Renault have teased the next-generation Clio – although ‘tease’ doesn’t feel like quite the right word as they have in fact shown the interior, ahead of the full-car reveal tomorrow.
While the fifth-generation Clio’s all-new interior is inspired by features from larger cars, the dashboard and centre console are more of a thorough update than a groundbreaking overhaul, for the most part containing fresh takes on essentially the same themes.
To nudge the Clio upmarket a bit, the dash is coated in a new soft-touch material, with the Clio IV’s cheerful swathes of colour on the top surface being relocated to the middle section, above the black lower dashboard. Above the central area is a deep, full-width recess containing the air vents and grille-like strips of trim (the outer vents are now quadrilateral to suit the newly rectilinear look).
The steering wheel features a smaller hexagonal centre boss, more buttons on its lateral spokes and a U-shaped lower support. Behind it, an uninterrupted 10-inch TFT screen hosts the multi-mode digital IP, shedding the central plastic ellipse of the outgoing Clio to give more space to selectively show navigation and other such things in the centre. A seven-inch version will appear on lower-spec models.
The prominent glossy tablet at the centre, now angled towards the driver, is more squared-off relocates the centre air vents onto the recess running behind this prominent screen area and across the dashboard. This allows the screen itself to be a bigger, portrait unit (9.3 inches instead of 7), with a row of permanent touch-pad buttons below it. Its housing reaches up higher than before and stands prouder of the main dashboard, mostly ‘floating’ in front of it.
The main HVAC controls, sat under a row of protruding flat miscellaneous buttons, are now a trio of large rotary knobs with LCD displays inside them, much like those of a JLR or Audi product, with toggle switches nestled quietly between them. Underneath those, a larger, flat storage space for connecting and wirelessly charging a phone can be found.
It is clear that the asymmetrical gear lever housing has been raised – where previously the base of the gear lever was slightly below the tip of the front seat bases, it now sits a few inches higher, comfortably above them. This is most likely to improve driver ergonomics. Meanwhile, the old-school handbrake has predictably been replaced by an electric parking brake, freeing up further space for storage areas.
Renault boast that the new, muscular-looking seats – allegedly upholstered in more upmarket-feeling materials – have longer bases, a “more enveloping shape” and improved sculpting on the back and on the rear headrests, to improve rear leg space and rearward visibility respectively.
Overall there will be greater scope for interior trim customisation than before, with eight core ‘design schemes’ to make one’s time on the configurator a little easier.
More info and images of the exterior will appear tomorrow.