27.10.2010 Renault Clio eco2 dCi 86 review
Renault's eco2 diesel engined Clio in three-door Extreme or five-door Expression trim is the lowest CO2 producing model yet from the French car giant. Yet despite beating the 100g/km barrier it still retains its joie de vivre driving personality and does so without ugly flat disc wheels so looks quite normal.
Unlike environmentally-friendly rivals, which can cost up to £1,000 extra than an equivalently specified model in the same range, the eco2 Clio sells for the same price as today's dCi 86 engine car emitting 115 grams CO2 per kilometre.
Review by Russell Bray for WhatGreenCar.com
Amazingly good fun to drive for a fuel miser despite 'taller' gearing across all ratios. The Clio eco2 three-door showed 56 to 65mpg on the computer read-out over a busy route even using the air con, but with few traffic lights and complete halts. The 1461cc four-cylinder direct common rail injection diesel develops 86bhp at 3750rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1900rpm. Optimised engine with lower frictional losses help achieve sub 100g/km CO2 rating. Top speed was 109mph with 0-62mph acceleration in 12.7 seconds.
Definitely enjoyable despite low rolling resistance tyres and little power compared to Renault's acclaimed Renaultsport models. Set the car up for a bend and the Clio will slice through with authority despite slightly rubbery feel to the steering. I would prefer less sensitive brakes though. A relaxed cruiser. The Clio rides well over poor surfaces, which is ironic, as these days we have worse roads than the French.
Despite the eco2 qualifications you would be hard pressed to notice any difference between this fuel-sipping model and a bog standard Clio as a three or five-door hatchback. Aerodynamic 'tweaks' include the flexible lip under front bumper deepened by 15mm, small extension flaps added to the front wheel arch liners and the rear axle enclosed. Together they reduce the Clio's drag co-efficient from 0.725 to 0.69 according to Renault's wind tunnel. Length 4017mm.Width 1707mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
Despite the slightly noticeable built-to-a-price ambience it all seemed well fitted together and there were no creaks or groans. Front seats were quite soft and springy but not uncomfortable.
Extreme trim versions get 'Dermic' wheel trims, 4 x 20W RDS radio CD player with AUX input and steering column remote control, black centre console with black dashboard inserts and air vent surrounds, front fog lights and electric front windows. Options include electronic stability programme with traction and under-steer control (£310)
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official fuel economy: Urban 62.7mpg, extra-urban 83mpg, combined 76.3mpg. This equates to a fuel cost of around 7.2p per mile. Carbon dioxide emissions of just 98g/km put the eco2 Clio into tax band A. No road tax is payable as a result. Insurance is group 12E. Warranty covers three years/ 60,000 miles.
Praise to Renault for making available its most effective fuel-saving technologies to as many motorists as possible at an affordable price. Fleet customers get a particularly attractive 100% capital write-down allowance and low benefit-in-kind rating of only 13%. Frictional looses in the engine and gearbox have been reduced with low-viscosity lubricants and dedicated engine mapping has reduced fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Surprisingly the Clio is not fitted with an exhaust particulate filter. WhatGreenCar Rating of 36.
Height adjustable steering wheel, variable assistance electric power steering, multi-function trip computer, one piece folding rear seat, tinted windows, variable speed wipers, remote control central locking, RDS radio and CD player, Possible options include 15in diameter alloy wheels, air conditioning (£565), metallic paint (£405) and fully integrated Carminat TomTom satellite navigation (£460).
Model tested: Renault Clio eco2 dCi 86
Body-style: Three or five-door hatchback
Engine/CO2: 86bhp 1461cc 4-cyl diesel / 98 gCO2/km
Trim grades: Extreme, Expression
On-road price: eco2 models from £12,680. Test car £14,890
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles
In the showroom: Available now
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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