As the Renault Clio heads towards its 25th birthday it's impressive to see how, just like a fine wine or cheese; it's got better with age.
Introduced for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in June 1990, the Clio largely replaced the Renault 5 Mk2 however the Clio wasn't sold in the UK until March 1991. That same year, after having made such an impression, the Clio won the European Car of the Year award and not for the last time.
After restructuring the company in the late 1980s, Renault came back stronger at the beginning of the 1990s, and the Clio is largely credited with restoring Renault's reputation. The Clio then went on to become one of Europe's best selling cars in the 1990s, meaning that whatever they did during the restructure clearly worked!
Phase 2 of the Clio was launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1994 and from then on, the improvements and alterations to the Clio were being made thick and fast by Renault; with Phase 3 launching in May 1996 and the Clio II being introduced two years later. Since 1998 there have been improvements made every year to the Clio and this has been regularly rewarded.
For three years, starting in 2002, Mexico's Automovil Panamericano magazine awarded the Clio El Mejor Automovil Subcompacto or 'Best Supermini' Award. Two years later, in 2006, the Clio then went on to win the European Car of the Year Award for the second time, being only one of two cars to ever win the award on multiple occasions. In that same year, What Car? also named the Clio as the "Supermini of the Year" - an impressive collection of awards for an impressive car.
The most recent model, the Clio IV, was introduced at the 2012 Paris Motor Show and its marketing began one month later. The biggest difference from the previous generations is the wheelbase, which has been significantly extended and is nearer to that of a compact car.
The vast improvement in the quality, aesthetics and ability of the Clio throughout the two decades it's been around is undeniable, and it is likely that the power of the Renault Clio will continue long into the future. Have you discovered va va voom?
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