What's the news?
With 15 million worldwide sales since it first appeared in 1990, the Renault Clio is a heavy-hitter in the supermini segment and an all-new, fifth-generation model is big news. Well, with the Mk5's launch just around the corner, Renault has unveiled full details and images of the B-segment newcomer's interior.
Renault says the Clio has a 'Smart Cockpit', with its digital instrument cluster and large, upright R-Link centre display claimed to be the 'widest screens in the segment'. More specifically, the multimedia screen that dominates the console is a 9.3-inch item, which is subtly curved and also angled towards the driver. Ahead of the driver, in the cluster binnacle, resides a digital screen; this is anything between seven and ten inches in size, depending on spec - and the ten-inch set-up can display GPS navigation, too.
The French firm also says it has 'paid attention to the quality' of the Clio's redesigned dashboard. The top part of the dash is covered in a foamed coating, which means 'soft-touch' to you or us, while in the middle there's a coated, customisable panel. Lower down, the Clio's fascia houses the more functional components, like the glovebox. Piano buttons beneath the central screen and physical climate control rotary dials ensure ergonomic matters are well attended to by the Clio.
Even the steering wheel has been redesigned, being smaller than on the Clio Mk4 thanks to the use of a more compact airbag and also festooned with backlit control buttons, while the centre console area housing the gear lever is mounted higher up than on its predecessor. Lower down, a storage compartment houses a wireless smartphone charging pad, although whether this will be standard fit or not across the Clio range remains to be seen at this stage.
The Clio has seats that are claimed to be comfier, easier to use and more ergonomic, while the door cards are finished in more soft-touch materials to heighten the premium, upmarket feel. And, like any self-respecting supermini, Renault will make sure the Clio can be personalised with interior packs that change the appearance of the centre console, the middle panel of the dashboard, the door cards, the steering wheel and also the armrests. There will be eight interior design schemes to choose from, echoed by the choice of eight-colour ambient lighting.
Laurens van der Acker, the senior vice-president for Renault's Corporate Design, said: "The fifth-generation Clio is very important for us, as it is the best-seller in its segment and the second best-selling car in Europe, all categories combined. The Clio is an icon, and the latest features the very best of the previous generations. The exterior design of Clio Mk4 won over our customers and continues to do so today, so we chose to keep that DNA while bringing modernity and elegance to the new model. The interior has undergone a true revolution, with a considerable improvement in perceived quality, greater sophistication and technology. It is the best Clio yet."