Renault Clio 1.3 TCe 140 RS Line: And in the morning I’ll drive for a French baguette

The paths taken by human thoughts are unpredictable. Maybe sometimes I had a very long meeting at work, where I listened and watched the little Clio, which is sitting under my monitor. Maybe another time I was thinking about French cars and if they had a baguette rack. But the result was that I said I would be interested in the most powerful Clio manual on offer. “Sure,” it came from the press room and I was immediately assigned a car. It went away on its own…

The fifth generation Clia has been on the market since 2019. Its different versions have appeared several times in our newsroom, and I got one. It was orange, had a vending machine and an Easy Drive pass, which bored you in convoys and on the highway. But now it’s different, red. And with a manual.

From the outside, Clio can’t be confused with anything else, but to be honest, if it weren’t for the RS Line package that the tested car is equipped with, I’d say nothing has changed here and we can continue our visit. Fortunately, we have a more aggressive front bumper, a rear diffuser and, last but not least, a different tailpipe. Did I forget something? Yes, fender patches! You’re probably going to scoff a bit. And you are right. Even in this version, Clio does not look overpriced, but rather pleasant and ordinary. Which is not an insult at all. Not everyone needs to search for a door handle every day among the overflowing curves. And the red… Maybe it suits her better than the orange.

Clio is as familiar as it is on the outside. At the helm is a pleasantly wide steering wheel covered in perforated leather, on the dashboard, except for the red ‘RS’ line, the carbon decor stands out. Nothing has changed in the architecture of the controls, and controlling the climate control with rotary switches on me, after several test cars with tablets, seems like a whiff of yesteryear. However, it also accounts for the infotainment, which was still quite good in 2020 and lively and enjoyable compared to the competition. But time flies here the fastest and I think it deserves a little refreshment. At least the CarPlay implementation is flawless, so a slow TomTom doesn’t break anyone. But I was really happy with the seats. I remember that in the orange Clio, the standard seats didn’t offend me, but they didn’t inspire me either. But here the situation is different. The extra sports seats are really good. They have a nice side guide and you can sit there for hours. It’s worth every crown. Made.

photo: Jan Machač, autickar.cz

But now let’s look at the technology. There have been so many changes to the variator range since 2019 that the board wouldn’t be enough for me, so we’d rather not get into it. The 13th is back, but it no longer has 130 horsepower, but 140 horsepower. And the more, the better, right? It’s worth noting that even in an age when a large number of engines use at least a mild-hybrid system, Clio is still untainted by these things. Except for the E-Tech version, of course.

Behind the engine, next to it, depending on where you look, is a six-speed manual, which is the only transmission you can buy this engine with. The shifter looks massive and heavy, so you’re a bit surprised at how easily it can change gears. The chassis is tuned more for comfort, from suspension to steering. An ideal thing for driving around the city. Rocked by city trips interspersed with a leisurely ride on the highway, I don’t even think I should put Clia behind my ears anywhere. It would be a pity. Thanks to the turbocharger, the engine starts at 2,000 and only stops at 5,000. unnecessarily short. And finally, the chassis also works very well, which does not bother that the quarters are in even worse condition than usual after the winter retreat. And consumption? Around town, if you’re decent, about six liters. But if you have a man in your head who keeps saying, “Well, don’t be polite, stuffy!”, then you’ll probably eat a little. My weekly score ended at 7.3 liters per hundred. It’s not that bad yet.

photo: Jan Machač, autickar.cz

Verdict

If all those sporty sedans are too fast, too flashy or too impractical for you, then this is exactly what Clio might appeal to you. He doesn’t play exaggerated sports, he doesn’t shout to the world how much money, but he doesn’t have a taste for it. It’s such an ordinary, no-nonsense car that will delight experts and excite users. And all at reasonable speeds and at a reasonable price. It just comes to mind, again I forgot if a French baguette would fit in there. Like next time.

photo: Jan Machač, autickar.cz

Characteristics

Engine: 1333cc 4-cylinder supercharged petrol engine
Engine power: 140 hp (103 kW) at 4,500 rpm
Torque: 260 Nm at 1,750 – 3,500 rpm
Transmission: six-speed manual
Top speed: 205 km/h
Acceleration 0–100 km/h: 9.4 sec
Standby weight: 1136 kg
Average consumption (indicated): 5.4 l/100 km
Average consumption (in test): 7.3 l/100 km
Price from (Renault Clio 1.3 TCe 140 RS Line): CZK 465,000
Price of the tested car: 536,000 CZK

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