The electric vehicle revolution is here, and it's not just limited to luxury sedans and SUVs. Across the pond, Europe is getting a wave of affordable and practical EVs that are perfect for city driving and commuting. One of them is the Renault Clio, a subcompact hatchback that has been a staple of the French automaker's lineup for decades.
The Renault Clio is one of the best-selling cars in Europe and for good reason. It's stylish, spacious, reliable, and fun to drive. And now, it's also electric. Well, sort of. The 2024 Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid is not a pure EV but a hybrid that can run on electric power for up to 80% of urban journeys, according to Renault. It has a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and two electric motors, one of which is integrated into the gearbox. The battery pack is only 1.2 kWh, but it can be recharged by regenerative braking or by the engine.
The result is a car that can deliver up to 64 mpg (4 liters per 100 km) in mixed driving and emit as little as 98 grams of CO2 per kilometer. That's impressive for a car that can seat five people and has a decent trunk space. The Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid also has a range of driving modes, including a pure EV mode that can be activated by pressing a button on the dashboard.
But the Clio is not just about efficiency. It's also about fun. The hybrid system delivers 140 hp and 191 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to make the Clio zippy and agile on the road. Thanks to the electric motor, the gearbox is a clever six-speed automatic that can shift gears without using a clutch. The Clio also has sporty suspension, sharp steering, and strong brakes. It's a car that can make you smile while saving you money at the pump.
The Clio also has a lot of tech features that make it modern and convenient. It has a 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless charging, and a Bose sound system. It also has a 10-inch digital instrument cluster that can display various information, including the hybrid system's status and energy flow. The Clio also has a range of safety and driver assistance systems, such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, blind spot warning, traffic sign recognition, and automatic emergency braking.
The Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid could be better, of course. It's not as fast or as spacious as some of its rivals, such as the Toyota Yaris Hybrid or the Honda Jazz Hybrid. It's also not as cheap as some of its non-hybrid counterparts, such as the Ford Fiesta or the Volkswagen Polo. And it's not available in America, where most buyers and automakers still see small cars as undesirable.
That's a shame because the Clio E-TECH Hybrid is exactly the kind of car that America needs but will never get. It's a car that can reduce emissions and fuel consumption without sacrificing practicality or fun. It's a car that can appeal to both enthusiasts and environmentalists. It's a car that can show that EVs are not just for the wealthy or the nerdy but for everyone.
The Renault Clio E-TECH Hybrid is a small EV with a big heart. And it deserves more attention than it gets.