Described as a true revolution by design boss Laurens van den Acker, Renault has equipped the new Clio with its biggest ever touchscreen. Called ‘Smart Cockpit’, the 9.3-inch screen is gently curved and modelled on a tablet computer. New electronics mean it will easily link to smartphones via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
For the first time, Renault is offering a digital screen instead of regular analogue speedo and other gauges. Two sizes are offered, 7.0 inches and 10 inches. The larger one will display sat nav mapping, as on the Audi TT and other premium cars.
No other supermini offer screens as large as this, says Renault.
The rest of the new Clio’s cabin is going upmarket, too. Most of the surfaces have been given a soft-touch coating, which the French firm says is more like the sort of quality you get from larger car sectors.
The dashboard has also been designed to free up space and bring in more room to stow items such as electronic devices; wireless smartphone charging will be available. Renault’s shortened the gearlever, reduced the number of buttons and simplified the air-con unit.
Even the steering wheel has been recrafted, with a more compact airbag and reconfigured buttons (that now light up at night so drivers can see what they’re pressing).
Continuing the high-end theme, Renault’s given the Clio new seats normally seen in larger models. They are comfier and more supportive, while a thinner backrest improves space for those in the back. Door panels can be fitted with soft inserts and optional ambient lighting will be available.
Oh, and like many new cars, the new Clio’s interior is customisable. Choose from eight different interior design schemes, eight different ambient lighting colours and seven colours of trim line for the panel stretching across the air vents.
Laurens van den Acker said the new Clio is “the best yet… the interior has undergone a true revolution, with a considerable improvement in perceived quality, greater sophistication and technology”.
We’ll see it in detail at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show; ahead of that, we’re expected to see the outside of the new Clio too. Watch this space…