Renault Brazil is continuing with the old Clio model but with a facelift inspired by the redesign launched at the Paris motor show. It is called New Clio rather than the Clio Mio used in Argentina where it is built.

The updated, 79bhp one-litre engine, ethanol-compatible of course, is the reason the compact hatch gets the top rating in the Brazil Vehicular Labelling Programme.

A 9% improvement over the previous version resulted in 10.5/7.0 l/100km in the city and 9.3/6.3l/100km on the motorway (ethanol/petrol). That’s 26.8/40.4mpg and 30.2/44.6mpg and it edges out the previous champion – the Fiat [Uno] Mille Economy. 

Apart from a new nose, other changes include the instrument cluster and upholstery. Retail price – very sensitive in this segment – was slashed by R$700/US$335 on average and now starts at R$23,290/$11,100 (two-door) and reaches R$28,550/US$13,600 (four-door, air-conditioning and power steering).

There’s no height adjustment for seats, belt or steering wheel, or roof grab handles, but onboard computer ABS and airbags are standard, unlike its competitors.