Renault Clio X-Tronic on test

Compact and cheap is a must for you? And automatic transmission? So how about this French guy? Test.

It's no longer a secret that the VW Polo, Opel Corsa or Renault's Clio are still considered small cars, but no longer mean doing without. After all, they're not that small anymore, and the selection of extras is hardly any smaller than in larger cars.

If you like it particularly convenient, however, you have to realize that the desire for an automatic transmission often drives up the price disproportionately. Why? In the case of price-sensitive small cars, automatic variants are often only available with more powerful engines and higher equipment lines. According to the motto: If you pay money for a complex transmission, you don't want to save on performance and extras either.

Acceptable barrier to entry

Renault sees it a little differently. Although there is only an automatic from the equipment line Evolution (1,350 euros), but for the three-cylinder turbo with 91 hp. This means that the Clio TCe 90 X-Tronic costs at least 21,850 euros - but in the Corsa there is no automatic switching until 24,540 euros.

A continuously variable CVT transmission takes care of the power transmission. Manual intervention using a separate shift gate on the selector lever or rockers on the steering wheel is not possible, especially since the transmission does not simulate any virtual gears during operation. What's the point, the drive reacts quite spontaneously to the accelerator pedal, which can still be influenced somewhat via the three driving modes Eco, Normal and Sport. Situations in which the three-cylinder howls loudly, remains at high revs and the speed only increases with a noticeable delay - the notorious rubber band effect of earlier CVT transmissions - are limited to full throttle from low speeds. Otherwise, the CVT changes the translation so skilfully and quickly that its stepless operation is hardly irritating and the three-cylinder purrs unobtrusively in the background.

In everyday life, a real gain in terms of comfort, just like the chassis. Without excessive rocking or rolling, the Clio springs surprisingly smoothly on bumpy roads, only the road noise and transverse joints reduce the overall good impression.

Increased consumption

Downsides? Few. The non-ideal seating position, moderately padded seats, the occasional delayed start-stop. And the increased consumption: at 6.9 l/100 km, it is a good half a liter higher than the version with manual transmission. A little more renunciation would be appropriate here.


Renault Clio and X-Tronic - this brings a noticeable increase in comfort in everyday life without any significant negative side effects. extra charge? Acceptable. Consumption? A little too high.


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