What will they cost?
Price is the main reason to buy a city car, so if these three don’t stack up financially it won’t matter how good they are in other areas. Fortunately, the Hyundai i10 and Renault Twingo make sense for at least one type of buyer, and the Volkswagen Up has the best real-world fuel efficiency.
If you take out a personal contract purchase (PCP) deal, as most city car buyers will, the Twingo will cost the least per month. Put down a £500 deposit on a three-year deal and you’ll pay £185 a month, compared with £212 for the i10 and £219 for the Up. All these deals limit you to 10,000 miles a year and require you to pay a hefty ‘balloon’ payment at the end if you want to own the car.
If you are paying cash, the Twingo will also cost the least initially thanks to generous dealer discounts. It’s predicted to lose value the fastest, though, and it’s the priciest to insure, service and fuel, so it’ll actually cost the most over three years. The i10 will cost you the least in the long run mainly thanks to its slower depreciation.
We’ve lined up all three cars in their respective mid-range trims, so alloys, air-con, electric, heated door mirrors, front foglights and electric front windows are all standard. The i10 has electric windows in the back, too (the rear windows in the other two pop open rather than wind down). The i10 and the Twingo also have cruise control, while the Up counters with heated front seats.
Euro NCAP awarded the i10 and Twingo four stars out of five for safety, with the latter fractionally better at protecting children in an accident and the former slightly safer for adult occupants and pedestrians. The latest Up hasn’t been tested; while the pre-facelifted model was awarded five stars by Euro NCAP, this was under an older, less stringent set of criteria.
That said, the Up is the only one with city emergency braking as an option, although the Twingo is alone in offering lane departure warning (for £150). All three cars are rated equally highly for guarding against being stolen, but the i10 received a woeful one star out of five for resisting break-ins.
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