The Renault Twingo is a five-door city car with an unusual quirk-the engine is under the boot instead of the bonnet. That means it’s well suited to life in town, while cute styling and low running costs make it the perfect choice for first-time drivers and couples who tend to stay in town.
It might not be immediately obvious, but the Renault Twingo is based on the Smart ForFour small car, which also puts its engine at the back. Look at the Twingo in profile and it’s not obvious that it has five doors because Renault has cleverly disguised the rear handles.
Up front, you’ll find a cute face with LED daytime running lights, while most trim levels bring alloy wheels and some add front fog lights, stripes for the doors and different-coloured door mirrors.
This version of the Twingo is officially the third, although the first was never sold in the UK, and production ended in 2019, with no replacement announced. This gives the car an air of quirky exclusivity.
Up front, you’ll find a cute face with LED daytime running lights, while most trim levels bring alloy wheels.
What's it like to drive?
The best thing about the Renault Twingo is how good it is to drive in town. Its turning circle is tiny – that makes life easier when you need to make a U-turn or get into a tight parking space. Most versions deal with rutted road surfaces well – the exception is the GT, which is the sportiest version so gets stiffer suspension.
Speaking of which, this hottest Twingo uses a more powerful version of the 0.9-litre turbo petrol engine you’ll find in the rest of the range – there’s also a non-turbo 1.0-litre engine with less power. All are great within the city limits, but the 0.9 is best if you occasionally head out on faster roads.
The best thing about the Renault Twingo is how good it is to drive in town. Its turning circle is tiny.
‘Funky’ is a good word to describe the Renault Twingo’s interior. The audio controls and driver’s instruments are contained within a different-coloured section, with the same colour on the door inlays, around the base of the gear lever, the air vents and a storage tray below the dashboard.
There are a few trim levels that add varying numbers of goodies. Expression has four airbags, front electric windows, a digital radio, Bluetooth, a smartphone cradle, remote central locking and electronic stability control. Play adds air-con, alloy wheels and height adjustment for the driver’s seat. Dynamique covers the steering wheel with leather instead of plastic and adds cruise control and a lane departure warning system.
Dynamique S goes further still, adding some leather trim to the seats and stripes to the exterior, while GT brings climate control, rear parking sensors, a metal gear knob and a few other trim enhancements. The sound system on some cars may have been upgraded to a six-speaker system, while those with the Techno Pack get a seven-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and a reversing camera.
It might be a city car, but the Twingo is remarkably spacious for four, tall adults will be genuinely happy with the room on offer in the rear seats. The rear windows only pop open, rather than wind down, but that should not be an issue, especially on cars with air con.
As well as being spacious, the Twingo’s interior has plenty of storage solutions, including three cup holders, door bins, a large glovebox, and a front central tray. Some cars also have storage under the rear seats.
The boot’s floor is not as deep as on some rivals because the engine sits beneath it, but you will still be able get a handful of food shopping bags in there – the rear seat backs are split 50/50 and fold flat to allow the Twingo to take a couple of large suitcases. Even better, the front passenger seat can be folded down to help you fit in long loads. Not bad for such a sprightly car.
Reliability and running costs
The Renault Twingo’s engines are relatively economical, and you should be able to achieve at least 40mpg with all of them – and closer to 50mpg on longer trips out of town.
It is an ideal first or second car and shouldn't make too much of a dent in your pocket. Servicing can be made more affordable with Renault’s EasyLife Pack, which can be transferred when sold – look out for this if you’re buying a model that’s less than three years old.
The Twingo got a three-year warranty from Renault when new so you might want to consider cinchCare for added peace of mind.
What we love
We love the Twingo’s styling. Its cute looks are exactly what young drivers want. Rear Isofix mounting points for child seats make this a versatile car for young families too, and a four-star (out of five) rating from crash safety experts Euro NCAP further boosts the city car’s appeal. We’re also fans of the amount of space on offer for passengers.
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City cars are rarely this much fun, both to look at and drive – the Twingo also has a practical, spacious interior for four adults, a decent amount of equipment, economical, willing engines and ‘cool credentials’ for those who care more about kerb appeal than anything else.
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