What should I be paying?
Prices start from £17,795 for the base-spec Evolution, which includes 16in alloy wheels, automatic air con, automatic LED headlights and wipers, traffic sign recognition, rear parking sensors, automatic high and low beam assistance, cruise control, lane keep assistance, plus a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And that’ll be plenty for most people to get by with.
Meanwhile Techno cars start from £19,195, with upgrades including bigger, 17in alloy wheels, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, front parking sensors, a rearview camera, an electric parking brake and ambient lighting.
The top-of-the-range Esprit Alpine commands a price tag of £20,595, which adds the 9.3in touchscreen, 10-inch driver display, adaptive cruise control, heated steering wheel and front seats, and active safety gadgetry that includes blind spot monitoring. It also gives you the poshest possible interior finish, which is now leather-free and clad in Alpine-branded flourishes that don’t really belong on a car like this. Still, it looks fancy and Renault Group has to make that Alpine F1 programme count for something.
Renault doesn’t really do options these days: if you want something, you need to pick the spec that carries it. And those prices are all for the 1.0-litre turbo: the hybrid means investing another £2.5k across the board. The extra fuel economy is probably worth it, but watch out for the penalty you take on boot space.
Lining up a finance deal? The most basic Clio can be acquired for less than £200 per month (okay, £199) over four years with an initial deposit of around £2,700. Not bad, but annual mileage of 6,000 is stingy, so you’ll want to fork out a bit more for more reasonable leeway.
The interest rate is fixed at 7.9 per cent APR: that might improve if you look again in six months when forecasts suggest things will be less financially chaotic. Here’s hoping.
BIK stands at 24 per cent for the hybrid Clio. Remember, you want a PHEV to drive those rates down, or better yet, an electric car.