Renault Clio Intens
From driving the updated Renault Clio Zen hatch I stepped up to the more luxurious model, the Clio Intens at $25,990 drive-away. The red test car with high quality paint looked very European, this higher grade model gaining side parking sensors, a height adjustable passenger seat, higher grade Sat Nav, a multimedia system with voice control, hands free parking, climate control air-con, rear privacy glass and larger 17-inc two tone alloy wheels.
Inside, your met by a combination of artificial leather and velvet, yes velvet seat trim. Yes it’s French and appealingly different and offers good specification for the money. Renault Australia has really sharpened its pencil of late and the Clio Intens offers a lot. Power source is the 1.2-litre 88kW four-cylinder turbo linked to a six-speed electronic dual clutch automatic – moving, the changes are smooth and positive however like the Zen, there is some hesitancy from rest and the lack of a hill holder a real disappointment. Internally, the Renault Clio Intens has a quality feel and as much as the combination fake leather and velvet trim sounds horrible it has a nice feel and appearance to it. Interestingly, it features standard rear drum brakes like most of its competition including the Mazda 2 but they work well in such a light car. The dual-clutch transmission is the Clio’s only disappointment – it won’t hold on a slope like a conventional automatic and can be frustrating with no hill holder device. This aside once moving the transmission is smooth and response. I’m David Berthon
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