Renault Clio E-Tech Hybrid 2024 long-term test

In any case, really like how this facelifted, Alpine-spirited Clio looks. Compact, confident, not over-detailed and with cool new LED lighting patterns at the front. It’s just a shame that it’s finished in dreary Shadow Grey; I definitely would have paid another £100 for the Flame Red, Valencia Orange or especially the Iron Blue. 

The interior, I really must say, is fantastic in the context of today. Yes, it has succumbed to the trend of having a large infotainment touchscreen totally dominating the environment, but its unusual portrait orientation leads to less stretching away from the wheel and, crucially, there’s still plenty of physical switchgear.

Underneath the screen is a dial each for the heat, fan speed and air direction, just as it should be, as well as buttons for the heated seats, EV mode and driving mode selection. Then over to my right is an absolute treat: not just buttons for the heated steering wheel and lane-keeping assistance but also up-down toggles for the angle of the headlights and the brightness of the two screens. (The instruments are, of course, fully digital and customisable.)

The bar is on the floor these days, but Renault is leaping high anyway. Alpine spec also puts sustainable fabric on those sports seats, as well as synthetic leather, which features on the steering wheel too, complemented by blue stitching and blue lining on the seatbelts – small details that I really like.

I noticed an enormous difference in my bank account when moving from an antiquated diesel Toyota Land Cruiser to a modern turbo petrol Peugeot 408 fastback earlier this year, and I’m hoping that this innovative hybrid supermini will yield a similar improvement.

My Clio promises a fabulous 65.7mpg (compared with 53.3mpg for the equivalent petrol), and in these inflationary times that’s a prospect that really has got me enthused.

Second Opinion

Yes, I’ve bought myself a new Clio – not the hybrid but the pure-petrol model, for a mere £29 per month. I’ve been a serial Ford Fiesta buyer, but with that gone, the Clio is the heir to its throne as the best small car you can buy. I look forward to swapping notes with Kris.

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