October 12th, 2012

Review: 2013 Clio by Renault

The 2013 Renault Clio is the fourth generation of this supermini ride. It is a big news in this segment of really small cars. The model defined what we know today as superminis with the Mk1 and Mk2 Renault Clios embodying fun dynamics, compact proportions, and really chic looks. The Mk3 became a bit bigger and more refined, which is somehow a blander by Renault.

New looks and engines

The car manufacturer knew their mistakes with the third generation Clio so they made sure that the Clio 4 will be able to redefine the brand. The new Renault Clio takes its DNA from the DeZir concept car that was unveiled back in 2010.

Remaining true to the underpinnings of its predecessor, the new Clio is longer, lower, and wider. It is also designed to be more responsive when you drive it. Although bigger, the Clio is lighter than its older sibling by around a hundred kilos. Renault also offers more efficient engine options under the hood of the Clio.
renault-clio-4
Among the new engines is a 0.9L turbocharged gasoline engine and a 1.5L turbodiesel.. The latter is the most efficient engine to be used by the Clio with a mileage of 88.3 miles per gallon and emission of 83 g/km. By next year, it will also have a 1.2L 4-cylinder gas engine that will be linked to a 6-speed gearbox with dual clutch.

Performance

The Clio is much more composed and stable than earlier versions. It is more agile while driving in low speeds. The electric steering also feels a lot better than the Clio 3′s. The steering is pretty responsive and sharp that can be compared to that of the Ford Fiesta.

The ride though falls short when it comes to higher speed driving on motorways where you might feel the bumps of the roads with the ride being bouncy. The dynamic package is there but the 2013 Clio is not as composed on the highway as it is when you ride it around town.

The engine too lacks a bit of refinement and grunt while on high speeds. But of course, what can you expect from these small engines.

July 10th, 2012

Car Review: Megane Sport Tourer GT by Renault

renault-meganeThe Megane Sport Tourer by Renault is a family car that you should be looking at closely. Fans may say that the vehicle does not look so different from the previous one. Although this maybe true, there is something under its hood that makes the difference. This Megane now sports a new engine offered in three variants: 1.6 dCi, 1.5 dCi, and 1.2 TCe.

The new engine gives out 128 bhp and a torque of 236 lb-ft. The fuel mileage of this tourer is also excellent at 70.6 mg with carbon dioxide emissions of 104 g/km.

Initial test drives reveal that the car behaves well on the road and shifts smoothly. The engine works well with the six-speed gearbox and allows to tap into the decent power of the setup. The GT Line has a stiffer chassis. As much as this may sound good for its purpose, remember that this is an estate and behaves like one.

The design of this revised Megane makes it a so-so family vehicle with a good engine under the panels.

The GT line is a good addition to its 3-door and 5-door hatchback versions to give it a different appeal compared to other hatches. The Sport Tourer though may be suffering from compromises that its competitions like the Golf Estate by Volkswagen and Focus estate by Ford don’t suffer from.

The Sport Tourer simply does not have the form to make most of the good engine. The powerplant maybe better off with the Dynamique variant.

The car is also not cheap coming at 22,600 quids .

April 23rd, 2012

Renault Megane 256, Now Out in the Market

renault megane 256The Renault Megane has been a favorite among hutchback cars in the past years, but this year’s 2012 Renault Megane 256 is even better. To start off, it’s priced at a reasonable £24,895. What makes this car really special, though, is the fact that it goes even faster than it used to.

Consumers were already happy with the speed of its predecessor, the Renault Megane 250. Imagine having an extra 14bhp speed and 15 lb/ft of torque to go with it. Some cosmetic upgrades will also be made to the marketed product line. However, as is always the case, the manufacturer is concentrating, now, on the World Cup model of the car.

It is standard for this car to produce about 247bhp just like the Megane 250, but there’s an add-on. You can now press a button on the dashboard to allow your car to go as fast as 261 bhp. Experts who have tried the new car, though, say that the change is hardly noticeable as the older Megane is already super fast, but if you want to feel like a real racer, the speed upgrade might be worthy of the added cost. What you’ll notice is the louder and more powerful sound produced by the car when you press the turbocharger and you reach the peak speed. It’s certainly something to look forward to.

