The Renault Clio may lose out to the Ford Fiesta and the Vauxhall Corsa in the sales charts, but it is still one of the most popular superminis available in the UK, thanks to its eye-catching styling and roomy interior.

Buyers may not have such a baffling array of models to choose from as with rivals from Ford and Vauxhall, but with prices ranging from just over £11,000 to more than £18,000 – and even higher if you opt for the expensive Renaultsport performance model – choosing the best model for your needs could still save you thousands.

The smart choice for those on a budget – 1.2 75 Expression

The entry-level Renault Clio – which weighs in at £11,145 – may lack air conditioning and alloy wheels – but it costs a substantial £1,530 less than the next model in line. If you can do without these extras and have no need for fog lights, the Expression model offers much stronger value and still includes cruise control, Bluetooth and a hill start assist system as standard.

With a 1.2-litre petrol engine under the bonnet this Clio accelerates to 62mph in a lengthy 15.4 seconds, though fuel bills shouldn’t cost you too much with a reasonable claimed economy figure of 51.4mpg. If all you need is a spacious, practical and affordable supermini, this could be all the Clio you need.

The smart choice for value for money – TCe90 ECO Expression +

If you have a slightly larger budget to play with, however, this model – which is available for £13,925 – offers much more sprightly acceleration, along with improved claimed fuel economy and a greater haul of standard equipment. Expression+ trim adds manual air conditioning and 16-inch alloy wheels, along with front fog lights.

However, it is the engine that adds the most value to this model over the cheaper version above. Thanks to a turbocharger this three-cylinder petrol motor powers the Clio to 62mph in a relatively nippy 11.8 seconds, while official fuel economy jumps to 65.7mpg. CO2 emissions are also low enough to warrant free annual car tax, saving buyers £110 every year over the model above.

The smart choice for technophiles – TCe90 Dynamique S Nav

Those after a long list of standard kit will be best served with Dynamique S Nav trim, as this is the only Clio to offer electric rear windows and automatic climate control as standard. Buyers also benefit from an uprated sound system and a touchscreen sat nav system.

Weighing in at £15,675 with Renault’s tCe 90 engine under the bonnet, this petrol Clio is £1,300 cheaper than the dCi 90 diesel model. The petrol car may not be able to match the diesel for claimed fuel economy – with an official figure of 62.7mpg compared to 78.5mpg – but the difference is small enough that the more refined petrol model should offer better value to all buyers other than those who cover many tens of thousands of miles every year. Especially when you take into account that the petrol falls into a lower insurance group too.

Picture: Renault