THE new Clio has been awarded a five-star rating following passive tests carried out by EuroNCAP.
This result, which was achieved in spite of a harshening of the independent body’s procedures in January 2012, provides a further illustration of Renault’s passive safety expertise. New Clio’s global score of 85 percent – including the top ratings for child protection, pedestrian protection and safety equipment – even marks an improvement over its predecessor and features among the very best in its segment.
In addition to this formal recognition of its safety credentials, New Clio also delivers reassuring dynamics thanks to its precise, responsive chassis.
A holistic approach for optimal protection of all occupants
Clio III was the first vehicle in its class to claim a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating, which meant that New Clio was compelled to mark a further step forward: Renault consequently took into account the findings of its road accident studies and the real-world behaviour of motorists to develop occupant safety solutions based on an even more holistic, more efficient approach. To guarantee even more effective occupant protection, New Clio’s electronic architecture was designed to ensure that the latest-generation protective systems are triggered even sooner.
Adult occupant protection
In a head-on impact, New Clio’s front occupants are protected by two high-efficiency airbags, as well as by seat belts equipped with pretensioners and load limiters calibrated at 400daN.
At the rear, all seats are equipped with an anti-submarining hump and three three-point seat belts with load limiter.
Meanwhile, Fix4sure technology is a Renault innovation that has been developed to combat submarining (whereby passengers slide beneath their seat belt in a head-on impact). All New Clio’s occupants are protected against this phenomenon thanks to a special hump in each seat cushion, as well as by the low position of the seat belt buckles.
Because the sides of a car benefit from relatively less protection, side impacts are a frequent cause of fatal injuries, but New Clio benefits from specific work that has produced spectacular results to achieve a maximum score of eight points. To respond up to twice as quickly, New Clio features two impact detection sensors (in the front doors and B-pillars). A specific algorithm adjusts the way the new-generation head-thorax airbags are deployed to match the severity of the impact.
Combined with those of the pole and rear impact tests, these results helped New Clio to obtain 32 points from a possible 36 for adult protection, which is one of the best results ever obtained in the small car segment.
New Clio: number one for child protection
Thanks to the overall design of its structure and to the availability of three-point Isofix child seat anchorage for the front passenger seat and outer rear seats, New Clio’s child protection rating figures among the very best in the B segment with a score of 43 points out of a possible 49.
The front end of New Clio was designed to minimise injury to pedestrians. The bumper has no salient edges, while the lower part of the windscreen, which is traditionally very rigid, was designed to reduce the risk of injury in an impact. Meanwhile, the height of the bonnet was raised by 20mm in order to incorporate a crumple zone between the structure and the uppermost parts of the engine. Thanks to a score of 24 points out of 36, New Clio has emerged as the best car in its class in terms of pedestrian protection, too.
Safety in its genes… plus equipment
New Clio is equipped with cruise control and a speed limiter as standard, as well as audible and visual seat belt reminder warnings for all seats, plus ESC. It claimed the maximum score of seven points which, once again, is the best score for its segment in this area.
A pragmatic approach and genuine engagement
Renault’s approach to safety is founded on a detailed study of actual accidents and real world safety with a view to proposing products that correspond with the realities on the road, including the incorporation of safety equipment as standard from the very first equipment level. The priorities consequently focus on the development of the most efficient technologies to a) prevent an accident happening in the first place, b) ensure corrective action can be taken in unexpected situations and c) protect passengers when an impact does occur. Renault’s holistic approach does not boil down to just one equipment feature or technology. Over the years, Renault has emerged as a benchmark for automotive safety and this is mirrored in the results its models have secured in media ratings.
In addition to contributing to driving enjoyment, minimising weight also makes a major contribution to both active safety (shorter stopping distances) and passive safety (less inertia in an impact). New Clio boasts a weight saving up to 100kg across the range and the careful attention paid to this aspect of the car’s design has benefited the programmed crumple zone which absorbs impact energy even more effectively to protect the cabin and all occupants.
When it comes to active safety, the qualities of the chassis, combined with auto-adaptive digitalisation of the vehicle’s dynamics, permit emergency situations to be detected with precision. The ABS and ESC functions, which are both standard, are even more efficient and are triggered at just the right moment to prevent jarring. The emergency brake assist function is incorporated in an electronic control unit/hydraulic unit.
Last but not least, work on ergonomics means that drivers are able to concentrate on the road ahead. For greater comfort, the legibility of instruments has been designed to be particularly clear and graphical.
New Clio also benefits from modern driving aids like advanced navigation, voice commands for certain functions in the case of versions equipped with the R-Link multimedia system, the automation of tasks such as headlight and windscreen wiper activation, plus rear parking sensors and even a reversing camera for certain versions. All versions of New Clio are equipped with Bluetooth® telephony.