The Clio has been sold as the Renault Lutecia in Japan, as Honda owns the right to the name Clio in Japan (being one of Honda's sales networks in Japan). A four-door saloon was developed for certain markets where sedans are traditionally preferred over hatchbacks and is sold under names Renault Clio Classic, Renault Clio Symbol, Renault Clio Sedan, Renault Clio Tricorps, and Renault Thalia. It is also sold under the Nissan nameplate in some Latin American markets as the Nissan Platina with slight changes in the front of the car to make it resemble the Nissan Altima.
The Clio was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in June 1990 and sales in France and the rest of the continent began then, although sales in Britain did not begin until March 1991. The Clio largely replaced the Renault 5 (which continued to be built in lower volumes until 1994 in Slovenia as a budget alternative). The engine range available at launch included 1.2L and 1.4L E-type "Energy" petrol I4 engines (first seen in the R19) and 1.7L and a 1.9L diesel (both based on the F-type unit) engines. The petrol engines all received an electronic fuel injection system in place of carburettors in 1992, in order to conform to new pollutant emission regulations.