My time with the chic and savvy Frenchie, Clio

Last month, the lovely team at Soda Communications asked if I would be interested in borrowing a Renault Clio for a couple of weeks to take it for a test spin. A lover of driving but a true city girl who's opted to forgo having a car in Melbourne, I jumped at the chance.

It came at particularly good timing seeing as I'm usually in Paris at this time of year but have also forgone this while I save to buy myself a shoebox apartment in the CBD. Sigh. It certainly helped ease the travel-less burden while driving around in a French car instead, doing as many French-related activities as I possibly could (sorry about all the Instagram love).

But back to the car. The new Renault Clio Expression TCe 120 five seater hatch is a real little pocket rocket. Small in dimension but roomy inside, she's like the Mary Poppins handbag equivalent for cars, making her ideal for both families (includes anchorage points for kiddie seats) or singles and couples. The 1.2L engine is enhanced with a turbo which comes in handy for when you need to pick up speed with the traffic, and pronto.

Keyless ignition, clever Bluetooth phone and audio, satnav, and super easy-to-operate cruise control all make for a happier, easier driving life. Fuel-wise, you can get around 100km out of 6L of standard unleaded petrol which came in use for some of the country driving we did together - in which she handled very well and was comfortable to sit with for a few hours’ worth of bonding. It did feel like 100km/hour was much faster than normal, maybe as she's so close to the ground.

Being such a neat little package, Clio was easy to park for the tighter spots in the city - phew. As she's a European car, you do eventually get used to using the indicator on the left, and window wipers on the right... A fun feature of the test vehicle is the exhaust sound effects you can choose to make it sound like you're actually on a motorbike, in a rally Renault, or in a hovercraft. Like you do.

Available in a range of colours (because, you  know, that's the most important part - after the turbo), you can also personalise your Clio with a selection of internal and external coloured trims, wheel rims and roof decals. Very chic.

Of course, also always important is the number of 'pockets' in a car and useful drink holders. Clio has all of these but they were a little tricky to get to and the drink holders weren't quite super-sized enough for us Aussies.
But now I'm just getting picky.

All in all, the auto Clio Expression TCe 120 1.2L five door hatch is a high quality, compact coupe, perfect for city and country driving and a bit of fun, from just $19,790 (auto).

Alas for me and my impending mortgage doom, it's back to using GoGet car share which, my friends, almost made me cry when I returned to using it last week. Really.

Many thanks to both Renault Australia and Soda Communications for the lend.

Clio, I miss you. 

You can find out more about the Clio and the specs here.