Fiesta vs Clio: 1.0-litre hatch battle
Hammond loved his 3cyl Ford, but can it beat the tiny-engined Renault on British roads?
Posted: 17 Feb 2014
And that we can criticise the Clio for such minor dynamic imperfections show just how far Renault - and, indeed, most other mass-market carmakers - has progressed. A decade or two ago, it'd have been impossible to discuss the handling nuances of cheap city cars with a straight face. If they made it to the end of a potholed B-road without having acquired a fresh beard of hedgerow, you'd have been delighted. It's only the sheer excellence of the Fiesta that highlights the Clio's slight shortcomings.
And besides, what the Clio gives away in grip, it makes up for with a ninja handbrake, which locks the rear wheels as effectively as a metal bar wedged in the alloy spokes. It would be highly irresponsible for TopGear to suggest this makes it an excellent vehicle for executing daft behaviour, so treat this instead as a sober warning to be careful when applying the Clio's handbrake during, say, a precise parallel parking manoeuvre.