It’s hard not to smile when you first set eyes on Renault’s new city car, the Twingo. Up to now if Irish motorists yearned for a Twingo they would have to import one privately and it would have the inconvenience of being left-hand-drive. Thankfully this all-new variant is on sale across Ireland and in right-hand-drive, Phew! The Twingo wins the style stakes against some of its competitors, these include Citroen’s C1, Volkswagen’s UP, the Hyundai i10, Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii. The wide stance at the rear of the Twingo harks back to the fabulous Renault 5 Turbo.
The interior is clean, bright and modern with a surprising amount of space for front and rear seat occupants. This can be somewhat attributed to the engine’s location under the boot floor, increasing legroom and interior space. There is an abundance of clever storage compartments throughout. There are three trim styles available, Expression, Play and Dynamique. All models are equipped with Renault’s smartphone-operated R & GO system. This enables you to connect to telephone, navigation and multimedia functions through a free-to-download app. You can secure you phone with the universal cradle on the centre console. The Dynamique model has the option of a tablet-style R-Link multimedia system, this comes complete with a 7” touch-screen and also doubles up as a screen for the reversing camera.
All models are equipped with colour-coded bumpers, door handles and door mirror covers, a rear spoiler and LED daytime running lights, remote central locking, a speed limiter, height-adjustable steering wheel, ESC, hill start assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The Dynamique variant gains 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, electric heated door mirrors, cruise control, a land departure warning system, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gear knob. Three of the four variants on sale are powered by Renault’s new 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine, this is also our engine of choice. It offers an impressive combined fuel consumption of 4.2L/100km (67.3mpg) and has low emissions of 95g/km of CO2. 70hp is not a lot admitadely in today’s environment, however it’s perfectly suited to the Twingo’s chassis. Initially the little rear engined 1.0-litre three-cylinder felt a tad underpowered but the more you drive it, the more you are able to get from the engine. It’s the type of city car that you adjust your driving style to suit because gear changes are critical to keep the revs up when making over takes and as the noise fills the cabin it becomes a theatre of drama but not in a bad way. In fact it’s hard to get out of the Twingo without a smile on your face.
This rear-engined rear-wheel-drive car flies around the city where it’s at home, darting along narrow streets. We enjoyed our time with the Renault Twingo simply because it was very different to drive. It’s comfy too over cobbled streets along our test route, the five-speed manual transmission is light to touch. If you’re hoping for a bit of oversteer then you’ll be disappointed, the traction and stability controls are setup for safe city driving. Maybe Renault Sport are saving this for the RS variant? This new Renault Twingo excels as a city car, it’s small on the outside but spacious, practical and modern inside.
Engine Size – 1000cc
Fuel Type – Petrol
Power – 70hp
Torque – 91Nm
Acceleration (0-100km/h) – 14.5 seconds
Top Speed – 151 km/h
Consumption (Combined) – 4.5L/100km
CO2 Emissions – 105g/km
Road Tax – Band A3 €190
Base Price – €13,990
Price as Tested – €14,590