The Renault Clio has been one of the UK’s favourite superminis for years now and Renault will be hoping that the Sport Tourer is also taken to our hearts. The supermini estate market is growing increasingly competitive so the Clio will need to be on top form to grab a slice.
Lets start with the good news. The 1.5 litre turbodiesel engine produces a modest 88 bhp at 3,750 rpm, but the 148 lb.ft of torque at just 1,750 rpm will be of more interest if you are going to use the load capacity regularly. The Clio combines sensible performance with excellent official fuel economy, just edging over the 70 mpg barrier.
When it comes to actually being an estate the Clio does less well giving away space to key rivals.
Despite being almost exactly the same length as the Fabia estate, the Clio’s boot is 41 litres smaller (439 litres) and 183 litres smaller with the seats down (1277 litres). It also gives away over 100 Kg of payload capacity.
If you can live with the relatively limited load space the interior is attractive and airy whilst the exterior styling is well judged. On the move refinement is impressive and the chassis is capable, but the steering lacks feel which inhibits confidence. There is no doubt that Renault has sacrificed practicality for style, but at least it scores highly for the later.
The Clio Sport Tourer isn’t particularly cheap but it is a class act. If you want more space than the hatch but the same high levels of refinement and style, the Sport Tourer is well worth a look. If outright space is a key factor it may disappoint, but all in all this is a thoroughly competent small estate with low running costs.