The Cup Model is actually quite impressive because, even at this speed, it stays stable in corners and has an impressive grip. The steering is also quite amazing.

More than being just another powerhouse, the Renault Megane 265 has classy interiors. The stereo has been upgraded, the steering wheel lined with leather, and the pedals finished in white. There is more space in the front seats, too, although the small backseat leg space might  put you off.

January 16th, 2012

Renault pours in $534 million investment for flagship sedan production in Douai factory

We have old folks today who has witnessed the French car market through the 1960s and thru the 1970s, and they become quite nostalgic when they try to recall how the cars looked, sounded, and performed back then. They might have the Citroen DS ruling the road but who can forget about the Renault 16.

The Renault 16 went on production between 1965 and 1980 and was the flagship sedan of the brand during those years. Aside from having a Hemi, the 16 was the a pioneering French car being the first to have the central lock system in the country and also helped the hatchback design to be accessible to the consuming public.

Let’s now go back to the current calendar and you will notice that you cannot tap a vehicle in the Renault garage and call it its flagship sedan. When you look at the list, the last flagship sedan was the Vel Satis which only had a 62,000 unit run and terminated on 2009.

The new general director of the brand, Carlos Tavares, wants to do something and give the brand is new flagship sedan.

The car manufacturing executive recently announced that Renault will be pushing thru with its plan to start production of their flagship sedan come 2014. In order to do this, the carmaker pours in around $534 million of funding to the Douia factory which will need some upgrade and modernization. Aside from the flaghsip sedan, the plant will also be Laguna, a midsize sedan, and the minivan called Espace.

The manufacturer does not want to give out anything about the new flagship sedan but hinted that we can expect a concept version of this vehicle during the motor show in Paris or during the 2013 auto show in Geneva. The Renault executive also hinted that the Alpine brand might be resurrected but a final green light for this project is still being awaited.

October 21st, 2011

Renault reveals more choices for the Twizy electric vehicles

The two-seater ride of Renault, the Twizy, will be offered in three trims after the French carmaker released details about the Colour versions of the electric vehicle.

The Twizy Colour has a sticker price of £6950 ($10,858) while the Twizy Urban variant will come in at £6690 ($10,452) and the top of the line Twizy Technic version will set buyers back by £7,400 ($11,561). In addition to the cost of the Renault Twizzy, consumers will also have to cover for the month battery cost of £40. The cost of the battery hire is computed on a 3 year outlook with the user traveling for 4,500 miles each year.
Renault Twizy
The difference between the Colour  and Urban variants of the Renault Twizy will only be the paintwork on the  body.

The Renault Twizy Colour comes with a stylized varying bodywork while the Urban will come available only in blue, grey, black, or solid red. The top of the line Renault Twizy Technic will come in pearly white or metallic black with nice features like the white seats, some carbon-fiber graphics, and black alloy rims.

The Renault Twizy will be in showrooms for sale by March 2012. The Renault Twizy is just 7.7 feet in length, weighs 992 pounds, and boasts of good acceleration and torque. The Twizy has a torque of 42 pound-feet and can go as fast as 50 miles per hour. So far the Twizzy has been getting good reviews, and aside from comments of a bit of an under steering, thosse who have tried it were most likely convinced that they can use one.

Charging of the Twizy takes around 3.5 hours for a full charge and about three hours of charging for 80% of capacity. Yes, just like your mobile phone, this electric comes with a charger and a cord.

August 8th, 2010

Renault unveils DeZir coupe

p4 Renautl-DeZirThe chief designer of Renault recently revealed  the new bold direction the car manufacturer wants to take as embodied in the upcoming gullwing, mid-engined coupe. The Renault Dezir is set to take the spotlight during the Paris auto show this September. The DeZir is a bit shorter compared to a Megane at 4.2 meters, but 10 centimeters closer to the ground compared to the Audi R8.

The Renault DeZir wil be fitted with an electric motor with lithium ion batteries for back up. This new member of the Renault garage outputs a decent 148bhp and a torque of 167 lb-ft. The car can go from 0 to 62 mph though in a matter of 5 seconds, primarily attributed to its weight of only 830 kilograms. The DeZir designers made use of Kevlar bodywork on tubular frame made of steel to keep the weight of the car down on the scales.

