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The New Renault Clio Estate

Flowing, dynamic lines

Renault Clio Estate is one of the most compact estate cars on the market; just 4,202mm long. It has the same wheelbase as the hatchback (2,575mm), with a rear overhang that is 216mm longer. Vitality and driving pleasure are expressed through coherent styling features such as the inclined tailgate, extended glazed surface and third side window. Yet the neat rear window design, tailgate, aerodynamic roof trim and profiled roof rails (in black or chrome finish, depending on version) declare the car's allegiance to the leisure vehicle clan. Tinted windows are available as an option. The front end expresses the agility, power and status common to the entire Clio III range, an aspect that can be further enhanced by choosing the optional 15-inch or 16-inch alloy wheels.

Welcoming interior

As is the case with the hatchback, driver and passengers enjoy a smart, comfortable interior inspired by the Touch Design concept, with a sensation of warmth and refinement rarely found in this category of vehicle. The dashboard and central console are shaped in smooth, attractive curves. The "squash-ball" air vent controls are soft to the touch and very easy to use. Under the dashboard cowl the instruments are clear and legible. The separate sound system display is neatly designed as an integral part of the dashboard. The impression of space and comfort is further enhanced by an electric panoramic sunroof, bringing all the pleasures of open-air motoring. The generously sized sunroof (1.29m long by 0.86m wide) is made up of two flush panels, an opening panel at the front and a fixed one at the rear. The opening panel is operated by a one-touch rotary control, and there's an automatic anti-pinch function.

Big-car loading capacity

With its long rear overhang of 822mm (216mm longer than on the hatchback), Renault Clio Estate has one of the largest boots in its category: 439dm3 (under shelf, without removable flap) which is more than 50% bigger (151dm3) than Clio III hatchback. The asymmetrical split-fold rear seats free up additional loading space up to 1,277dm3 (up to ceiling; 239dm3 more than the hatchback). With the smallest rear seat section folded down, Renault Clio Estate can carry four people plus leisure equipment up to 1,450mm long.

Practical removable floor flap

Boot access is exemplary, owing to the shape of the rear bumper and the very low sill height (581mm), with no protuberances. With its removable floor flap, the boot adapts readily to different uses. When fully folded out it forms a flat surface ideal for loading heavy or bulky items.

The rear seats can be folded down without having to remove the headrests; you just fold the seat bottom then the seat back. Renault Clio Estate also solves the annoying problem of what to do with the rear shelf when you remove it: on Renault Clio Estate, there's a special compartment for it under the removable boot flap, so you don't have to take it out and store it in the garage. With the shelf in place, this compartment can be used for items such as maps or umbrellas. By removing the removable flat floor flap, the boot capacity can be increased by a further 72dm3. With a loading width of one metre between the rear lamp units, the boot easily accommodates all types of luggage and equipment.

For safe use of full loading capacity up to the ceiling, an optional luggage restraint net can be fitted either behind the rear seat or behind the front seats (with the rear seats folded down).

The boot is fully carpeted and can be fitted with a range of accessories:

  • Luggage net in boot bottom
  • Protective mat
  • Wrap-around net, positioned vertically
  • Boot box with compartments
  • Strap for holding down bulky items (drums, etc.)

A benchmark in interior space

Like Clio III hatchback, Renault Clio Estate has the highest overall interior space index in the B segment. Shoulder width is 1,380mm for the front seats and 1,343mm for the rear. And the impression of space is further enhanced by the generous headroom. Vertical reach in the rear seats measures 866mm, while knee-room is a generous 162mm, which means Renault Clio Estate can comfortably seat people up to 1.88m tall (a category that covers 95% of the European population).

Priority to driver and passenger comfort

The Clio III range gives priority attention to driver and passenger comfort. Cockpit ergonomics are among the best in this vehicle category, with features such as a heightadjustable steering wheel (plus reach adjustment on certain versions). Models with the automated manual transmission (available with the 85hp 1.5 dCi engine) also feature ergonomic shift paddles behind the steering wheel. The seats achieve an excellent tradeoff between comfort and support. The seat adjustment controls are located for convenient, intuitive access. And the adjustable seat height means that drivers of all shapes and sizes are sure to find an optimally comfortable driving position. Rear-seat passengers also enjoy a superbly comfortable ride, with specially shaped seats and optimized foam density ensuring very good lateral support. The rear bench is available in one-piece and asymmetrical split-fold versions.

Effective soundproofing

Vehicle acoustics on Renault Clio Estate (in common with the Clio III range as a whole) are way ahead of the norm for this vehicle category. Body structure soundproofing effectively filters out engine, transmission and road noise. Engine rumble and low-rev boom are reduced by the use of spring-mounted tailgate stops. By reducing engine revs under classic driving conditions (on a motorway, for example), the six-speed gearbox (available with the 105hp 1.5 dCi engine) also makes a significant contribution to acoustic comfort. Considerable attention was paid to acoustic insulation between the engine and cabin and to minimizing wind noise, including inflatable inserts in body cavities.

