Sep 14 2009 Peter Hayward
Renault's family holdall
THE Renault Modus is basically a larger Clio estate, so it has all that car's excellent suspension, steering and engines.
It's practical and smooth, refined and nippy and it comes in both normal and long wheelbase versions to give more space.
There are smooth 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 petrol engines, with power ranging from 75 to 113bhp and there are also four versions of the same, very smooth and quiet 1.5 DCi turbo diesel with power ranging from 65 to 86bhp.
With the windows closed, this diesel is almost inaudible - just as quiet as most petrol powered units - but as with the 1.2, there are times when more power would be useful.
Performance is fair in the lower powered cars and good in all the others, and the Modus handles superbly, taking fast corners much quicker than any MPV should be able to. It is also one of the safest cars in its class.
This is a car built for families, with storage everywhere and in top spec, all the equipment you could wish. It has comfortable seats, a very good driving position, and an excellent ride over all surfaces.
Renault Modus 1.4 petrol.
Price: Pay about £4,000 for an '04 54-reg Expression, £5,100 for an '05 55-reg Dynamique, or £7,500 for an '07 07-reg Privilege.
Mechanical: 98bhp, 1390cc, 4 cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 110mph
0-62mph: 11 seconds.
Combined mpg: 42
Insurance group: 3
CO2 emissions: 160 g/km
Main Rivals: Vauxhall Meriva, Skoda Fabia Estate.