Clio Expression Eco dCi 88 5-door
Clio is one of Renaults
popular car ranges, with over one
million of them already bought by
UK drivers. And theres
choice, too, with thirty three- and
five-door versions with low capacity
petrol and diesel engines and six
trim levels. And now theres
new low-CO2, fuel-efficient Clio
the Eco dCi 88...
PRICES FOR WHAT IS effectively the third generation Clio with styling and trim
updates run from £10,405 to £19,995. But the topical highlight of these latest
models is the introduction, in both three- and five-door cars, of the tax-busting
1.5 Eco dCi 88 diesel.
The three-door costs £12,450; the more user-friendly five-door £13,050.
Both versions come with a manual five speed gearbox a standard.
At the core of the eco-friendly Clio is Renault's refined and fuel-efficient
common-rail direct-injection diesel engine the 1.5 dCi. While its 86bhp
doesn't sound a lot, its 147lb ft of torque at 1,900rpm endows it with very
likeable and responsive performance from very low engine speeds.
good fuel efficiency. How does 78.4mpg for the combined cycle and emissions
of 94g/km sound? Pretty good. And neither is the performance compromised by
its frugality: top speed is 113 mph with 0-62mph done in a clean 11 seconds.
How does 78.4mpg
for the combined cycle
of 94g/km sound?
78mpg on paper is fine,
I hear you saying,
but what about real-
Well, my short test drive
returned a best of
72.7mpg; and driving
along town and rural
routes saw a real-life
Seventy-eight mpg on paper is fine, I hear you saying, but what about real-world
driving? Well, my short test drive returned a best of 72.7mpg; and driving along
town and rural routes saw a real-life average 67.3mpg.
What makes this engine work so well is its torque no high revving is
needed to get the car moving; once underway, you can make full use of the torque
for minimal gearchanges you'll also enjoy relaxed travel at both low
or cruising speeds.
Even better, the low emissions place it in Group A for road tax which, for now,
means a zero cost in the First Year and then a measly £20 per year thereafter.
Also keeping running costs down is a 13E insurance rating.
The specification is functional but certainly good enough for daily commuting.
Standard kit provides power front windows and mirrors, a good radio/CD sound
system with Aux-in, on-board computer, remote central locking, 60:40 split/folding
rear seat, and front fog lights.
However, manual air conditioning is a £575 extra-cost option; alloy wheels could
be a choice and, if so, will cost you an additional £520. Most important for
me would be the spare wheel an extra £50, thank you!
So the price starts to mount up. Okay, you save on fuel and road tax but this
model costs £2,000 more (and that's before the options such as air-conditioning
and a set of alloys) than the 73bhp 1.2-litre petrol model that does 48.7mpg
(officially) but which doesn't cost as much to insure (Group 8E).
In these stringent times, motorists really do need to know what their annual
mileage will be: petrol is cheaper at the pumps and petrol-engined cars are
cheaper to buy although their tax is more expensive.
So a calculator is definitely essential for would-be Clio customers. Although
the higher purchase price will put off some low mileage customers, and essential
features such as AirCon are extra-cost items, you do get excellent fuel economy
and low taxes plus a flexible and responsive power delivery.
When all's said and done, if your head follows the headlines then this new 'Eco'
Clio diesel makes an interesting proposition. David Miles
Clio Expression Eco dCi 88 5-door | £13,050
Maximum speed: 113mph | 0-62mph: 11 seconds | Overall test MPG: 67.3mpg
Power: 86bhp | Torque: 147lb ft | CO2 94g/km