A tight turning circle, spacious and versatile interior, and strong resale values all work in the Twingo’s favour, and some versions come with plenty of standard equipment.
Spongy controls, a flawed driving position and poor motorway refinement prevent the baby Renault from challenging the class leaders. The lower-powered model is slow, too.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
There’s a choice of two three-cylinder petrol units in the rear-engined Twingo. The 1.0-litre SCe has just 70bhp and feels pretty slow; it needs to be revved hard just to keep up with other traffic. The turbocharged 0.9-litre TCe is much nippier and more responsive, but it still needs to be worked pretty hard at times and is tricky to drive smoothly at low speeds. Whichever engine you choose, you’ll have to put up with a vague brake pedal response and a springy clutch with a sudden biting point.
Ride & Handling
Some city cars are fun to drive, but the Twingo isn’t one of them. The SCe has slow, vague steering, and while the TCe has a variable-ratio steering rack that is more precise, it’s still doesn’t inspire much confidence. Both versions have plenty of grip and reasonable body control, though. The ride is a mixed bag; it deals well with speed bumps and is fairly settled at higher speeds, but scruffy surfaces send a lot of vibrations through the cabin and steering wheel.
Wind- and road noise aren't too tiring at speed and, although the engines are vocal when worked hard, they don't become too raucous. That all mean the Twingo seems fairly hushed in isolation, but it’s not as refined as rivals like the VW Up.