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Symbol of Renault

Everything old is new again: The 'new' Clio II-based Renault Symbol.

Renault launches a rebodied Clio II-based sedan for developing markets, not for Oz

21 Aug 2008

RENAULT’S old-model Clio is far from dead, as this rebodied sedan version to be officially unveiled at the Moscow motor show next week reveals.

Based on the Clio II sedan that was never sold in Australia, the Symbol (or Thalia, as it is known in some countries) gains completely new sheetmetal to bring the decade-old design more up-to-date.

There are also changes to the dashboard and interior trim to give the small sedan a more contemporary look and feel inside.

Designed at Renault’s Technocentre engineering facility in France, the Symbol/Thalia boasts a Nissan Tiida-like nose, a prominent waistline and a six-light profile, bringing the four-door sedan in line with some other Renault and Dacia products that it shares showroom space with in various markets around the world.

It is 4.26 metres in length, 1.43m high, can sit five people in reasonable comfort and features a massive boot.

Driving the front wheels is a range of 1.4-litre petrol and 1.5-litre dCi turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine choices.

35 center imageRenault positions the Symbol/Thalia just above the larger Dacia Logan – a modern-bodied four-door range that is built on the 1980s Renault 19 platform, which is itself derived from the 1981 Renault 9/11 series.

Devised primarily for Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Central and South America, where buyers prefer the three-box sedan style to a two-box hatch, the Symbol/Thalia is manufactured in several locations.

Interestingly, it is built alongside the latest Clio III in Bursa, Turkey, along with the current X84 Megane sedan that is currently the least-expensive Renault that Australians can buy.

Brazil is another Symbol/Thalia production site, fulfilling Renault’s South American ambitions, while CKD (completely knocked-down) vehicles are assembled in Mexico as the Nissan Platina.

However, with Renault in Australia committed to positioning the French brand as a semi-prestigious player, there is no chance of the Symbol/Thalia being imported here. The same is also true for Dacia.

Since 2001, over half a million Symbol and Thalia sedans have been sold worldwide.

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