Road Tests

Handbook: Renault Twingo

Time 7 years ago

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 18.20.19Is the radical rear-engined Twingo sassy enough to win the hearts of style-focused city car buyers?

WHAT IS IT?

The Renault Twingo is a quirky city car, which offers a hearty dose of practicality on the inside along with funky styling on the outside. This new model definitely shares the original Twingo’s sense of fun, but where the 2014 car really differs is when it comes to what is – or rather what isn’t – under the bonnet; Renault has shifted the engine from under the bonnet to underneath the boot floor and, unusually for a city car, it’s the rear wheels that are powered.


WHAT’S UNDER THE BONNET?

Buyers can choose from two three- cylinder engines – a 1.0-litre with 69bhp and an 89bhp turbocharged 0.9-litre. The 1.0-litre takes 14.3 seconds to reach 60mph and returns 62.8mpg and 105g/km of CO2. The 1.0 ‘Stop & Start’ sees economy climb to 67.3mpg and CO2 drop to 95g/ km. The 0.9-litre engine, however, requires just 10.8 seconds to sprint to 62mph, although economy is strong at 65.7mpg. CO2 emissions stand at 99g per km. Expect buyers to need help locating the engine; it’s hidden below a metal lid under the carpet in the boot.

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 18.15.13WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE?

Renault has stuffed the Twingo with lots of standard equipment, even in entry-level Expression trim at £9,495. Bluetooth, a digital radio, four airbags and a hill start assist system are standard on all models, as is remote central locking, a speed limiter and split folding rear seats. For a £500 premium buyers can opt for Play specification, which adds driver’s seat height adjustment, manual air conditioning and different wheel trims for the steel wheels.


Dynamique costs an additional £1,000 and gives customers cruise control, front fog lights and a lane departure warning. Other additions include 15-inch alloy wheels, electric heated wing mirrors, a leather steering wheel and gear lever, and a rather questionable pinstripe along the car’s flanks.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

With its rear engine and rear-wheel drive, buyers may notice that the Twingo corners more confidently than some other city cars. The 0.9-litre motor pulls strongly and provides a good spread of power, although the less powerful 1.0-litre motor is smoother and more than nippy enough for most city car drivers. The Twingo also has a smooth, though firm, ride.

WHAT DO THE PRESS THINK?

Car Buyer said: ‘The new Renault Twingo is a good- looking, quirky, but practical, city car.’

WHAT DO WE THINK?

The new Twingo is a convincing city car. It looks stylish, the interior is chic and simple to use while quality seems high. The boot is large, the interior is spacious and prices are keen, with a strong standard specification on all models. Overall, it’s a city car that makes a stronger case for being a family’s only car than many rivals. Of the two engines, the 1.0-litre motor is sweeter than the 0.9, although buyers should be very happy with either.

Rebecca Chaplin's avatar

Rebecca has been a motoring and business journalist since 2014, previously writing and presenting for titles such as the Press Association, Auto Express and Car Buyer. She has worked in many roles for Car Dealer Magazine’s publisher Blackball Media including head of editorial.

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