I've had my little Clio for just over two years now and during this time, I'd developed a strong affection for it. Despite my initial reservations about purchasing a French car, it's surprisingly been absolutely faultless in the time that I've owned it.
The Clio is quite well equipped and at the time that I purchased the car, it was the cheapest new car in Australia with standard satellite navigation. I almost purchased a Volkswagen Polo but the Clio had a few more standard features that attracted me. Features such as keyless entry and electric folding mirrors were nice to have in such a relatively low priced vehicle. Since I purchased the car, it would appear that its competitors have beefed up their specification levels to match the Clio.
One of my main criticisms of the Clio is its limited number of storage spaces. The cup holders are tiny, the glove box space is wasted with a fuse box and there is no covered armrest to hide away devices. The Clio's 300L boot is one of the largest in its class though.
In addition, the bluetooth system can be frustratingly glitchy. I often (30% of the time) experience disconnection issues as soon as I get in the car. It is particularly annoying because the system works quite well when it manages to recognise my Galaxy phone.
In terms of the engine, the Clio's 1.2L turbo is surprisingly zippy when pottering around Sydney roads. However, I've been even more impressed with the car's capacity to handle the open road. The dual clutch transmission operates more smoothly at higher speeds and there has rarely been an occasion where I wished that I had a bit more power. I did upgrade from a slug of a 1.6L MK4 Golf though so my opinion may be skewed!
One of my favourite aspects of my Clio is its ability to handle whatever I throw at it. It's carted a mountain bike, an adult german shepherd, a ladder, a bookcase, and has gone on numerous road trips throughout NSW often ferrying a group of lanky 20-something males. It's also spent a surprising amount of time travelling on dirt roads. I'll be moving to Melbourne next year and I'm sure the Clio will handle that task with aplomb as well.
Ultimately, it's difficult to put into words why I love my Clio so much. It's typically French in nature with audio controls in a stalk behind the steering wheel, the cruise control button near the cup holders and the start button near my passenger's knee. Despite these strange quirks, its character, funky looks and its sheer dependability, make me feel secure in the knowledge that I made the right decision in taking a punt with the Clio.