The Clio III made its debut at the 2005 Frankfurt Motor Show, and was available to order in the UK from August of that year. It marked another shift in the development of the small car as a whole: larger again in dimensions, and the first car in its market segment to be awarded a five-star Euro NCAP rating, the Clio III brought new levels of quality and sophistication to the supermini class. Particularly notable was the use of soft-touch materials on higher spec versions, giving an ambience far removed from that of a traditional small car. Other ‘big car’ features included a tyre pressure monitoring system and Renault’s ‘hands free’ card, instead of a traditional key.
The toil of the designers and engineers was rewarded by winning European Car of the Year for 2006, making the Clio the first car to win the coveted prize twice (firstly with the Clio I in 1991).
Originally available only as a three-door model, with the five-door variant arriving early in the new year, the Clio III could be specified in four trim levels – Extreme, Expression, Dynamique and Dynamique S – and ranged in price from £8,895 to £12,650. A new engine range reflected the inexorable rise of diesel as a fuel choice for small cars, with an equal number of petrol and diesel options: three 16v petrol engines of 1.2-, 1.4- and 1.6-litres were complimented by the 1.5 dCi engine in 68hp, 86hp and 106hp variants.
In 2009 the Clio III morphed into a ‘phase 2’ model, with significantly altered frontal styling, and further improved interior quality and specification. A sporty GT model was introduced and helped bridge the gap between the regular range structure and the Renault Sport derivatives. Over the course of its life, the Clio III brought new levels of quality and, crucially, safety to the class, shifting consumer expectation forever in the marketplace.
I agree that all creative assets including but not limited to photos, logos, sketches, images and artwork are for
editorial use only. All commercial use of these creative assets, including but not limited to advertising,
marketing and merchandising, is strictly prohibited.