Keep reading →

August 3rd, 2009

Renault’s Megane Estate Wagon set to roll to dealerships this June

Renault revealed some more details about the Estate Wagon which expands the range of their Megane lineup. The Estate Wagon was unveiled during the Geneva Motor Show last March and is set to hit dealerships this June.

The Estate Wagon has a bigger carrying capacity compared to the standard hatch unit of Megane. The wagon also has an extended wheelbase and rear overhang.

The Estate’s front end is identical to the face of the hatchback variant. The designers modified the tail end and side of the wagon so it will look more proportional. The trunk offers a big space of 524L that can be made bigger by as much as 119L when the rear sits are folded down.

Consumers will have a full range of choices when it comes to the engine of the Estate. The wagon is offered both in diesel and petrol variants.

Keep reading →

July 1st, 2009

Renault will Unveil 3 EV Concepts during motor show in Frankfurt

Renault pours its efforts on developing electric vehicle concepts the recent years. In 2008, the French automaker was proud to show the Ondelios Hybrid and the Z.E. electric vehicle concepts. This year, Renault plans to unveil three of its ongoing electric vehicle projects during the motor show in Frankfurt. One of the cars that will catch the spotlight will be a platform for a production model that will be rolling off by 2012.

The details of the electric vehicles were not revealed. Designers of from Renault though guarantee that their EV will be distinct from the range of EV’s emerging in the market today. They will make sure that consumers will know that it is a Renault EV when they see one on the road.

Renault EV Concept

The car manufacturers seem to show some ingenuity with the designs as the different engine and set up give some freedom for a different look which gives emphasis to the environmental aspect of the vehicle.

The Renault EV is said to be around 13 ft in length and will come as a 5-door hatchback. We can expect more details and specs as the Frankfurt show nears. Aside from the new EV, there will also be an electric variant of the Megane, a Renault sedan. Another version of the Kangoo is also set to debut. Both of these EVs will reach dealerships in Europe in a couple of years.

Keep reading →

June 28th, 2009

China questions Renault’s top model imports for safety regulations

China may not be the Mecca of cutting-edge automobile technology; and for several years now, China-made cars have been highly questioned for its safety problems. Thus it is surprising when China made an “about face” and delayed the four Renault MeganeRenault imports and questioned its “serious safety risks” and “non-compliance with regulations”—an amusing news that raised many eyebrows.

The four Renault models that were questioned for their safety risks are the following: Scenic, Megane, Megane Coupe-Cabriolet, and the Laguna. These alleged automobiles belong to Renault’s crème de la crème. According to Automotive News, the decision to halt the import was made by the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ) of China.

The statement from AQSIQ read as follows: “We have repeatedly found batches of passenger vehicles made by the French Renault … do not conform with our country’s mandatory standards and relevant technical regulations, and there are serious safety risks.”

As far as China’s ill record for automobile safety with its locally made Brilliance BS6, Renault’s banned imports can be quite ironic and amusing. However, it is important to note that China is today’s largest market in automobiles, making the Renault ban a painful stab for the French automaker.

At present, the French company has yet to issue a statement. The spokesman for Renault only revealed that they were “surprised” with China’s decision to ban and question, taking into consideration that the banned models’ quality has been tested and evaluated in terms of press reviews and professional driving tests.

June 4th, 2009

Renault launches Clio RS in UK; Roll out to Dealerships by end of June

Renault came up with the new gen of Clio last February Renault Clio RSand had a sport variant when they joined the motorshow in Geneva the following month. The car manufacturer recently unveiled the Clio RS in United Kingdom is due for sale by the end of this month.

The new Clio RS receives some upgrades to perform like its bigger sibling the Megane RS. The treatment was just done to fit the compact image of the vehicle. The fuel mileage of the car was measured at 34.5mpg and CO2 emission recorded at 195g/km.

Under the hood of the Clio RS is a 16 valve 2.0L engine that can output 200 horspower or 149KW and maximum torque of 158 lb-ft. The power ratio is a beat peaky but the engine can still bring the car to 62 mph in just around seven seconds. The top speed of the Clio RS was recorded at 141 mph.

Buyers have two options in terms of the tuning of the chassis. One may go for the Cup version which is about 36kg lighter or the standard release which is a bit heavier than its sporty counterpart but a lot more comfortable.

Keep reading →