Renault will soon be launching its first small car (hatchback) Clio, in India by July 2012. Following the Clio small car, the Clio sedan will be launched in India sometime in September 2012.
The India-bound Renault Clio (both sedan & hatchback) will be based on the Nissan Micra’s underpinnings.
Hence, Renault will have an opportunity to price the Clio models aggressively and increase its market share in the booming Indian car market. It has to be noted that the Renault-Nissan manufacturing plant near Chennai is the only factory producing the Nissan Micra small car which is being exported to more than 160 countries across the world.
Coming back to the Clio, Renault first introduced this cute-looking small car in 1991. Since its launch, the car has been in the list of top selling small cars in the Europe and also held the ‘European car of the Year’ title twice in 1991 and in 2006.
The current Clio model sold in European markets is the third generation of the model. However, in India, the fourth generation model will be rolled out and will adopt design cues from the Renault Mégane which had a compact and aesthetically designed sporty exterior.
The new Clio will likely be powered by 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engines that power the Nissan Micra. The 1.5 dCI engine is already known for its fuel efficiency in not just in Micra, but also in the Logan (now, Mahindra Verito).
Let us now have a look at the third generation Clio sold in European markets. If the Nissan Micra is full of curves and a bubbly feminine charm, the Renault Clio has bold, sporty lines giving the car a confident look. The upper air dam has a small gaping area, while the lower trapezoidal air intakes have thick horizontal lines.
The headlamps are swept back while the fog lamps are small as in the Micra. The side profile reveals the large glass house area allowing adequate light into the cabin during day time.
The interiors of the Clio have a neatly laid out central console, dashboard with ergonomically positioned switches and buttons, three-spoke, large steering wheel and large AC vents at the corners.
The Clio’s features include automatic windscreen wipers, variable assisted power steering, and cruise control with speed limiter, audio system with 2 tweeters and 4 speakers integrated into the car’s doors. Further, Clio has parking proximity sensor, dedicated cornering lights and satellite navigation system.
The rear of the Clio might resemble the Hyundai i20, but unlike the quirky Nissan Micra’s design, the French car has an aesthetically structured rear with smartly integrated tail lamps. The rear windscreen looks wide, handy during reversing the Clio.