I’m a car expert – this is why the Renault Clio should be everyone’s first car

Passing your test is an exhilarating moment. After months of study and examination, you are finally allowed on the roads by yourself.

The first drive with zero company beside you is both thrilling and slightly scary. My first time was driving to a local shop to buy some milk and I remember the thrill of finally flying solo.

However, once you’ve passed your test the next step is to find a car, easier said than done when you’re 17 and premiums are sky high.

As a result, most young drivers believe they are limited to cars with small engines, even smaller power reserves, and not much in the way of fun.

This isn’t the case, as I discovered with 2012 Renault Clio Dynamique which had a small engine, no power, but several reasons why it made a perfect first car.

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It was easy to see out of

I’d wanted to drive since I was about eight years old. I counted down the years until the day I could legally do my test.

Despite this, when it came to choosing a first car, I was quite nervous and was worried about getting in everyone’s way.

What was great about the Renault Clio, later named Furry in honour of the Brad Pitt film Fury, it had great visibility out of the front of the car, making it easy to manoeuvre through London’s busy streets.

Furthermore, the Clio wasn’t just able when it came to busy streets, when life got busy, the Clio was adept there too.

It was practical

The little Clio has a high rear end and a wide boot aperture. What this means is that it’s easy to get big things in and out of it.

The car was so capacious and the boot aperture so square that it had more carrying capacity than some SUVs at the time.

This was perfect at the time as a year later, I travelled to the seaside town of Penryn to study and when I left it took all my things in one go.

With Cornwall, in mind, and the mammoth journey time between London and Cornwall, the car had other tricks up its sleeve.

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It was great on long journeys

Two of the most important elements of choosing a car for a new driver is that it must be comfortable and easy to drive.

With soft suspension and light controls, the Clio had these in spades. Despite its 1.2 litre engine, it was an able motorway cruiser with impressive economy for the engine’s diminutive size.

It was a friend

This sounds weird, but for those who are into cars or who are passionate about them, there is something about cars that endears you to them occasionally.

During Top Gear’s Africa Special: Jeremy Clarkson once described a BMW 5 series estate as “a mate”. He explained: “That’s what makes a car special, that’s what makes a car great, you start to think of it as a person.”

What made the Clio special

On Cornwall’s twisting roads, en route to a racetrack or to France with friends, it was another member of the crew, another person on the adventure.

This isn’t to say everyone will have the same experience, not everyone will think as fondly about their first car as I do mine.

And this isn’t to say the Clio was faultless either, but it was what you need in a first car.

It was practical, economical, easy to drive, reliable, and fun.

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