New Volkswagen Up vs Hyundai i10 vs Renault Twingo

Find out how Volkswagen's refreshed city car measures up against the funky Renault Twingo and class-leading Hyundai i10...

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What Car? team
9 Nov 2015 07:20 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

Our verdict

Let's cut straight to the chase: the Hyundai i10 remains the best city car you can buy. Nothing else in this class so skilfully mixes low costs with lots of space, reasonable performance and a ride and handling balance that works just as well in the city centre as it does on sweeping A-roads. The i10 might be a city car by name, but it feels at home on any road you care to throw it at, and it also comes with plenty of standard equipment.

However, the i10’s rudimentary infotainment system and its feeble resistance to thieves almost cost it the win, so we hope both of these shortfalls will be addressed in the mid-life facelift due later this year.

The Volkswagen Up’s improvements don’t do quite enough to elevate it to the top of the class, then. Yes, it’s still as brilliant to drive as ever and no other city car (not even the i10) looks and feels as upmarket inside. We’re also big fans of the new, more user-friendly infotainment system and the promise of more than 55mpg in real-world driving. However, the price for that fuel economy is painfully slow acceleration that frustrates almost as much in town driving as it does on faster roads. The fact the Up is the most expensive to buy on PCP finance also counts against it.

Last place goes to the Renault Twingo. Its punchy turbocharged engine, low monthly PCP costs and generous standard kit should make it a sound buy. Sadly, it’s let down by a poor driving position, disappointing high-speed stability and sloppy control weights. It’s merely average by the standards of the class.

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1st – Hyundai i10

New Volkswagen Up vs Hyundai i10 vs Renault Twingo

For Class-leading space; strong engine; longest warranty; slowest depreciation; lots of standard kit

Against Very basic infotainment; below-par safety and security

Verdict Holds onto its city car crown despite a couple of shortfalls

Rated 5 out of 5

Read the full Hyundai i10 review

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2nd – Volkswagen Up

New Volkswagen Up vs Hyundai i10 vs Renault Twingo

For Class-leading ride and handling; plushest interior

Against Feeble engine; highest monthly PCP costs

Verdict A great all-rounder. Shame it’s so slow

Rated 4 out of 5

Read the full Volkswagen Up review

Find a great Volkswagen Up deal

3rd – Renault Twingo

New Volkswagen Up vs Hyundai i10 vs Renault Twingo

For Brilliant manoeuvrability; cheapest PCP costs

Against Poor to drive; compromised driving position

Verdict Has its strengths, just not enough of them

Rated 3 out of 5

Read the full Renault Twingo review

Find a great Renault Twingo deal

Also consider:

Specifications: Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium

Engine size 1.2-litre, petrol

List price £11,275

Target Price £10,387

Power 86bhp

Torque 88lb ft

0-60mph 12.0sec

Top speed 106mph

Official fuel economy 57.6mpg

True MPG 49.3mpg

CO2 emissions 114g/km

Specifications: Renault Twingo 0.9 TCe 90 Dynamique

Engine size 0.9-litre, petrol, turbo

List price £11,695

Target Price £10,122

Power 89bhp

Torque 100lb ft

0-60mph 11.7sec

Top speed 103mph

Official fuel economy 65.7mpg

True MPG 47.5mpg

CO2 emissions 99g/km

Specifications: Volkswagen Up 1.0 75 High Up 5dr

Engine size 1.0-litre, petrol

List price £11,980

Target Price £10,825

Power 74bhp

Torque 70lb ft

0-60mph 14.3sec

Top speed 106mph

Official fuel economy 64.2mpg

True MPG 55.9mpg

CO2 emissions 101g/km