No, your eyes are not deceiving you — this is, in fact, the all-new Renault Clio which, at a first glance, looks more evolutionary than revolutionary.
The French firm will be the first to say the new version of the hatchback inherits visual traits from its predecessor but brings with it a face more in-line with the rest of the manufacturer’s current range of offerings.
A larger grille heads up the car along with new c-shaped LED headlights, while window-mounted rear door handles aim to give the car a sleeker appearance. At the rear, newly-shaped taillights are present along with a longer and thinner brake light at the top of the window.
It may look very similar, but underneath the skin, a raft of changes have been made to make this new Clio more practical, more refined and more luxurious than ever before.
Although shortened by 14mm, the hatch boasts an increased boot capacity — now up to 391 litres from 300 with all seats in place — thanks to a repackaged sound system that no longer encroaches on load space.
The real changes come in the form of an overhauled cabin, though. Two new displays are present — the first, a 9.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screen which plays host to a newly-developed Easy Link system, while traditional dials and gauges in front of the driver have been replaced with a TFT unit. Ranging from seven to 10-inches depending on how the car is specified, this screen is also capable of displaying navigation information.
A segmented dashboard utilises higher quality materials than before and has personalisation options in an effort to give owners more room to express themselves. New seats are designed to improve rear visibility and a give a better sense of space for passengers in the back, while a higher centre console and shorter gear level have been brought in to the package.
There’s also a new range-topping trim level for the Clio — R.S. Line. Capitalising on the Renault Sport brand, this new grade replaces GT-Line in the range and aims to bring a sportier edge to the Clio — much like Ford’s ST-Line and BMW’s M Sport. Full specifications are due to be revealed at a later date, but Renault has said this new trim brings a honeycomb grille, 17-inch wheels and racier interior features.
No word yet on powertrains for the fifth-generation Clio, but expect it to use a range of low-capacity petrol units. Renault has also confirmed a hybrid model will be coming in the future, but did not delve into exact details.
Full UK pricing and specifications are likely to follow the new Renault Clio’s public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, taking place from March 7 to 17.