The Renault Clio has always been a well known little hatchback.
The old models are still are and running commonly used as first cars for those starting their driving careers.
More sporty, cheaper
The latest version of the French motor looks more compelling than before. Even the base model comes with an athletic edge.
So, imagine exactly what the car appears to be when it is deliberately designed to experience a sporty streak.
I’m discussing the GT-Line 120. This follows inside the illustrious treadmarks of its intoxicating sibling, the Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo.
The difference being that the GT-Lines are more affordable – but equally attractive – than its brother.
Priced at £17,395, the fresh version sits between the TCe 90 Dynamique S MediaNav and the 200hp range-topper.
Created by Renaultsport, the five-door hatch is driven by way of a turbocharged, direct-injection 1.2-litre petrol engine.
And, like its pocket-rocket sibling, it appears paired to some six-speed EDC (efficient dual clutch) transmission via steering column-mounted gearshift paddles.
The Clio GT-Line boasts a lot of blinged-up design cues too – from its grille, GT front and rear bumpers and rear lip spoiler, to its side sills, LED daytime running lights, twin chrome exhaust tailpipes and GT badging both front and rear.
Rounding off its decisive looks are tasty 17-inch alloys, along with a rear diffuser.
The all-action theme continues on the inside by using a cabin boasting dark carbon GT upholstery, matched with details selected in chrome and gloss black.
And a number of features all bear witness to the fact that it is a full-blooded, high-performance Clio.
Such as a GT leather controls with badging, Renaultsport seats with additional side support, aluminium-capped pedals, steering column-mounted gearshift paddles and particular instrument backgrounds.
The brand, famous for its diamond-shaped logo, hasn’t held back on gadgetry either.
The Clio GT-Lines are crammed loaded with the latest technology, including a seven-inch touchscreen multi-media system with integrated TomTom Live satellite navigation.
The set-up offers a banging sound-hands, system, USB and Bluetooth-free technology.
Hands-free card for entry and air and ignition conditioning can also be standard, when you would expect on the penultimate version in the range.
The latest kid around the block profits from two major differences from lesser Clios.
‘A zesty experience’
Firstly, a Sport Chassis as standard with 40% stiffer dampers. Secondly, an added bonus of RS (Renaultsport) Drive.
This technique, offers two driving modes: normal and sport.
Pressing the button sharpens within the car’s responses, including the engine and gearbox mapping, steering feeling and throttle pedal response.
Such as the driving experience overall, performance in the newcomer is zesty.
The latest powertrain offers a top speed of 121 mph and the -62mph gallop is achieved in an expeditious 9.9 seconds.
Impressive 54.3 mpg
Maybe even more impressive is the 54.3 mpg you can squeeze from the tank on an average run, while emissions are merely 120g/km CO2.
This equates to zero road tax in the first year.
Safety has not been kicked for the kerb either, with anti-lock braking as well as a raft of electronic aids with electronic stability and traction control, as well as hill start assist all factory-fitted.
It’s certain to put a smile on your face when you slip behind the wheel, even though the car may appear a little boy racer-ish for some.
New Renault Clio: Pros & cons
Boy-racer image X
New Renault Clio: Fast facts
Max speed: 121 mph
-62 mph: 9.9 secs
Combined mpg: 54.3
Engine: 1197cc 4 cylinder 16 valve petrol
Max. power (bhp): 120 at 4900 rpm
Max. torque (lb/ft): 140 at 2000 rpm
CO2: 120 g/km
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