New 2023 Renault Clio facelift arrives

Renault’s popular supermini has been given a new look and an updated interior

A substantial makeover has come the way of the Renault Clio supermini for 2023 with a sharp new exterior, added sustainability and a sporty new ‘esprit Alpine’ trim level. It’s now only available with Renault’s E-Tech hybrid powertrain.  

The Clio is a crucial model for Renault, given that it’s sold more than 16 million units since it was first launched in 1990 – with 1.1 million of those cars going to the UK. The updated Clio will go on sale this summer, with pricing set to undercut the outgoing model’s £22,095 price tag. 

The French brand has focused on styling and tech for this mid-life update of the Clio. A new front end draws comparisons with the new all-electric Megane E-Tech, Austral SUV and the Scenic Vision concept.

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The new Clio’s LED headlights are slimmer than before and are joined by a dramatic lighting graphic that will feature across the wider Renault range in time. The LED units come in conjunction with a sharper new bumper design, fresh colour options and new wheel designs of up to 17 inches.

Inside, Renault has focused on improving material quality and the car’s digital interfaces. A seven-inch driver’s display is standard, with the esprit Alpine gaining a 10-inch digital dash. This is joined by a 9.3-inch touchscreen that now supports wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are 17 driver assist programs on the Clio E-Tech, including adaptive cruise control and emergency brake assist.

Alongside Renault’s focus on better quality materials within the cabin, the brand has also focused on sustainability. There’s no longer any leather inside, while the majority of the fabrics used are partially made from recycled materials.

Renault will launch the new Clio with a new top-spec esprit Alpine trim level that replaces previous RS-Line models, creating a stronger link to its sporty Alpine sister brand. This trim level features bespoke wheels, contrasting exterior elements on both the front and rear bumpers and that grey section is referred to as an ‘F1 blade’ by Renault. The esprit Alpine model also features a sportier interior, with more heavily bolstered seats finished in dark-coloured technical fabrics, highlighted by blue stitching. There’s also some French patriotism in the form of red, white and blue stitching on the steering wheel.

The Clio will be available with a single E-Tech hybrid powertrain option in the UK paired exclusively to an automatic transmission. Producing a maximum combined 143bhp, the Clio is capable of running purely on electricity at speeds of up to 40mph for short distances.

Renault has not outlined fuel economy figures but has confirmed a CO2 rating of 93g/km, a 6g/km improvement over current Clio E-Tech, which itself is rated at 64mpg – suggesting a slight improvement in the new Clio’s combined fuel economy will be on the cards. No performance data has been revealed either, but the current Clio E-Tech just slips under the 10-second marker from 0-62mph, topping out at 112mph.

The new Clio will enter a challenging supermini market. Despite the Ford Fiesta going out of production this year, key rivals like the Vauxhall Corsa and Peugeot 208 have proven to be extremely popular in both combustion-powered and full-electric form. The new Clio, on the other hand, will slide between the two, offering an efficient hybrid alternative, leaving its all-electric Zoe and the forthcoming R5 to occupy the all-electric supermini space. With the demise of the RenaultSport brand, the new Clio won’t form the basis of a compact hot hatchback either. Instead, Alpine will be tasked with developing a hot small EV, previewed by the Alpine A290_ß.

The new Clio E-Tech will arrive in the UK this summer, with prices due to start at less than £22,000, making it cheaper than the current Clio E-Tech’s base price of £22,095.

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