Renault Clio X-Tronic on test

Renault Clio X-Tronic on test

Are you looking for a compact and affordable car with automatic transmission? Well, let me introduce you to a French option: the Renault Clio.

Gone are the days when small cars like the VW Polo, Opel Corsa, or Renault Clio meant sacrificing features. These cars have grown in size and now offer a wide range of extras, comparable to larger vehicles.

However, if you prioritize comfort and desire an automatic transmission, you should be aware that opting for an automatic can significantly increase the price. In the case of budget-friendly small cars, automatic variants are often available only with more powerful engines and higher trim levels. The idea behind this is that if you’re investing in a sophisticated transmission, you’ll want to have adequate performance and additional features as well.

Renault takes a different approach. While they offer an automatic transmission only from the Evolution trim level (which adds €1,350 to the base price), it comes with a three-cylinder turbo engine producing 91 horsepower. Consequently, the Renault Clio TCe 90 X-Tronic starts at a minimum price of €21,850. In comparison, the Opel Corsa doesn’t offer an automatic transmission until the price reaches €24,540.

The Renault Clio with X-Tronic transmission utilizes a continuously variable CVT transmission. Unlike conventional automatic transmissions, you cannot manually influence its operation. The transmission has two modes: a normal “D” mode and an “L” (low) mode, which is suitable for steeper routes.

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The CVT transmission smoothly transfers power without simulating virtual gears, and it responds promptly to the accelerator pedal. While the transmission does offer three driving modes (Eco, Normal, and Sport) to influence the throttle response to some extent, it is generally quite responsive.

Instances where the three-cylinder engine may produce loud howling, remain at high revs, or exhibit a noticeable delay in speed increase (commonly known as the rubber band effect experienced in older CVT transmissions) are limited to full-throttle acceleration from low speeds. In most situations, the CVT seamlessly adjusts the gear ratio, making its operation unobtrusive while the three-cylinder engine runs quietly in the background.

In day-to-day driving, the Renault Clio with X-Tronic transmission offers a genuine improvement in terms of comfort, thanks to its well-tuned chassis. It handles bumpy roads surprisingly well without excessive rocking or rolling. However, road noise and transverse joints may slightly detract from the overall positive impression.

Increased consumption

Renault Clio X Tronic, engine

Max Balazs

The motor-transmission combination of the Renault Clio with X-Tronic transmission shows some shortcomings in terms of fuel consumption during the test. The X-Tronic version consumes approximately 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers, which is half a liter more than the manual transmission version.

There are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, the seating position is not ideal, and the seats are moderately padded. Additionally, there is occasionally delayed start-stop functionality. Furthermore, the increased fuel consumption of the X-Tronic version, at 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers, is notably half a liter higher than the manual transmission version. This indicates that some additional compromises may be necessary in this aspect.

However, the use of X-Tronic transmission in the Renault Clio provides a noticeable improvement in everyday comfort without any significant negative side effects. Although there is an additional charge for this transmission option, it is considered acceptable. The only concern remains the slightly higher fuel consumption compared to the manual transmission variant.

Technical specifications

Renault Clio TCe 90 X-tronic Intense
Basic price €21,150
External dimensions 4050x1798x1440mm
Trunk volume 340 to 1069L
Displacement / engine 999 cm³ / 3 cylinder
Performance 67 kW / 91 hp at 5000 rpm
Top speed 175km/h
0-100km/h 13.1s
Consumption 5.0L/100km
Test consumption 6.9L/100km