Supermini Showdown: Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia, and Honda Jazz Go Head-to-Head

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【Summary】The Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia, and Honda Jazz are compared in a supermini group test. The Renault Clio receives a mid-life facelift and features a hybrid powertrain, while the Skoda Fabia lacks a hybrid option but offers good performance. The Honda Jazz is the most expensive of the three but comes well-equipped with a hybrid powertrain. The Renault Clio offers a strong powertrain and chassis, while the Skoda Fabia is comfortable but lacks agility.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 01, 2023 4:29 PM PT
Supermini Showdown: Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia, and Honda Jazz Go Head-to-Head

The supermini class of the new-car market has seen significant progress in terms of refinement, space, and technology. The Renault Clio, a favorite since its release in 2019, has undergone a mid-life facelift, including a hybrid version. To compare its performance, we have lined up the Skoda Fabia and the Honda Jazz as competitors. The Renault Clio E-Tech Esprit Alpine, priced at £24,095, is equipped with a 1.6-litre 4cyl HEV powertrain and offers impressive efficiency and low emissions.

The hybrid powertrain of the Renault Clio is relatively complex, with a 1.6-litre petrol engine connected to two electric motors. The larger motor is primarily responsible for full-electric mode, while the smaller motor assists with starting the engine, gearshifts, and brake regeneration. Renault claims that the hybrid system can run in pure-electric mode for up to 80% of the time in city driving, significantly reducing fuel consumption. The Clio also boasts 15 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and a five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety.

On the road, the Renault Clio offers a strong powertrain and chassis, with smooth blending of petrol and electric power sources. Its light controls make it easy to drive at low speeds, and the electric motors provide sprightly acceleration. While it may not match the Ford Fiesta in terms of handling, the Clio is still an enjoyable supermini to drive. At high speeds, the hybrid system provides a relaxing and stable experience.

The updated Clio features revisions to its styling, trim levels, and equipment. The exterior design includes bold LED lighting, a wider grille, and a Formula One-inspired blade. Inside, the Clio offers a smart and quality interior, with new materials and comfortable sports seats. However, Renault's performance in the Driver Power rankings is not impressive, and some owners reported faults with their cars.

The Skoda Fabia, priced at £25,270, offers a 1.5-litre 4cyl turbo powertrain and a range of optional extras. It features the latest MQB-A0 platform, providing improved refinement and more in-car tech. The Fabia lacks any hybrid technology but offers more performance than its competitors. On the road, the Fabia is comfortable but lacks the agility and fun of the Renault Clio. It excels on motorways with its stability and ride comfort.

The Honda Jazz, priced at £27,915, is the most expensive option but also the best equipped. It features a 1.5-litre 4cyl HEV powertrain, offering different driving modes depending on the road conditions. The Jazz provides a seamless transition between electric and petrol power, although it lacks the performance and handling of the Renault Clio. The interior design of the Jazz is functional but less impressive than its rivals.

Overall, the Renault Clio, Skoda Fabia, and Honda Jazz each have their strengths and weaknesses. The Clio offers a strong hybrid powertrain and enjoyable driving experience, while the Fabia provides good performance and spaciousness. The Jazz excels in terms of equipment and seamless hybrid technology. Buyers will need to consider their priorities and preferences to choose the best option for them.

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