Understandable, that such a small car as the Renault Clio is not the most convenient means of transport during many kilometers, long journey. Such a trip with three people (adults), with a lot of luggage allows you to form an opinion not only about the traction properties of the car, but also about its functional qualities.
You can see if: the seats are comfortable, the driving position is not really tiring, passengers can straighten their legs, the equipment is sufficient, and the luggage compartment has sufficient capacity.
At Clio, no driver, nor the accompanying passenger on the seat next to him have any reason to complain. The range of seat adjustment as well as the shape of the seats and backrests enable the correct positioning and prevent excessive fatigue. The driver's seat also has a seat height adjustment, and the steering column a variable height position. Only headrests cause trouble, which need strength and dexterity to pull out to the desired height. The rear seat naturally offers less driving comfort, but it is a feature of a city car, what Clio undoubtedly is. So usually a participant of an expedition with the smallest build traveled there. The amount of legroom, with the front seats in the rearmost position, jest co najwyżej wystarczająca dla osoby o średnim wzroście. The roof-mounted seat belt holder, on the other hand, reduces headroom.
Control elements, except for the hazard warning light switch, grouped in accordance with the requirements of ergonomics. It is customary on German highways to use hazard lights when braking a larger group of cars, e.g.. against congestion, a sudden slowdown in driving. Adapting to this custom, absolutely right for security reasons, we did the same. However, it turned out, that it's not easy to use your Clio's hazard lights quickly! The hazard light switch is located on the floor tunnel behind the driver rather than next to him. Hitting the button without taking your eyes off the road is troublesome and requires you to search for it with your hand, blindfold, which can be dangerous when driving fast. I am surprised, that the correct position of such an important switch has been forgotten in the Clio's ergonomically designed instrument panel.
Adjusting the ventilation and heating system was easy, just a pity that the air supply to the cabin was closed (e.g.. driving behind a truck) not standard on every Clio version, only models with the largest engines (on capacity 1,6 dm3).
The gearshift mechanism worked precisely and unambiguously. It took some getting used to the proper operation of the clutch, working with clear jerks and a very hard spring that pulls the pedal back. Observation of the road in panoramic view, with a wide field of view inside the interior mirror, was hindered by the distorted image of the vehicles behind us, which more than once made the assessment of distances dangerously complicated. The exterior mirrors, on the other hand, performed their function properly; even at night, the driver's eyes were unaffected by light reflections.
The nearly four thousand kilometers driven in three days were indeed a truth test for Renault Clio. Maintain row speed for hours 130+140 km / h the engine endured obediently, it did not heat up excessively and showed no increased oil consumption.
The annoying drawback was the lack of power, visible on German highways. Often, as we were overtaking a row of trucks, we were not able to execute this maneuver quickly enough, which resulted in the formation of a queue of faster vehicles behind us. Also during longer climbs in the mountains, not only the fourth, but also the third gear had to be used, to maintain a fair speed of travel. A little extra power in the engine would greatly increase the smoothness of the ride and allow for freedom when overtaking trucks and buses.
The necessity to keep it in a high speed range resulting from the characteristics of the engine in order to maintain a satisfactory car dynamics was unfortunately the cause of the nuisance noise in the cabin. It was a relief and great satisfaction that we even welcomed short breaks after being inside the car for a long time.
Three people easily put their things in the trunk, only the necessities were found in the rear seat. A possible fourth passenger would have to give up the bag or suitcase, for which there would be no more space or inside, nor in the cargo area.
Understandable, that the actual fuel consumption figures are the most interesting. We measured them precisely and it was equal to each section of the route 6,3, 6,5, 7,0, 7,1, 7,2 dm3 / 100 km, and the average of all counting close 4 thousand. km of the route has reached 6,8 dm3 / 100 km, which allows us to express an opinion justified by these results, that Renault Clio 1.4 it is indeed an economical car.
So while in terms of usability, Clio turns out to be quite comfortable for two people, and for three, a suitable means of transport even on long journeys, about the driving ability of the 55-kilowatt version 1.4 turn out to be insufficient in this respect. The solution may be to associate a five-door body with a more powerful engine, e.g.. with the same capacity, but with a 16-valve head allowing to achieve 72 kW of maximum power.
type of gasoline
number of cylinders 4
number of valves 8
displacement [cm3] 1390
compression ratio 9,5
average. cyl. x piston stroke [mm] 75,8 x 77
power max. [kW / rpm] 55/5500
max. mom. giant. [Nm / rpm] 114/4250
gear ratios I / II / III 3,37/1,86/1,32
gear ratio. main 4,0
In max. [km/h] 160
t acceleration 0-5-100 km/h [s] 12,1
average. U-turns [m] 10,7
tire size 165/70 R13
fuel tank 50
trailer brakes / brakes. 1150/515
front / rear track 1405/1385
Fuel consumption dm3 / 100km