- Good looking
- Nippy around town
- Excellent infotainment
- Not as fun to drive as some
- 1.0 litre petrol is underpowered
- Smaller boot than class-leader
Stylish rear-wheel drive city car
The Renault Twingo, when it was first introduced in 1993, was a radical entry into the European car market. The latest third-generation city car offering, introduced in 2014, is no different. Unlike most other city cars on sale today, the Twingo is both rear-engined and rear-wheel drive. That’s the same configuration as you’d find in a Porsche 911! The Twingo is also one of the best looking city cars, and features some economical engines, a highly customisable interior, and is a breeze to drive around town. Renault took a risk when they released the latest Twingo, and boy did it pay off.
Stylish and spacious cabin
The interior of the Twingo is just as stylish as the exterior. It features a huge range of personalisation options, and there’s enough room for four adults to sit comfortably. The boot isn’t class-leading, and material quality isn’t up there with the best either, but it’s still a great package.
The dashboard of the Twingo looks and feels very contemporary. Everything is simply laid out, and controls and dials are easy to use and bright. Buyers can choose to personalise the cabin of their Twingo, which will make it an attractive option for those who like to stand out from the crowd. Material quality isn’t as impressive as you’d find in a Seat Mii, or a Hyundai i10, but it’s still solidly built.
Space wise, the Twingo on paper at least looks disappointing. With just 188 litres of boot space, it is considerably smaller than both the Hyundai i10 (252 litres), and the Skoda Citigo (251 litres). The space that is on offer is however extremely useable. There’s no boot lip, so getting items in and out is a doddle, and there’s lots of flexible seating options to increase the capacity as and when you need it.
Equipment levels in the Twingo are impressive, so long as you avoid the entry-level Expression trim. This doesn’t come with an awful lot, and misses out on Renault’s outstanding R&Go system. This lets you control everything in the car through your smartphone, and even adds as a sat-nav, for free! To get this you’ll need to go for the Play trim, which also comes with electric front windows, air-con, DAB radio, and a height adjustable drivers seat.
Overall the inside of the Twingo is a pretty impressive package. The interior is well-designed, has enough room for four, and features a practical boot space. It might not exude the quality that you’d find in some rivals, but the R&Go system trumps any other infotainment system.
Fun to drive around town
The Renault Twingo is a car that’s engineered to be good to drive around town, and it certainly lives up to its billing. It features one of the tightest turning circles around, so it’s ideal for mini roundabouts and tight parking spaces. Parking is also aided by the light steering, whilst also improving the Twingo’s ability to weave in and out of busy traffic. It’s not the best car to drive at speed however, as the steering doesn’t feel precise enough for the Twingo to ever feel engaging.
Ride refinement is one of the disappointments in the Twingo. The suspension struggles to settle down, even around town. Potholes and rough surfaces make the Twingo jumpy, though at higher speeds it, rather oddly, performs pretty well. Road and wind noise is an issue at the national speed limit however, so it’s not a car that you’d want to be doing too many long-distance journeys in.
Gearbox options in the Twingo come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a five-speed manual, that’s geared low, making it great to use around town. It’s less impressive once you get it on the motorway, but this is a city car after all. The optional EDC automatic is also available, which also features hill-start assist.
Two efficient petrol engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Twingo, you’ve only got the one fuel type to choose from. The two petrol engines in the range are both great around town, but if you drive regularly out of town, the higher powered turbocharged engine should be considered.
If it’s power that you want from your Twingo, you’ll be pleased to learn that the 0.9 litre turbocharged TCE engine is among the nippiest in the city car class. With 90bhp, and a 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds, it doesn’t look the quickest on paper, but drive it out and about and it feels genuinely fast. It also manages pretty well on the motorway, so if you’re planning to do a fair bit of motorway driving, this is the engine to go for.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased to know that the Twingo range is efficient and clean across the board. The most eco-friendly car in the range is the 1.0 SCE [Start Stop] which produces just 95g/km of CO2 emissions. That’s low enough to give you road tax, and peace of mind that you’re helping to save the planet. This model is also the best option for money savers, as it can achieve up to 67.3mpg. That’s mightily impressive, and you’ll save yourself plenty of money at the petrol pumps.
Both engines in the Twingo range are economical, green, and nippy around town. The turbocharged 0.9 litre is the most flexible, particularly if you’re going to regularly take your Twingo outside of the city.
Four star NCAP, good standard safety kit
Like a lot of cars in its class, the Twingo failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. Only the Seat Mii, the Skoda Citigo, and the VW UP!, managed to achieve this feat. With a 4-star safety rating, the Twingo is average for its class. The scores of 78% in adult safety, 81% in child safety, and 68% in pedestrian safety, are all pretty solid. You’ll also get four airbags, electronic stability control, hill-start assist, and an emergency braking system.
Good value for money, as long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Renault Twingo represents excellent value for money for drivers. This varies from model to model, but CO2 emissions are low throughout the range, with only the higher spec, non stop/start 1.0 litre petrol engines creeping above the magic 100g/km mark. Fuel efficiency is also impressive, no matter which Twingo you go for, with all models achieving upwards of 60mpg.
Insurance costs in the Twingo are also good value. This again depends on which model and trim you choose to go for, but with an insurance group range of 2-8, you won’t ever be paying a lot. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.0 SCE Expression, which is in group 2, whilst the most expensive is the 0.9 TCE Dynamique S [Start Stop] which is in group 8.
Depreciation is a factor with the Twingo, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The latest Renault Twingo is up there with the best in the city car market. It’s not quite as well rounded as the VW UP!/Seat Mii/Skoda Citigo family, but it’s far better looking, and more fun all round.
Buying a used Renault Twingo online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Renault Twingo for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Twingo. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Renault Twingo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Renault? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Renault Twingo, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Twingo, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Renault to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.