Driving pleasure and fuel economy

Renault Clio Estate's running gear is derived from that used on Clio III hatchback which was widely acclaimed for its comfort and efficacy. All models in the Clio III range are built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance's B platform, renowned for its reassuring handling and roadholding. Renault Clio Estate offers an ideal trade-off between driving pleasure, performance and fuel economy, and is available with a choice of three petrol engines (75/80hp 1.2 16V, 100hp TCE and 110hp 1.6 16V) and three diesel engines (70hp, 85hp and 105hp 1.5 dCi). Comfort and acoustics on Renault Clio Estate are remarkable for a car in this category. Renault's new estate car is ecological as well as economical, especially in the versions powered by the 100hp TCE petrol engine or the 1.5 dCi diesels.

Inherent tourer qualities

Like Clio III hatchback, Renault Clio Estate achieves an exemplary combination of precise handling, ride comfort and safety. In designing Clio Estate, Renault engineers went to great lengths to meet the most demanding motorists' expectations for safe, consistent, pleasurable driving response, even with the vehicle heavily loaded or at high speed. The suspension damping on Clio III hatchback was specially adjusted for Renault Clio Estate which combines high-precision steering with excellent filtration of vibrations and noise. The MacPherson-type front suspension features a rectangular lower arm and effectively decouples longitudinal and transverse forces to achieve superb roadholding and comfort. The rear suspension is based on a programmed-deflection torsion-beam plus coil springs. For enhanced control of body-roll, Renault Clio Estate's anti-roll bar is thicker (21mm) than that of Clio III hatchback, while the dampers and wheel travel have been adjusted to the heavier vehicle weight. Renault Clio Estate has variable-assistance electric power steering as standard, with all the control units and software found on the hatchback specially calibrated for crisp, smooth steering. The between-kerbs turning circle is the same as with Clio III hatchback (10.3m to 11.3m, depending on engine and wheel size). Renault Clio Estate is available with two wheel sizes: 15-inch wheels in two widths (165mm and 185mm) and 16-inch wheels (195mm).

Modern, efficient powertrains

Renault Clio Estate's dynamic performance is exploited by a wide range of engines and gearboxes. Depending on the country, there is a choice of three Euro 4-compliant 16- valve petrol engines - the 75/85hp (55/57.5kW) 1.2 16V, the 100hp (74kW) TCE and the 110hp (82kW) 1.6 16V - which all feature on-board diagnostics to monitor pollution control efficacy over time. There are also three Euro 4 diesel 1.5 dCi engines which deliver 70hp (50kW), 85hp (63kW) and 105hp (78kW) respectively.

Safety in its genes

Clio III hatchback obtained the top five-star rating in the crash tests performed by the independent testing organization EuroNCAP in June 2005. Renault Clio Estate was developed on the same platform and enjoys the full benefit of Renault's knowhow in the realm of vehicle safety. Excellent active safety is achieved by the advanced suspension. And the car comes with Renault's third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3) along with a wealth of equipment for enhanced comfort and safety, such as a tyre pressure monitoring system and cruise control with speed limiter.

Active safety

Like Clio III hatchback, Renault Clio Estate is easy to drive, with precise, neutral response. The chassis and suspension have been designed for consistent response with very low sensitivity to the type of road surface, crosswind conditions, braking and acceleration. The 21mm diameter anti-roll bars perform effective roll control. Braking is powerful and precise whether fitted with four disc brakes (1.6 16V and 105hp 1.5 dCi models) or front discs and rear drums (other versions). Brake discs are generously sized (diameter 260mm at front, 240mm rear; thickness 22mm at front, 8mm rear). Renault Clio Estate has all the latest driver aids featured on Clio III hatchback. Standard equipment includes latest-generation Bosch 8.0 ABS with electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assist. Then there's ESP with understeer control. For pullaway, traction control can be switched in from the ESP disable control, after which ESP will switch back on automatically when the vehicle speed reaches 50kph, or the next time the engine is started. A drag torque control function prevents locking of the drive wheels if the throttle pedal lifts too suddenly or if the car decelerates sharply on a slippery road surface.

Passive safety: uncompromising protection for all passengers

Clio III hatchback earned a top five-star rating in the crash tests performed by the independent testing organization EuroNCAP in June 2005. Renault Clio Estate is built on the same platform and fitted with Renault's third-generation System for Restraint and Protection (SRP3), for optimum protection of vehicle occupants wherever they are sitting. The car's structure is made of steels and other materials that absorb and spread impact energy as efficiently as possible. Outer body parts at the front, side and rear are designed to crumple progressively under collision, minimizing the consequences of the impact on occupants. The cabin, on the contrary, is designed to be as rigid as possible in order to serve as a survival cell, resisting intrusion of any parts from the engine compartment.

The front seatbelts on Renault Clio Estate are fitted with pyrotechnic pretensioners for optimum body support under collision conditions. Internal load limiters calibrated at 400daN minimize the risk of thorax injury. A second pretensioner controls the tension on the lap belt to hold the occupant firmly against the seat for effective pelvis protection and prevention of the phenomenon known as submarining.

Depending on version, Renault Clio Estate comes with up to six airbags: two high-efficiency adaptive front airbags with controlled venting, and four side airbags. Protection under frontal impact is further enhanced by other features such as the crumple magnesium steering wheel frame and the passive-retraction steering column, which reduces the distance between driver and steering wheel.

The outermost rear seats have internal load limiters and pyrotechnic reels (standard or optional, depending on version) and all three rear seats have anti-submarining humps in the cushion. The rigid seatbelt buckles are vertically positioned.

This post first appeared on Addicted To Cars, please read the originial post: here

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The New Renault Clio Estate


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