European cars usually tend to look good to Thais because they're so rare on our roads, mostly dominated by bland-looking Japanese counterparts. What you see here is the all-new Renault Clio, which is set to enter its fourth generation when it makes its world debut in Paris in September. Note the stylish cues around the car like the LED headlights and side contours on the doors.
Right, and it's equally attractive inside
Uh-huh, and note the flashy 7-inch touchscreen on the console that performs all kinds of functions, as well as housing the so-called Renault R Link that allows connections to a variety of apps.
The interior of the Clio is claimed to comfortably take adults in both the front and rear. Only a five-door body will be made, while the three-door has been dropped.
Is the Clio related to the March?
Renault hasn't mentioned anything about this. But it's a no-brainer that the Clio and Nissan March share DNA because both cars are part of the Nissan-Renault empire. The last Clio was based on the Nissan B platform.
And since today's March is built on the new V platform, the Clio is obviously based on it.
There are plenty of digital features inside the Clio.
So they share the same engines?
Not exactly, my friend. Whereas the March comes with a 79hp 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, the Clio has a smaller 90hp 0.9-litre three-pot whose higher output is courtesy of a turbocharger.
Renault stresses this engine is as powerful as a non-turbo 1.4-litre (like those used in the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Aveo) but has a far better economy of 23kpl (beating all Ecocars in Thailand including the March). The Clio also has a 120hp 1.2-litre (whose basic block should be shared with the March) and 90hp 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel-turbo capable of 31kpl.
Apart from a 100kg weight reduction, the new Clio benefits from a dual-clutch automatic transmission. The March has a CVT auto instead.
Hmm, looks like Ecocars have more potential in the future
Yes, and because Nissan and Renault are linked up, the March obviously has much room to improve in the coming years.
But here's a juicy rumour _ and the reason why Life has chosen to highlight the new Clio this week.
According to one French media outlet, the Clio 4 would be made at Nissan's Thai production facility where the March is currently making good use of Thai-made parts.
But whether Renault will make a Thai comeback remains to be seen, even though the Clio could just be made for export to markets like Malaysia where the brand is still alive.
The last Renaults to grace Thai showrooms were the 19 and 21 models in 1995.
B-segment Clio only comes as a five-door hatch.
About the author
- Writer: Richard Leu
Position: Motoring news Editor