2024 Renault Clio Facelift – New Esprit Alpine Trim / Premium Supermini. Small cars were once the lifeblood of the European car industry, but they’re in danger of disappearing from the continent’s roads. Ford has already killed off the Fiesta and Volkswagen is dropping hints about dropping the Polo when Euro 7 emissions regs kick in.
But Renault, a company that’s probably more closely associated with subcompacts, or superminis as they’re known in Europe, than anyone else has just refreshed its Clio so it can continue to snare buyers who haven’t yet been seduced by the idea of a small crossover.
There aren’t any great engineering changes to mention, but the front end gains a new, more aggressive look that brings it into line with recently launched Renault’s like the Espace, plus the firm’s new corporate logo in brushed satin chrome. The most striking element of the redesign is the slim LED headlights, which are now standard across the range, and the segmented DRLs that appear on the left and right corners of the car and are each meant to represent one half of the Renault rhombus (diamond to you and me).
Cars ordered in Techno or the new Alpine Esprit trim also get a motorsport-inspired bumper design with a body-color blade for Techno and a Matte Shale Grey one in the Alpine as seen in these pictures. Alpine Esprit models also get a grey lower bumper section at the back, while all cars gain new rear lights with crystal-clear covers.
Inside, the materials are of higher quality and there are sustainable fabrics, but the general layout – 7-inch display on cheap versions and a 9.3 on pricier cars – is largely the same as before. Go for the Esprit Alpine and your butt will be located in heavily bolstered sports seats emblazoned with Alpine’s ‘A’ logo, you’ll get to guide the 17-inch wheels via a perforated leather three-spoke steering wheel and tap dance your feet across aluminum pedals.
Sadly, there’s no bespoke Alpine powertrain, the most powerful of the same-again engine options being a 1.6-liter E-Tech hybrid with 143 hp (145 PS). That’s now the only engine available in the UK, but other markets offer a 99 hp (100 PS) 1.2-liter triple running on LPG (propane), a 89 hp (90 PS) version fueled with regular petrol and a 64 hp (65 PS) naturally-aspirated 1.2 for people who don’t mind being overtaken by cyclists on hills. And despite diesel sales falling rapidly in Europe, Renault continues to offer a sparkless motor in the Clio in the form of the 99 hp (100 PS) dCi 100.
Not available is any kind of pure electric powertrain – that job goes to the upcoming 5 EV, which will be sold alongside the Clio. But for how long? The Clio has been a huge hit for Renault over the years, notching up 16 million sales, but you have to wonder whether this is its last gasp as the brand edges towards a future as an EV-only brand from 2030.
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