Our cars: Renault Twizy - January
Week ending January 25
Driven this week: 30 miles
Renault Twizy review
As painful as it is to admit it, I am no longer in the first flush of youth. What this means is that I can remember when old cars were new cars. Ford Capri? Had three of them. Opel Manta? Been there. Original Mini? Tuned to within an inch of its life.
One thing these 'classics' all had in common was an inability to keep their interiors frost-free on winter mornings – and it's a trait our long-term Twizy reintroduced me to this week.
I came out to it after a particularly chilly night and saw the windscreen was coated in frost. 'No worries' thought I as I set about the scraping task at hand. A minute later it was done – or so I thought as I jumped into the driver's seat, only to see that the screen ahead remained utterly milky. The inside needed to be cleared, too.
The screen is curved, which meant my scraper would do only a little bit at a time, so the job took about another 10 minutes. By this point I was cold and fed up, and facing a sub-zero jaunt to work.
Some time later I arrived at the office, verging on hypothermic and my enthusiasm for the Twizy decidedly on the wane – only to meet a colleague in the car park and for him to say: 'But it's got a heated windscreen…'
A chilly lesson learned – always be aware of what the car you’re testing can do.
As a friend who works in IT said: 'RTFM' - which roughly translates as 'read the manual'. I'm old enough to know that by now.
Week ending 18 January
Driven this week: 8 miles
Renault Twizy review
Let's face it, the Twizy isn't exactly ideal winter transport. So, with bands of snow sweeping across the country this week, it's hardly surprisingly that our long-termer has racked up only eight miles.
The good news is that winter travel in the Twizy is about to get a lot more comfortable (we hope), because we've just taken delivery of a set of windows – Renault's latest aftermarket option.
Granted, these aren't going to turn the Twizy into a Range Rover-rivalling beast, but they should at least keep out the worst of the rain, snow and wind.
The windows have been fitted today, so we'll be able to tell you if they're worth the £295 that Renault charges next week.
By Will Nightingale
Week ending 11 January
Driven this week 51 miles
I needed city transport for a 30-min trip to the What Car? Car of the Year Awards in central London, and the all-electric Twizy was my first choice. It didn’t disappoint, although there were some frustrations.
The 12-mile journey used up half of the battery range because there were headlights and a sat-nav sucking up the charge, but it shows how optimistic the official claimed range of 62 miles is in the real world.
Luckily it's fairly mild by January standards – much colder and it would have been uncomfortable, although I managed without heavy winter gear and still had all my extremities intact. The final drag was having to carry my luggage around on a brief corner-shop stop, because I couldn’t fit it into any of the lockable stowing areas.
Despite these irritations, the Twizy is liberating to drive in town. It can’t jump queues, but it nips through all kinds of awkward spaces and executes impossibly tight U-turns and parking manoeuvres with casual ease. It’s also incredibly rapid when you want it to be. There is a real sense of cheekiness to being able to out-accelerate much of London’s commercial traffic, and keep up a healthy pace on the main artery roads into the capital too.