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WhatCar? Awards 2012

Alternative-fuel cars

Renault Twizy

Green Awards 2012: Alternative-fuel cars runner-up

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List Price: £6690
Target Price: £6690

Key facts

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The Renault Twizy is not only the cheapest of our alternatively fuelled cars in this year’s Green COTY; it’s also the cheapest vehicle on the overall list.

True, you’ll need to factor in the battery cost, because you own the vehicle but lease the power storage from Renault - but even allowing for that, the Twizy is a seriously cheap way into electric transport. The range starts with our favourite, the Urban, at just £6690 and even the top-spec Technic costs just £7400.

Officially a quadricycle, the Twizy has room for two occupants sitting in tandem, and not much else. It’s desperately bare inside - think glorified scooter and you won’t be far off - and even the scissor doors are an optional extra.

The Twizy’s strengths are in other areas, though. The monthly lease works out at around £50 for a sensible amount of urban commuting miles. A full charge takes less than four hours and costs around £1 - and the resulting 62-mile range should be enough for a couple of days’ use around town.

On the road, the Twizy feels plenty nippy enough for a 30mph zone, and its diminutive size allows it to nip down streets where a car would often have to stop for oncoming traffic. A turning circle of just 6.8 metres is not to be sniffed at, either.

If we had one main gripe, it would be ride quality. While the car stays extremely flat through corners, it’s simply too unforgiving over the bump-strewn urban roads that it will spend almost all of its time negotiating.

Like all pure electric vehicles, then, the Twizy brings compromises. However, it has such a sense of fun and, crucially, it does not place the same demands on your wallet as the likes of the Nissan Leaf. That’s why it makes it onto our runners-up list.

Read the full Renault Twizy review

What other cars did we rate highly?

See all of the section winners