"It looks great" & "For a vehicle of this size, the Clio is very comfortable and quiet. It has great strength and an impeccable finish" This review dates from April 1990 and is taken from the French automobile magazine L'Automobile, which chronicles his first encounter with the new Renault Clio. And it was not flattering. The car had just been launched, but it was very different from the French minis already established in the family sedan sector. Its wheelbase was longer, its body wider and more "rounded", with a design which clearly indicated that this vehicle was intended for a different sector of the market than the R5 or the Saxo. And then there were its colors ... The Clio was a little ahead of its time, because it inaugurated the return of the colors already offered by the R19.
In addition to producing a comfortable, quiet and solid car with impeccable finishes, Renault now wanted to appeal to those looking for an alternative city car. And those who opted for this little blue Renault were not disappointed: "In town, you can park everywhere!" This success is primarily due to the qualities of the Clio as to its price range which contrasted sharply with other cars in the sector. The Saxo and R5 were sold at slightly higher prices. This blue minivan equipped with the 1.1 liter engine gave complete satisfaction for the time. Its design has made it one of the vehicles that has best stood the test of time (although it is true that there are not many that meet this same fate). The chroniclers at that time appreciated the livability of the Clio, which at no time gives the impression of being "in a box". They also liked its ease of use and its ability to swallow large objects or other people. However, they noted that it was not possible to wear large helmets indoors due to height constraints, especially when entering and exiting the vehicle. Another point made by our automotive journalists, thinking about the future, is that the torque provided by this 1073cc engine was insufficient for those who wanted to tow and that there were few options in terms of horsepower. (The Clio V6 was not yet available).
The first meetings with the new Renault Clio 1 are mixed. Some journalists point out the handling faults and the over-sensitive brakes, which will be partially corrected by a modification of the braking system during its first overhaul. The car also refused to start several times ("like an old car") before getting used to the local driving conditions. Also, some details such as door locks or side windows could have been better designed, especially at this price point.
The Automobile Magazine emphasizes, however, that even if these small inconveniences can be annoying, it is above all a very pleasant car to live in. In the early 2000s, when this review was rediscovered, many Clio I owners wrote to talk about their car and their experiences with it.
Some of those testimonials follow below: "I have a diesel version of the Clio II, which replaced my Clio I. It's not that great, but it's still a good car."
"At 18 she never let me down except for a little repair" These are just a few examples of how people enjoyed owning a Clio I. < Br /> In short, Renault's compact struggled at launch, but then went on to become an unchallenged success in terms of sales and customer base ... and has now become a legend.