Best light car under $25,000

Renault Clio TCe 120 Expression

The last time Renault won an Australia’s Best Cars award was in 2002, in the then named Small Car category, with its Clio Expression. This year, it was the new, 1.2-litre Clio Expression TCe120 that wowed the judges with a combination of performance, standard features and value for money, beating some big name and popular brands in the process.

A standout is the car’s ability to interact with its driver and passengers via an easy to navigate, 18cm (7-inch) touch screen display, mounted within easy reach. The screen connects the user to the hands-free Bluetooth and audio streaming functions, as well as a media navigation system supported by a dedicated web interface to make it easy to update mapping information – a coup for vehicles in this category.

On-road is where the Clio also shines, with surprising flexibility and performance from the willing 1.2-litre engine and six-speed auto. Its handling, poise and ride, for a vehicle in this price range, are exceptional.

Individuality is assured with the Clio able to be customised with roof graphics, exterior door mirror covers, rear panel skirting and grille bars. The interior can also be changed with different coloured door panels and upholstery fabric. 

View scoresheet​

Australia's Best Cars best light car under $25,000 Renault Clio TCe 120 Expression

Indicative Drive Away Price: $22,772

Criteria out of 10 - Renault Clio TCe120 Expression

Value for Money   Rating 
Pricing  5C
Depreciation  6M
Running Costs  9H
Fuel Consumption   9C
Warranty and dealer access   7H
Insurance  5L
Standard Features  8H

Design and Function   Rating 
Safety       6C
Environment  10C
Comfort  9M
Space  6L
Practicality  6M
Ergonomics  8M
Build and Finish  8H

On the Road   Rating 
Performance  8M
Ride  9M
Handling  9M
Braking  8H
Smoothness and Quietness   9L

Note: Level of weighting importance for each score: L = Low, M = Medium, H = High, C = Critical.