Our cars: Renault Twizy - February
Week ending February 22
Driven this week 11 miles
Renault Twizy review
The new windows on our Renault Twizy have been universally hailed as a godsend by all who've set off for home in our two-seater electric car when it's cold or wet.
However, wind and rain is not all they keep out. I have found that the frame of the window catches on the top of the door, and it needs to be prised away to get the door to fold up and open.
They also mean it is not quite as easy to nip into a car park in the Twizy. Rather than leaning casually out to grab a parking ticket, you have to unzip the window and fold it back. Not a major problem, but it is something you can't do while driving along so it adds to the time you spend at the car park barrier.
By Tom Webster
Week ending February 15
Driven this week: 7 miles
Last week I drove Smart's latest electric car home from What Car? towers through suburbia to central London. Afterwards, I decided to take out the Twizy to see how the two compare.
The Twizy and the Smart are both two-seater electric cars but go about things very differently.
The Smart ED is based on a conventionally powered car. It features such creature comforts as doors and windows as standard and also comes with air-conditioning, sat-nav, Bluetooth and optional heated seats.
The Twizy is more spartan - our long-termer now has doors and windows but that's it – and a lot less roomy.
All the extra gadgets on the Smart ED push the price up to £15,395 for the Coupe with the battery or £12,275 for the Coupe and £55 per month to lease the battery. The Twizy costs a more reasonable £6,690.
Both cars are nippy and fun to drive but both suffer from a terrible ride.
Where would I rather sit on a day-to-day basis? Probably the Smart – but for the money I'd go for a VW Up and some change.
The Twizy makes the most sense financially as a commuter machine if you can live without the toys of the Smart.
By Matthew Burrow
Week ending February 8
Driven this week: 27 miles
I've been eagerly eyeing a drive in the Twizy since we got one at the office some time ago, and the offer of the Renault for the night was accepted with glee.
My commute is around 10 miles each way, so I had some trepidation about the battery range – which were allayed once my ignorance was overcome and realised that I could just plug it in to any old wall plug.
It is an odd sensation – and it made it feel like a true plug and play experience.
The car was great fun, and I think I was an early beneficiary of the new addition of windows – I wouldn't have enjoyed the brisk morning commute as much without them.
I couldn't imagine a long term in one, but for the short time I had it I thoroughly enjoyed it – and imagine I would be more forgiving of shortcomings once the weather is friendlier.
By David Kyle
Week ending February 1
Driven this week: 25 miles
A quick look outside the window confirmed my fears. It was home time, it was lashing down with rain and blowing a gale; and I was in the Twizy for the night.
However, it turned out to be one of the most pleasant journeys I've had in it, thanks to the new windows we had fitted recently.
Although they're an afterthought and require clamping in place, they actually fit very tightly to the Twizy's doors and do a fantastic job of keeping out the wind and rain.
The only downside was that as the air inside heated up, they tended to become a tad misty. Together with the rain pouring down the sides, it became difficult make what was going on behind clearly via the door mirrors.