Renault is preparing to launch a small crossover based on the next Clio city car, aiming to woo buyers away from the Ford Fiesta Active, Hyundai i20 Active and other similar small high-riders. What’s a bit strange is that the French automaker already has just such a vehicle in its range, called the Captur, but apparently, this one is going to be placed under it in the model lineup.

We also don’t yet know what Renault wants to call this new model, whether it will use the Clio SUV or a completely new name. One thing’s certain - it won’t be merely a Clio with extra ground clearance and body cladding; its body is taller and looks different compared to the fifth-gen Clio we’ve seen in another batch of spy photos.

Exterior

2019 Renault Clio SUV
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Clearly taller than the recently spied next-gen Clio, this Clio-based crossover, whose name we don’t know yet, features the same family face, albeit a friendlier, less aggressive version of it.

It has different shaped headlights compared to the Clio, and its bumper is considerably taller too.

From the side, it definitely looks like a crossover/mini-SUV, albeit one with a trendy coupe aesthetic to it - notice the sloping rear window which helps the upright rear end look considerably sportier. It also comes with roof rails to emphasize its ruggedness, fairly large side windows, although its ground clearance doesn’t look that impressive (at least in these shots).

Interior

2017 Renault Clio High Resolution Interior
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We didn’t receive any actual shots of the interior from our spies, but we can speculate it’s going to be very similar to the one in the new Clio, featuring the portrait-style infotainment screen from the Megane and maybe even a digital gauge cluster too. It is believed the Clio-based crossover and the new Clio will feature semi-autonomous driving tech.

Drivetrain

2019 Renault Clio SUV
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This Clio-based crossover will share its engine range with the Clio. Expect power to come from a selection of small-displacement turbo units with three and four cylinders. It is believed that Renault will replace the 0.9-liter TCe unit with a larger and slightly more powerful 1.0-liter that has better stats in all areas: performance, efficiency, and emissions.

Top of the range models may use a newly developed 1.3-liter turbo which Renault will share with Mercedes.

Diesel engines will still probably be offered too, but don’t expect an all-wheel-drive version, though, even as an option on a high trim level model, as the Clio platform doesn’t really accommodate for that. Mild-hybrid versions are pretty much a sure thing, though, and actual hybrids or plug-in hybrids could be added to the range sometime after launch.

Prices

2019 Renault Clio SUV
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Since it will be based on a Clio, but feature a more desirable and trendy crossover body, this Clio-based crossover will be a few thousand euros more expensive, though still not by a huge margin as it will otherwise encroach upon the next Captur (which will still have to grow in size in order to make room below it in the range) - no Captur spy photos yet, other than those showing the BMW X6-like coupe version which already looks like it has a considerably larger wheelbase.

Competition

Ford Fiesta Active

2018 Ford Fiesta Active
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Ford has added several versions to its core models some of which are considerably more different than just mere trims - the Fiesta Active adds unique visual touches over the regular model, it is taller and ever so slightly more capable off-road. It has different fog lamps, plastic body cladding, unique 17-inch rims, and “Active” badges to set it apart from other versions and to justify its higher price tag.

The Fiesta (any version of it) is renowned for its great driving dynamics, and even the taller and slightly less agile Active is still better than most, plus it has all the latest tech too.

Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Fiesta Active.

Hyundai i20 Active

2016 Hyundai i20 Active High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Hyundai has an Active-branded high-riding version of a city car too: the i20 Active arrived on the market way before the Fiesta Active, but it uses the exact same formula as the Ford: extra ride height, plastic body cladding and specific badging for differentiation. It doesn’t drive as well as the Fiesta, but it’s really not bad at all, and it’s actually a very good choice in its segment.

It also comes with unrivaled warranty and time has proven it’s actually quite a dependable, reliable little runabout.

Read our full review on the 2016 Hyundai i20 Active

Conclusion

2019 Renault Clio SUV
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With this new Clio crossover, Renault is probably going to reshuffle the petite end of its crossover lineup (mainly by increasing the size of the Captur and moving it slightly upmarket) in order to make room. This new model will carry all the traits of the upcoming Clio, but in a more rugged looking package with slightly more off-road capability.

It could be a hit if it proves good enough to drive, looks good, and has enough breadth to its range of customization options. Renault could spice it up by adding a sportier GT version of it to the range, and, why not, maybe an RS too since rivals are already making properly hot versions of their small crossovers already - a SEAT Arona Cupra is slated to be launched in 2020 or 2021, while Skoda has already launched a warm Karoq Sportline with up to 190 horsepower and is about to debut an RS version.

  • Leave it
    • No all-wheel drive

Further reading

2017 Renault Clio High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 Renault Clio.

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