The retested Clio achieved a very high side impact score with no side airbag and a creditable frontal score. Renault are to be congratulated over very safe child seats and for the decision to fit good child protection warning labels on both sides of both sun visors.
After the first test Renault brought forward design changes to the knee impact area and footwell padding and so were allowed to retest the Clio. The airbags were also of a newer design but these were not designed to improve the performance at this test severity. Marks were lost from high loads on the driver’s chest, despite load limiters being fitted, and also the lower left leg. The front seat belts were fitted with pretensioners which are designed to limit forward movement in the event of a crash. The driver’s left lower leg also received a hard blow giving a high risk of serious injury. The centre rear seat was equipped with a three-point inertia reel belt. However it is possible to misuse this belt by inserting only one of the two tongue plates which are meant to be inserted in to different coloured buckles on the seat base.
The Clio is in the leading group of cars when it comes to giving protection in side impact. A foam block in the door loads the pelvis giving a small risk of injury. There was a high load transferred to the dummy attributed to interaction with the back plate of dummy. The likely effect of this contact is to reduce the load on the ribs in a way that would not occur with a human. Other than this there is only praise for the standard of side impact protection.
Both child restraints were made especially for Renault and these are mounted using special points within the car seats. The 1½ year-old’s seat was rear facing whilst the 3 year-old’s was forward facing. As a rear-facing seat this child restraint was excellent and is as good as any we have tested. However there are difficulties in getting a child into and out of this restraint in a three-door car. The forward facing seat did not fully protect the child’s head in side impact. Whilst the warning labels on the sun visors were very well designed they could be peeled off quite easily. Renault tells us that they are addressing this point for future production.
As with most of the cars in this class that we have tested the pedestrian protection score come mostly from the adult and child impact assessments. However two of the leg impact sites were also graded as giving weak protection.