25 May 2013
I bought this ex-demo a few months ago from Renault. So far it has been nothing short of a pleasure to drive. I’ve had many Renaults in the past and this one is only topped in the fun factor by the Williams Clio. You can even get Grant Mitchell in the boot and do loop the loop through the sewers of Belfast! (see Top Gear). Seriously, ownership has been flawless so far and Renault seem to have massively improved on and eliminated the problems of ten years ago when electrical gremlins were the norm of French car ownership. This 1.6 litre 16v engine is extremely quick to respond and the VVT lets the engine take off at around 3500rpm giving the impression of a high pressure turbo. The only downside for motorway munching is the lack of a sixth gear. However, five gears is more than enough for everyday driving and you’re always sure to have a bigger grin than the fools in Golfs, Focus’, etc.
Stylish, compact and fun, the name Twingo trips off otherwise resolutely Anglo - Saxon tongues as the latest little Renault redefines the small inexpensive supermini as a thing of joy on twisty roads that duck and dive - yet it makes you equally happy slotting into a parking bay in Lilliput. French rationalism made metal, it is certainly modern, functional and thoroughly alluring with lines that are soft and simple yet distinctive and attractive enough to turn heads in the morning crawl. From most angles this little car looks splendid - and with glossy red paint, the test car was nothing less than arresting or intriguing - or maybe both. It’s a comfortable and well-equipped package too. In line with the Renault credo, which seems to say that driving should always be a pleasure, the Twingo is good for short hop and long haul alike. Wide opening doors give easy access to an interior that is simple, tasteful and brilliantly executed. It’s a terrifically habitable and attractive cabin and there’s room for four in comfort - but, of course, having only two doors, access to the rear seats is not particularly easy for some. Shut the doors, run your hands over the quality seat fabric and try out the controls: everything is fresh and funky and inspires confidence. There’s a sense of integrity and solidity that is detectable as soon as you drive away, too. The Twingo feels like a mature small car you can trust and the ’I-Music’ 1.2 16V 75bhp’ tested, which costs £8,695, has enough gee whizz technology to make it competitive in its sector. I was pleased by its specification, which includes ABS with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and brake assist. It offers all the best qualities that one wishes for in a small car. A singular pleasure is the way this car drives compared to rivals. As different from an inscrutably utilitarian Japanese Microbe as nuclear fusion is from your garden composter, this is a car with zest that can put a demonic smile on your face. Even though there are not many horses under the bonnet it feels a lot faster than it really is. You can tootle about at a sedate pace if so disposed, but use the whip in the upper reaches of the rev range and you can zip about as if your underpants are on fire - all the way to 105mph.. Motorways, of course, are quite simply boring in a Twingo because the 1200cc motor doesn’t pack much of a punch low down and is not for hauling up long slopes leading to an ever receding horizon. From a purists point of view it is a rewarding car to drive quickly all the way to its top speed. Meanwhile, official consumption figures say you’ll get over 55mpg overall. Should you decide to bimble about with a smile on your face and a long queue on your tail, I’m told that some members of the Evergreen Party have achieved near 70mpg. on their way to save the world. By and large though, the endearing thing about a Twingo is the handling. What it has that some rivals don’t is the comfortingly vicelesss way you can tackle bends wholesale rather than one at a time. Thanks to the steering’s acuity it turns in keenly and feeds back plenty of road surface information: it always feels secure and grippy. Stop dead anchors, of course, inspire further confidence. The Twingo simply feels good to drive and it is an absolutely easy, reassuring and relaxed car with which to live. Add bags of brio, nimbleness, practicality and refinement and you get a winning coalition. It won’t, of course, seduce the City banker or the reader of Atom Bomb Cars magazine. It’s hardly a pocket rocket, nor will its ownership confer plutocrat status. But trust me: it’s certainly appealing and proves the point that there’s still some pleasure to be had from motoring.
My husband hired a small car for our holiday in Crete, in 2002. This turned out to be a Renault Twingo, a car which I had not previously heard of. My opinion of it was, that it was a horrible little car. All right, it was brand new, had a hatchback, air-conditioning (necessary in Crete) and a "trendy" silly-colour (ours was mustardy yellow), and it was cheap to run. It ran up the narrow, steep and winding mountain roads well enough. But, with two men in the front seats, I was sitting as the only passenger in the back seat, and even I, as a small woman felt cramped. It was horribly uncomfortable getting in and out of the back seat. The two front doors were small (it’s a small car), and they, the low roof and the front seats, even when tipped fully forward, didn’t give you much room to squeeze out. I had to twist my body uncomfortably and awkwardly just to slide out slowly, sideways. Awful! I’d no control over window ventilation in the back seat, and I felt as if I were travelling in a tightly-closed bubble. I would never buy one or any other like it. I don’t know who this car was designed for, but it certainly isn’t a passenger’s car. Maybe it’s mainly for solitary urban drivers, who might sometimes have a passenger on a short journey, or might occasionally have very mini-children (or a dog) in the back; but it’s certainly not a family car. Far too many car reviews are written only from the driver’s point-of-view. They never seem to review from the passenger’s position. If they did, 2/3 doors arrangements on small cars with rear passenger seats, would have died a well-deserved death a long time ago.
Fantastic car, very economical & lots of character. Bought it for my wife but cant resist taking it for a spin at every opportunity. LOVE IT !
This is a great little car, well thought out in design and performs really well. Very cheap to run and low CO2 emissions mean it’s an affordable option. The engie performs well but can get a bit noisy on the motorway but still copes well enough for what I need it to do.
For a 1.2 litre engine the Twingo is remarkably speedy and copes just as well on motorways as in cities. The fuel economy is excellent and with the low CO2 emissions running costs are kept low. The Twingo, in my opinion, is a perfect city car that can also cope outside of the city environment.
This is a great car, really pleased with it. Very sporty looking and extremely nippy. Would have given it 5 stars but for the stupid name (who thinks these things up)?!
Dynamique 1.2 16V 75 eco2 - First launched in the UK in 2007, Renaultís Twingo baby hasnít yet managed to capture the hearts of this country in the same way its bigger sibling, the Clio has, in times gone by. And sitting in an increasingly crowded market the model faces some really tough competition. Can a mid-life refresh hel [...]
133 - The standard Twingo hasnít been as successful as Renault had first hoped Ė flimsy build quality and a soft drive donít do it any favours. But hot hatches have always been what the French do best, and Renault has come up trumps with the Twingo 133. Usable performance, a firm and communicative chassis [...]
Average driver rating ( based on 181 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 170 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 138 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 124 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 100 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 90 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 83 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 65 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 65 reviews )
Average driver rating ( based on 64 reviews )
Aixam-Mega | Alfa Romeo | Allied | Aston Martin | Audi | Bentley | BMW | Cadillac | Caterham | Chevrolet | Chrysler | Citroen | Daewoo | Daihatsu | Dodge | Elettrica | Ferrari | Fiat | Ford | Honda | Hummer | Hyundai | Infiniti | Isuzu | Iveco | Jaguar | Jeep | Kia | Lamborghini | Land Rover | LDV | Lexus | Lotus | Maserati | Mazda | Mercedes-Benz | MG | Micro-Vett | Mini | Mitsubishi | Nissan | Peugeot | Piaggio | Porsche | Proton | Renault | Reva | Roewe | Rolls-Royce | Rover | Saab | Sakura | SEAT | Skoda | Smart | SsangYong | Subaru | Suzuki | Toyota | TVR | Vauxhall | Volkswagen | Volvo |