• Run by: Sean Carson
  • Mileage: 1,500
  • Average MR MPG: 70.2

MR LT Renault Clio in action

A week into my stewardship of the Clio and I’m totally smitten. I’ve fallen in love with a wonderful French lady that I met for the first time just one month ago. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

People say whirlwind romances never work, but I’m sure this one will. You see my new partner knows what I’m after and delivers on that front; she puts me first. She’s understated, but with a bit of sparkle, and is most definitely a refined woman. She’s cheap to keep, too.

But I’ve still not thought of a name for my new Renault Clio long termer.

What? You thought I was talking about an actual girl? Well I did stop short of the ‘good performer’ metaphor…

Some might tell me it’s just infatuation at the start of our relationship, but I genuinely think that’s not the case.

MR LT Renault Clio 02

You see, I like fast cars and exploring their limits on track. Apart from the speed, which does give me a buzz, the excitement is in pitching myself against the machine, screwing up my courage and testing my skill to go that little bit quicker next time round.

So when I was thinking about selecting the car I’d like to live with for the next six months, I had an idea. Why not go in completely the opposite direction? Why not go eco?

I can drive economically and do so when there’s no call for speed. So every time I’m on the public road, then.

But to really eek the most out of a gallon of juice and go hypermiling, I’ve found that it takes just as much concentration – if not more – as going hard on track.

It teaches you to anticipate traffic, prepare early, and be economical with your inputs (just like going fast in many ways). If you do this you’ll be economical with the fuel.

And, thankfully, I’ve found the perfect partner to play out my journey. My Eco 2 Stop & Start Clio makes ‘just’ 90hp from its 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine. So far, it seems more than adequate to punt me from place to place, with even the motorway cruise no trouble, thanks to decent, well-placed torque matched to good gear ratios.

As for the economy, it’s getting stronger and stronger. On a trip up to Newcastle from St Albans a few weeks back I averaged 70.2mpg. A fine result.

MR LT Renault Clio 03

But I’m confident I can get more. 10mpg more. Renault claims 88.3mpg combined officially, so I’m hoping to get within at least 10% of that figure in time as the car loosens up. It’s only just topped 1,500 miles, and I’m a firm believer of engines getting freer with distance.

For now, I’m still very much in the honeymoon period with the Clio. And I haven’t even told you about the slick multimedia interface, its big car gadgets, the comfortable ride or the impressive practicality yet.