For a small French-based car, the Renault Clio RS is an unsuspecting powerhouse of super-impressive performance and handling. The Clio is definitely showing its racing roots in the new 2017 models. With launch control standard and superior handling, this car is everything you would ever want out of a hatchback.
With 147kW, this makes for a fun street car that is also P-plate legal for restricted drivers looking for a great first car. What made me buy the Clio was the sleek curved rear and the aggressive front that made for a perfect styling balance. Matched with its powerhouse 1.6-litre turbo engine going through a DSG gearbox, this daily driver converts into a track-ready car with a few simple modifications such as grippy tyres.
The sport and race modes available in the RS models are above amazing. The sport mode offers increased performance and sound with the bi-model exhaust mufflers, while the race mode disables the traction control and stability control for that raw driving feel, and full-sequential gearbox by just pushing the gear selector to the left once in race mode. This allows the driver to use the paddle-shifters or the gear selector to change to the optimal gears without the auto gearbox taking over – perfect for track day racing.
Not only is the Clio aesthetically pleasing outside, but the cabin is just as impressive, with vibrant red seatbelts and accents standard for that added pop of colour. The buckets seats aren’t just practical but also comfortable and come with the RS stitching in the front seats.
With more boot space than most hatches on the market, the Clio offers incredible storage space, and with the rear seats folded down can fit an adult pushbike with ease without causing discomfort to front seat occupants.
With technology to rival major luxury car manufacturers, the RS monitor offers lap times, digital gauges, G-force charts and live-time performance updates – it is beyond impressive. With a large touchscreen display and Bluetooth connectivity, it makes this Clio the ultimate package.
I’ve now been the proud owner of my Clio for nearly a year, and my relative has owned their RS for over two years now. Both RSs have been nothing but reliable, with not a single issue to mention.
While we drive our Clios differently, we still maintain excellent fuel economy when both driving around town and on the freeway. I love the sport mode and drive in that setting most of the time. I’m still surprised by maintaining low 9L/100km or mid 8L/100km figures on the freeway. While driving in comfort mode would probably result in better fuel economy, I still can’t complain with what I’m achieving.
While I only run high-octane fuel and it having a 45L tank, the Clio still maintains an average 500km to a tank, which is more than impressive for a car with such amazing performance.
While I haven’t been able to push the Clio to its limits yet, I’m keen to see how it performs wide-open with no restrictions. If I could improve the next model of Clio, I would add adjustable-height passenger seats and also more dealership accessories like exhaust kits or additional performance packs available in the sport models, as they sound too tame for such a beast of a car.