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Inspired Clio: Renault's French tartWhenever people ask me for advice regarding the purchase of a new car, I always urge them to set emotions aside and make objective decisions based on their particular needs and the criteria that is important for them in an automobile. And then along comes a car like Renault's fourth-generation Clio and undermines my advice. Suffice to say, after I returned the Clio to the dealership, I wished I'd kept it longer.The first thing that is immediately obvious is that this car was designed to look sensual.Even with the spectacular design upgrade, it took me a while to figure what made it possible for this car to look so radically different than its predecessor, and why the more organic design seems to work so well.Even here the Clio defies preconceptions.This subcompact offers no less than six engine alternatives, starting with the entry-level Authentique, which features a 1.2-liter, 16-valve, 4-cylinder that produces 75 horsepower (starting $13,591 without VAT) and a 0.9-liter 3-cylinder turbo that produces 90 ponies ($14,000 w/o VAT), followed by the Expression packages which include a 0.9 liter turbo ($15,727 w/o VAT) and a 1.2 liter 4-cylinder turbo that produces 120 horsepower (18,136 w/o VAT). Fortunately it's not a major issue considering this car wasn't designed to be driven at breakneck speeds.
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