Renault Clio

What is the purpose of an advert?

If it’s to make people want the product in question the new Renault Clio campaign has failed miserably for me.

The story of two girls who fall in love with each other before driving off into a future together does nothing for me.

Is that because I’m a miserable grumpy old git?

A lot of people would shout “yes, definitely” at that, but actually I consider myself a jolly sort of a chap whose cup is never half empty, but always half full.

Hmm? So is it because I’m a miserable old misogynist who hates women?

No. Far from it. I’ve been married three times and I’ve got three kids who all call me dad, even if only one of them is strictly correct.

So it’s because I’m a miserable grumpy old git who hates lesbians, homosexuals and anything, for that matter, that contradicts what people see as normality? No, far from it.

Blimey, people don’t “choose to be homosexual” as Homer Simpson often says.

Sorry, but you have to accept the way you’re born and treasure it.

Do the best and be happy. Simple as that.

No, the reason I don’t like the Clio advert is that too many people are taking themselves too seriously, and I don’t like that.

“Get over yourself,” is something I often find myself tempted to say.

There’s nothing wildly odd about people being attracted to the same sex, but why shout about it?

And why put it in an advert for a Renault Clio, of all things?

My golf buddy Maurice laughed at me “gayly driving along in my Clio” and blew me kisses in the club car park.

He was, of course, joking and he thought it was funny.

So, for that matter did I, but so many people are so incapable of “getting over themselves” that they’ll be genuinely outraged at such light-hearted teasing.

God! Get a life, I say, because if everything is so serious that you can’t find anything funny then you, genuinely, are the miserable old git. Not me.

One thing is for sure. I bet the person who came up with Renault’s ridiculous Clio advert takes life seriously.

You could only make an advert like that without laughing at it if you really are a miserable old git.

To be honest, I actually found it quite amusing that the car chosen to attract two gay women was a Clio, because, apart from the Fiat 500 it has to be the most girlie car in creation.

The first thing to hit me about it, apart from its colour, which was ironically blue, was its looks.

This chic, Parisien, ladies’ darling of a car has become far more than just cute.

It’s now extremely elegant.

A scooped three-part bonnet, raised rear wheel arches, flowing sides, plus a mix of matt black and silver trim make it more like the sort of thing you’d expect to see on a catwalk, rather than the road.

Top spec models, like the sporty R.S. Line TCe 130 auto that I drove, feature a mass of hi-tech kit, including a dashboard-dominating 9.3 inch vertical sat-nav/radio screen, along with racy red and grey trim with contrast stitching, plus aluminium pedals to complete the sporty look.

Some of the stuff is hard to work out, such as why what looked like a phone charging tray kept saying it wouldn’t work with metal parts in it, but the Clio has come a hell of a lot further down the advert line from Papa and Nicole in the 90s.

It’s practical, too, with a metre wide (39in) boot that’s 71cm (28in) deep boot that makes it easily big enough three holiday cases (four at a push) but, more realistically, a month’s shopping.

Underneath it there’s a proper boot space for a spare wheel (£200) which makes life a lot less worrying than driving around knowing that if a pothole rips your tyre walls (and they do) you’re stuck with a useless blow and go kit.

Rear leg room is big enough for adults, never mind children and if you fold down the back seats you’re left with a 137cm (54in) space for big stuff like (in my case) a golf bag and electric trolley.

One of the most surprising things about the 130hp version of the Clio is its ability to take you unwittingly into illegal land without you knowing.

Fair enough, there’s an unnecessary amount of road rumble, but it really lives up to its sporting looks when you push it.

Quick from the lights, great handling and a highly fuel efficient cruiser, I got 45mpg from the Clio without showing it any respect whatsoever.

Oh, and talking about respect I think I know why Renault got two girls to advertise it rather than two men.

Wherever women go, you’ll find a handbag, and in the case of the Clio, with its keyless entry and start, it recognised the approach of its “key”, opened the doors for you then locked the car when you walked away.

That means women can just put the key in their handbag and forget about it.

Most men, though, don’t walk around with handbags.

Explanation solved.



Renault Clio R.S. Line TCe 130 EDC auto.

REAR MIRROR MONSTER: Smart rather than scary, with huge stripey U-shaped headlights that show no sign of the three LED bulbs that are in there until they light up at night. Neat job.

BACKSIDE BEAUTY: Slopes downwards towards elegant lights that cut in from the sides to a hatchback that seems to be crammed in by a massive plastic boot that’s actually two feet deep. Unlike the rest of the car it’s practical, not pretty.

PLAYTIME PLEASER: Touchscreen 9.3-inch MMI with sat nav, climate control, cruise control with speed limiter, rear parking sensors, trip computer, four electric windows (one touch for driver), keyless entry, start and locking, 17in diamond cut 10-spoke alloys, DAB and FM sound system with Bluetooth, twin USB, Aux, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


NAUGHTY NIGGLES: Rear seats don’t fold completely flat, leaving a 13cm (5in) ledge to get in the way.

TASTY TOUCHES: Pay the £200 for a full size spare wheel and say goodbye to worrying about getting a flat.

FAST OR LAST: Surprisingly fast and quiet when pushed, it makes an excellent M-way cruiser.

WONGA WONDA: Bigger than you’d expect and with a seven speed auto box for a shade more than £20k. Good value.

WOULD CHANTELLE LIKE IT? She’d love the car, but don’t expect her to like its advert image.

Fact File here: