French chic: Renault reveal funky new Clio hatchback for 2020
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Renault's line of hatchbacks might be the best-kept secret in Kiwi motoring.
If the small amount seen circulating on Auckland roads is anything to go by, it can be assumed that the French marque's pint-sized wares are often overlooked. And that's a shame, because they're genuinely some of the most handsome and best-driving cars the segment has to offer. And the smallest of them — the Clio — has had a makeover.
Renault revealed the 2020 Clio overnight, having already teased its interior looks earlier this week. On first glance it might not look like a lot has changed — with chunky proportions, fussy wheels, and an enormous badge still all in play.
But look again and a few changes come to light ... literally. The headlights now sport the same 'lobster claw' guise as the Koleos SUV and the Megane, the 'blade' on the side sills gets a dash of contrasting paneling, and the bumpers on both ends come with more sports-orientated flair.
Neither of these models is the hot-hatch Clio RS (they instead represent the Clio V and Clio RS-Line), so expect an even more aggressive looking little hatch to debut in the coming months.
Beyond the obvious, the Clio's exterior has a few other changes to shout about. It is 14mm shorter and 30mm lower, but somehow features more interior space than the last model. The boot, for example, is 26 litres larger than before (now sitting at 391L).
Note too the interior. It's much easier to tell apart from the current model by virtue of the rather 'premium' looking central stack — topped by a curved 9.3-inch tablet-orientated touch-screen infotainment system (a larger 10-inch screen is also available). The are the largest screens ever shoehorned into a Renault, and probably offer an insight into what we can expect the SUV's to adopt in coming years.
The rest of the cabin looks upmarket too, to the point that you almost forget that you're staring at a rival for the Ford Fiesta and Suzuki Swift. The dashboard is all new in the 2020 Clio, with minimalist lines and contrasting panels the order of the day in the press images. Wireless smartphone charging is also available.
No engine details have been confirmed yet by Renault, although the brand has confirmed that there will be a hybrid variant somewhere in the line-up.
Similarly, Kiwi pricing and availability has also not yet been confirmed. But, hopefully it's soon, because this little guy looks like a lot of fun.