Our cars: Renault Twizy - August

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Renault Twizy
Renault Twizy
Renault Twizy Technic

Week ending August 31
Mileage 250
Driven this week: 41 miles

Renault Twizy review

It's early days for the Twizy, so we're still getting to grips with its quirks. Well, I am.

This week I drove the car home without any problems. On starting the car in the morning, however, I was greeted by a loud, annoying, bleeping sound. I knew that I'd disengaged the handbrake properly, so I selected drive and pulled away. Still bleeping.

After a couple of hundred yards I pulled over and stopped the motor. The bleeping stopped. I started it up again and so did the noise.

There didn't seem to be anything mechanically wrong, so I continued the drive to the office, feeling horribly self-conscious.

I finally got to the office car park and magazine editor John McIlroy and I started scouring the handbook for an explanation.

After a couple of minutes he discovered the page referring to the Twizy's pedestrian-warning function. This alerts pedestrians to the near-silent Twizy when parking, and is aimed at avoiding the risk of them walking into its path.

It's operating by flicking a section of the left steering column stalk, which I must have done when I got into the car, by accident. I won't be doing it again.

By Leo Wilkinson

Week ending August 24
Mileage 209
Driven this week: 53 miles

Renault Twizy review

I knew our long-term Twizy would turn heads when I borrowed it last weekend, but I was shocked by the way it brought every street I drove down to a standstill. People's jaws dropped as they just stopped whatever they were doing and gawped; it was almost as if they'd just seen the Mars Rover drive past.

All that attention was a bit embarrassing - especially whenever I got caught at a set of traffic lights - because passers-by inevitably asked 'what on earth is that?'.

On the plus side, all the comments it received were positive, so I didn't feel quite such a berk.

What's it like to drive? Well, it's hardly the last word in luxury - the ride is particularly harsh - but when then sun's shining it's great fun around town, and surprisingly nippy. I can even hold its own on faster road, with a top speed of around 50mph.

The bad news is something has already fallen off. I'm not quite sure what it is, but the Twizy is booked in at Renault London for investigation. Watch this space.


Week ending August 17
Mileage 156
Driven this week: 82 miles

Renault Twizy review

This is our new Renault Twizy. It's safe to say that few of our long-term test cars have generated quite so much interest.

There's already a waiting list to take it home each evening, and it seems to be the number one choice for anyone that wants to dash out to do a spot of shopping during lunch hour.

It's not hard to see why. The Twizy is like nothing else out there. Its tiny size, windowless body, electric powertrain and 'tandem-style' two-seat layout make it a real novelty, although it's the Twizy's sense of fun that seems to have most grabbed the What Car? office's attention.

I borrowed the Twizy for my short commute across south-west London and I wasn't expecting it to be quite so entertaining. The electric motor provides nippy acceleration and you feel more connected with what's going on around you than you do when you're cocooned in a conventional car.

It'll be interesting to see whether colder, wetter weather diminishes the Twizy's appeal, but so far it's proving to be immensely popular.


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