Despite the crossover craze, small cars are still very much relevant in Europe and there are a lot of superminis to choose from. Yes, the list will get shorter in 2023 with the shocking demise of the Ford Fiesta, but there will still be a lot of subcompact hatchbacks to buy, including the Renault Clio. A mid-cycle facelift for the B-segment model is in the works and should be out by next summer. This is how we think it's going to look.

Being only a facelift rather than a switch to the next generation, the Clio won't be radically different. We're expecting slimmer but wider headlights with standard LEDs and a slightly sportier front fascia. Our speculative digital exercise portrays the range-topping RS Line since the full-fat RS hot hatch is sadly not coming back. In fact, the French are retiring the Renaultsport badge altogether with a final Megane RS also due in 2023.

2023 Renault Clio rendering by

The biggest piece of the puzzle concerning the 2023 Clio is whether the company with the diamond logo intends to give it a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The mechanically related Captur is offered with a PHEV setup, but the crossover is substantially longer. It remains to be seen whether there are packaging constraints preventing Renault from giving its small hatchback a charging port.

Some automakers have criticised the upcoming Euro 7 regulations by arguing it could kill off many small cars. Updating A- and B-segment vehicles to comply with the stricter legislation will make these models too expensive. The writing is already on the wall for ICE-powered vehicles since Renault has pledged to go purely electric in Europe by the end of the decade.

The facelifted Clio will also serve as the basis for a rebadged Mitsubishi Colt arriving on the Old Continent to mirror the relationship between the Captur and ASX. Further down the line, Renault will introduce the sixth-generation Clio in 2026 and it'll still have combustion engines until the already announced 2030 cutoff.