Supermini of the Year 2022: Renault Clio
The Renault Clio is the 2022 Auto Express Supermini of the Year, with the Skoda Fabia and Vauxhall Corsa commended
Renault has followed up on convincing performances in 2020 and 2021 to make it a hat-trick for the Clio this year. Rivals are closing on the chic French five-door, but its compelling combination of space, style and refinement makes it a tough nut for the competition to crack.
At the heart of the Clio’s appeal is its ability to squeeze family-friendly versatility into a compact package. The roomy interior can accommodate five at a squeeze, while the 391-litre boot shames many models from the class above. Few small cars offer as much flexibility as the Clio.
Yet the Renault blends this practicality with a generous dose of visual appeal. The cabin is neatly designed and well built, while the intuitive and distinctive portrait-style touchscreen delivers seamless connectivity. Outside, the Clio’s flowing lines and distinctive LED lights add some welcome Gallic glamour.
It’s not quite as sharp to drive as a Ford Fiesta, but with crisp-enough handling and a cushioned ride, it’s not far off. Refinement is strong, too, and on long trips the Renault feels as composed as a much larger machine. It also packs the tech of more expensive models, including driver aids such as adaptive cruise control and lane assist.
The Clio also steals a march on its rivals when it comes to its engine line-up, with the availability of the advanced E-Tech hybrid that promises up to 62.8mpg and less than 100g/km of CO2. For most, however, the standard turbocharged 1.0-litre TCe petrol delivers the perfect blend of eagerness and efficiency.
Factor in a long list of kit and some tasty finance deals, and it’s not hard to see why the Clio has taken top honours once again.
Renault Clio TCe 90 Evolution (£18,795)
Competitive pricing makes it hard to look beyond the Clio. As standard, Evolution trim has 16-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, air-con, cruise control, and a seven-inch nav system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Renault offers a zero-per cent PCP agreement over two years, with no minimum deposit. Place £3,544 up front, however, and the Evolution costs just £214 per month.
The Fabia has always been the most sensible supermini choice, and the latest version is no exception. Featuring a spacious cabin and one of the biggest boots in the business, the Skoda’s practicality makes up for what it lacks in outright panache. An upmarket interior, easy-going driving experience and great value for money complete the Czech machine’s podium-winning performance.
It’s no coincidence that the Corsa dominated the new-car sales charts in 2021 and so far this year. Handsome, well equipped and temptingly priced, the Vauxhall also comes with the option of a smooth, zero-emissions all-electric powertrain. All versions have a roomy interior, while the petrol engines are lively and efficient. Thanks to its light controls and decent refinement, it’s an easy-going choice, too.
The 2022 New Car Awards are brought to you in association with Hankook tyres
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