Repeat buyers will take a while to come to terms with the Clio’s cabin. There’s an incongruous awkwardness to finding your fingertips on paddle shifters and left foot dangling in the space where a clutch pedal ought to be.
Renault would have done well to eliminate the stick shift entirely. Shunting a cheap-feeling lever between letters is a guaranteed way of yearning for a manual ’box right out of the gate.
As in the standard model, nothing about the surroundings is overtly pleasant to touch – unsurprising, since it shares the same basic architecture – although one would have thought that greater attention might have been paid to differentiating items like the column-mounted paddles, which are too flimsy to squeeze with any real satisfaction.
Give it time, though, and the Clio proves habitable enough, especially for passengers. Make what you will of the styling impact, but no one destined for the rear bench will miss clambering across the front seats.
Five is better than three when it comes to doors, just as bigger is better when it comes to legroom, and the RS now has more of that. Enthusiastic drivers will find themselves sitting a little high (not unusual for the class) but the standard sports seats comfort and cradle in about the right amounts.