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Renault Clio 2020 - no hybrid for Australia

The fifth-generation version of the Renault Clio is lighter, safer and offers more cargo space than before.

The all-new fifth-generation Renault Clio will be the brand’s first mainstream model to offer an hybrid drivetrain, but it won’t be offered in Australia. 

The all-new fifth-generation 2020 Renault Clio will instead be offered with downsized turbocharged petrol engines - a similar strategy as has been employed with the current model, that went on sale in 2013. 

Australian buyers are likely to see the inclusion of the TCe 100 - a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine producing 75kW and 160Nm with the choice of five-speed manual or CVT automatic - though the powered up TCe 130 GPF mightn’t be sold here. 

That drivetrain is a 1.3-litre turbo four-cylinder engine with 97kW and 240Nm with a seven-speed dual-clutch auto, but its the GPF suffix that is the issue - in Europe, at least, the drivetrain will run a gasoline particulate filter, which will rule it out for Australia due to our poor fuel quality. However, there may be another version of the engine without the filter, similar to the one added to the Captur compact SUV earlier this year.

What it means is that we will miss out on a the E-Tech hybrid powertrain, which combines a 1.6-litre petrol engine and two electric motors with a 1.2kWh battery pack - a combination that is claimed to be able to run in all-electric mode up to 80 per cent of the time in urban driving, while reducing fuel use by 40 per cent. 

Renault Australia advised us the company “is not looking at the hybrid at the moment, but our range isn’t finalised as yet”.

The evolutionary styling for the new model disguises some dramatic changes under the skin, with a new platform that has been reworked to be lighter, stronger and safer, plus an interior that is more upmarket and spacious than the current version.

New tech includes a self-parking system, plus there is an array of parking sensors (front, side and rear), and a reversing camera or 360-degree camera, depending on the spec. Front, side and - finally! - curtain airbags to protect front and rear passengers; the previous model lacked curtain airbag protection. 

Clio is Renault’s biggest seller model worldwide. Clio is Renault’s biggest seller model worldwide.

Other safety items include ‘active emergency brake’ (generally called auto emergency braking, or AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection - fitted as standard on all grades - as well as additional safety tech in the form of lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot monitoring. Adaptive cruise control and auto high-beam headlights will be offered as well. 

In terms of size, the new Clio is 4050mm long (2583mm wheelbase), 1798mm wide and 1440mm high, making it marginally shorter (both overall length and wheelbase) but wider and lower than its predecessor. For context, it’s almost the same size as a Mazda 2 - just a bit more squat. It weighs just 1042 kilogram in base spec.

The exterior dimensions translate to “largest in its category” boot capacity, according to the brand, with a claimed 391 litres of cargo room

There are three different media systems available - a 7.0-inch touchscreen, the same but with sat nav, or a 9.3-inch sat nav screen. All screens have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and USB connectivity.

Two size touchscreens are available, 7.0-inch or 9.3-inch. Two size touchscreens are available, 7.0-inch or 9.3-inch.

As for Australian Clio timing, the brand’s local arm has advised we can expect to see the new-generation model “in the first half of next year”, and Renault plans to “target the highest safety level for Australian buyers”.  

Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore reiterated the importance of the Clio nameplate locally.

“Clio is Renault’s biggest seller worldwide and a key model in Renault’s sales in Australia in recent years. It will continue to be a core model and even more so with the next-gen Clio,” he said.

Are you eager to see the new Renault Clio here in 2020? Tell us in the comments below.