceeded a set speed limit. Which meant an awful lot of pinging because it was also quite decent to drive. It was a 90bhp 1.5DCi, so no particular ball of fire, and as noted it was brand new and therefore presumably still tight, engine-wise. However, initial step-off was handily brisk, it accelerated adequately in the torque sweetspot and it bowled down the motorway with complete composure at what must have been very nearly its advertised top speed. And it had a good ride and really rather decent handling. We were driving up twisty dual-carriageways I last drove in my M135i a little over two months ago, and I really thought the Clio bore the comparison well. It had well contained body movement, felt stable and planted, and nipped neatly around hairpin bends with the alacrity of a slot car. It also had nicely weighted controls, a pleasant gearshift and was generally a surprisingly good drive.

So, we liked it – it was a handy size, decent-looking, decent to drive and just generally appealing at what is presumably not a very high list price. There's only one fly in the ointment. Renault apparently doesn't see fit to sell it in the UK, preferring to foist a "trendy" Captur or Kadjar on you. That's a shame.

I don't have any pictures to hand of it but it looked exactly like this (same trim, alloys etc) except that it was black rather than red:

Humphrey The Pug

The older estate was a bit odd looking and never really sold well in the UK, however as a dealer group we always did well with them, as unlike many dealers, we always had a few in stock as demo's and showroom cars, Renault UK though never really pushed it.

I have seen a few LHD ones around and I've always thought it a good looking car.

I guess the reason to not bringing it here is the limited market and Renault UK worried that it may steal sales from the Captur, however I think that the Clio Tourer and Captur would both appeal to completely different people.
Boxer6

Humphrey The Pug wrote:
 I guess the reason to not bringing it here is the limited market and Renault UK worried that it may steal sales from the Captur, however I think that the Clio Tourer and Captur would both appeal to completely different people.


Indeed. I for one would far rather have a Clio estate over a Captur any day of the week.

I really like the Clio in the red too, but that colour is now on every second one I see round here. The black is very nice too, though the Alfa GT reminded me just how much of a pain black is to keep looking good.
JohnC

We had the Clio Tourer last time we were in Marbella and it was really very nice. I thought the finish was more than good enough, the equipment, SatNav and audio connection/Bluetooth/synching etc were first class and it went and handled very well and at the same time returned an easy 50mpg.

It was by some margin the best hire car we have had from Malaga and that includes a variety of Citroen's, Fords and Seats. The Citroen Grand Picasso was also very good but there were lots of broken bits and a twisted seat mechanism and it was only a matter of months old.
Racing Teatray

Yes, the MPG was very good. I haven't calculated it, but we covered around 550 pretty hard-charging kms and I still only managed to get 30 litres of diesel in it when I refilled before handing it back.
Roadrunner

That looks good to me. Would make an ideal 'wife's school run with pushchair and family clobber' car.
Frank Bullitt

We first spotted these a few years ago in France and on coming back to the UK discovered they weren't planning to sell these after asking Humph - a mistake in my view as o do like small estates and they are very good looking too. Mrs FB drove a Clio 0.9tce the other week and from the passengers seat it felt composed but she was waxing lyrical, citing the feel of the steering, gears and pedals specifically as ideal for her. A 0.9tce tourer Dynamique S would be a great little family car.
PG

The estate area side glass looks odd? Are the large black areas around the edges  due to frames or just a styling treatment?
Racing Teatray

Frames.
Humphrey The Pug

Racing Teatray wrote:
Frames.


Makes the glass area look bigger than it actually is, the hatch has a similar; albeit much smaller treatment just behind the rear doors, the actual size of clear glass is minimal and pointless when in the car but from the outside it gives a less bulky and more streamlined look, I think there is actually more frame/surround than clear glass.
Martin

I like the Clio hatch but that looks a mess around the rear 3/4 area.

I'm a little shocked that a 90hp diesel Renault 'bore the comparison well' with an M135i.  Your memory must be failing....    
Michael

I didn't know these existed but that's quite a nice looking car. When Alfa hid the handle with the 156 it was to look more like a coupe, this just looks like it's missing a handle.
I think the Peugeot 206(maybe 207) estate also had the same hidden handle - maybe it's French thing now.
Humphrey The Pug

Michael wrote:
I didn't know these existed but that's quite a nice looking car. When Alfa hid the handle with the 156 it was to look more like a coupe, this just looks like it's missing a handle.
I think the Peugeot 206(maybe 207) estate also had the same hidden handle - maybe it's French thing now.


Clio hatch and ZOE have a similar handle set up too.
Racing Teatray

Martin wrote:
I like the Clio hatch but that looks a mess around the rear 3/4 area.

I'm a little shocked that a 90hp diesel Renault 'bore the comparison well' with an M135i.  Your memory must be failing....    


I stand by the comment! The roadholding was decent.

       The Motor Forum Forum Index -> Test Driven
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum