- Published: Friday, 25 September 2015 08:11
The ‘regular’ version of Renault’s fourth-generation of its Clio compact hatch finally gets a proper Singaporean debut, when it was launched last Wednesday at the brand’s F1 Roadshow at Kallang Wave Mall.
While this is the newest version of the Clio, it’s actually the fourth-generation car that was launched globally in 2010 (and now face-lifted in the middle of its life cycle) but due to high COE prices it wasn’t offered for sale in Singapore until now.
In contrast to this, the more expensive Clio RS hot hatch model (with a 200bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine) debuted in Singapore first in 2014.
The car’s grown slightly larger and wider over the third-gen model, but is now also less tall.
The new car has a length, width and height of 4,062mm, 1,732mm and 1,448mm respectively, compared to 4,032mm, 1,720mm and 1,497mm for the old model. The wheelbase has grown from 2,451mm to 2,589mm which means interior room should be improved as well.
The new Clio is offered with a 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine and six-speed dual-clutch gearbox (as found in the Captur crossover, which shares the Clio’s platform and has also recently been offered with the 1.2-litre turbo petrol option) with 105bhp, 220Nm of torque and efficiency figures of 3.7L/100km and 95g/km of CO2. Currently the Clio retails for $99,999 with COE.
Performance figures are 0-100km/h in 12.9 seconds and a top speed of 173km/h.
Its equipment list is similar to the Captur’s – indeed both cars’ cabins look very familiar – with Renault’s navigation and Eco-guide equipped R-Link infotainment system that has a seven-inch touch-screen colour display and also packs Bluetooth connectivity and in-built bass sub-woofers in the doors. Other equipment highlights include keyless entry and start and LED daytime running lights.
Renault also boasts that the Clio has excellent safety credentials, with a five-star NCAP rating, although it only has two airbags, which is typical of less expensive compact hatches. Renault also claims best in class pedestrian protection, with a redesigned bonnet.
The standard Clio’s return underscores the trend of lower Certificate of Entitlement (COE) prices as a result of expanding de-registrations and increasing quotas, which in turn allows for budget cars to shine once more.
From 2012 to 2014, skyrocketing COE prices basically made small runabouts a financial impossibility, which meant German brands dominated the marketplace, with brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz taking top rank on the sales chart. At one point in time, sports car maker Porsche even outsold mainstream brand Honda here. As a result, cars like the third-gen Clio, pictured below, quietly slipped from the price lists.