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Renault sneaks up with budget baby

Put to the test: The Clio Dynamique is in Australia on a trial basis.

Renault springs a surprise with a three-door Clio called Dynamique

14 Jan 2004

RENAULT has unexpectedly launched a cheaper three-door hatch version of its Clio light car.

Called the Dynamique, it is powered by the same 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that currently sees service in the mid-range Clio Privilege five-door hatchback model.

Allied to a five-speed manual-only gearbox, it produces 79kW of power at 5750rpm, while the 148Nm torque peak is turned out at 3750rpm.

Priced at $23,490, the Clio Dynamique undercuts the Privilege by $500 but adds a brake assist system to its anti-lock brakes, sports-style seats and a leather steering wheel. Dual front and side airbags, alloy wheels, foglights and climate control air-conditioning are also featured.

The Clio Dynamique is $10,500 cheaper than its only other three-door stablemate, the 124kW 2.0-litre Clio Sport hot hatch.

According to a Renault spokesman, the cheaper three-door hatchback Clio is here on a trial basis to test the waters before the facelifted Clio range arrives around mid-year.

The Clio makeover will mainly consist of minor specification alterations and a host of new colours and trim.

Renault hopes the Dynamique will muscle in on a tiny niche occupied by the identically priced Peugeot 206 XRS and Holden Barina SRi. It will also engage the $19,990 Toyota Echo Sportivo as well as the upcoming Ford Fiesta Zetec and Citroen C2 VTR.

Failed premium-priced three-door sporty shorties have littered the Australian car market in the past decade.

The Hyundai Getz FX and VW Polo SE three-door have been the most recent models to bail out locally, following the fate of the Seat Ibiza GTI and Nissan Micra Super S.

GoAuto can help you buy a new Clio

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