In-depth reviews

Renault Clio E-TECH hybrid review

The hybrid Renault Clio is a quiet yet punchy small car, with good electric running potential and comfortable ride quality

Renault Clio E-TECH hybrid
Overall rating

4.0 out of 5

Price
£20,970 - £30,640
Fuel Type:
Hybrid Petrol

Pros

  • Smooth and quiet
  • Comfortable and well equipped
  • Good electric range for a hybrid

Cons

  • Ride is firm
  • Powertrain feels restless
  • Pricier than non-hybrid models
Car typeFuel economyCO2 emissions0-62mph
Hybrid63-64mpg96-97g/km9.3s

The Renault Clio E-TECH is part of a wave of hybrid hatchbacks to arrive in recent years. Not that long ago, this was a very niche market, but revised tax rules, stringent emissions regulations and changing attitudes mean electrified cars are becoming more common. The latest versions of the Toyota Yaris and Honda Jazz are also hybrids, although traditional Clio rivals the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta remain holdouts for now.

Although it wears the same E-TECH badge as the Renault Captur SUV, the Clio is not a plug-in hybrid. Instead, it uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol engine paired with two electric motors and a small 1.2kWh lithium-ion battery, producing 143bhp total. It's a similar setup to the Yaris, and it works well in a small car. The Renault emits between 96 and 97g/km of CO2 and returns fuel economy of 63 to 64mpg, depending on the exact trim level chosen.

It uses a clever Formula 1-derived clutchless gearbox that's complex enough to have two ratios for the main electric motor and four for the petrol engine, with 15 operating modes in total including the pure-electric one. That all sounds awfully complicated, but from behind the wheel, it's not – you just press the right pedal to go and the left one to stop, like any automatic-gearbox car.

You can't plug the Clio in to charge it: the battery takes energy from regenerative braking and the car’s forward momentum. It then uses this to run on electric power for short distances, at speeds up to 40mph. Renault says the Clio hybrid can be in electric mode for up to 80% of the time over the course of a typical urban journey – but the engine always has to come on at some point to keep the battery charged.

Elsewhere, the Clio's interior is as good as ever, which is to say it's one of the best in any supermini. On the downside, the 301-litre boot capacity, is down on the 391 litres of the petrol car, due to the presence of the battery pack. The hybrid is available in the full range of Evolution, Techno and R.S. Line trim levels.

So with that excellent real-world economy, stylish exterior and interior, decent practicality and good driving experience, the Clio E-TECH is a strong contender among the growing crop of electrified superminis. Keen drivers may prefer the more straightforward purely petrol engine, but there's no doubt the hybrid will win many fans. For a more detail look at the Clio E-TECH, read on for the rest of our in-depth review...

Most Popular

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022
Best seven-seater electric and hybrids
Best cars

Top 10 best seven-seater electric and hybrid cars 2022

If the regular crop of electrified SUVs and family cars don’t provide enough practicality for you, then take a closer look at the range of electric an…
15 Jun 2022
Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022
Cheapest electric cars 2022
Electric

Top 10 cheapest electric cars 2022

Contrary to popular opinion, not all electric cars are expensive. Here are the cheapest ones available in the UK right now
15 Jun 2022
New electric cars coming in 2022 and beyond
Polestars under cover
Coming soon

New electric cars coming in 2022 and beyond

With electric cars making up an ever-increasing proportion of sales, the industry is working flat out to launch new models – here's what's on the way …
24 Jun 2022

More on Clio

New hybrid engine for Clio leads 2022 Renault updates
Renault Clio
Renault

New hybrid engine for Clio leads 2022 Renault updates

Evolution, Techno and R.S. Line trim levels also introduced to range
5 Apr 2022
Top 6 best hybrid hatchbacks 2021
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Best cars

Top 6 best hybrid hatchbacks 2021

A hybrid hatchback is just as practical as a normal hatchback, but with even lower running costs. These are the best on sale in 2021
24 Nov 2021
Renault Clio hybrid 2020: prices, specifications and on-sale date
Renault Clio

Renault Clio hybrid 2020: prices, specifications and on-sale date

The Renault Clio E-TECH hybrid is available to order now in the UK, priced from £19,595 for delivery in September
27 May 2020