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Road Test: Renault Clio 1.5 dCi 106 Initiale 3dr (2008-2008)

£15,225 when new

Car specifications

Brake horsepower
Fuel consumption
0–62 mph
Max speed
Insurance Group


People’s expectations of small cars have changed so much in recent years. Time was when size was all that mattered. Now you need soft-touch plastics, a comfy ride… And a quiet diesel would never have appeared on the radar.

The new Clio is a small car for a new world. Not only is the diesel the engine of choice (well, actually, the 197 is my engine of choice, but I’m trying to make a sensible point here), but it now comes in 105bhp form as well.

More power is always good news and here it simply adds to the Clio’s already impressive repertoire - the relaxed and refined engine also suits the little Renault’s nature well.

Drive this and you don’t feel like you are in a small car. This is the Clio’s greatest trick, because it brings a level of finish and feel to this class that most previous contenders could only dream of. The engine’s hushed at all points, even on a cold morning, and it doesn’t get ruffled high up in the rev range, either.

The extra power (it’s got 20bhp more than any other diesel Clio) adds a useful amount of punch, which comes in especially handy on the motorway. This car also comes with a six-speed manual, which helps makes long trunk-road journeys that bit more relaxing.

See how things have changed? We’re admiring the motorway cruising ability of a supermini. How often would you have done that 10 or even five years ago?

What do you think?

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