There's a choice of two engines; both are three-cylinder petrols. The entry-level 1.0-litre SCe has just 69bhp so is decidedly sluggish; you need to rev the engine hard to keep up with faster moving traffic. Thankfully, the turbocharged 0.9-litre TCe is much nippier and doesn't need revving anywhere near as hard. But that said, the only Twingo that feels genuinely sprightly is the range-topping, 110bhp GT, which uses a more powerful version of the TCe 0.9-litre engine but is ultimately too expensive to recommend.
Dynamically, the Twingo has never been the best in its class. The SCe has vague steering, and, while both the TCe and GT models receives a more precise variable-ratio steering rack, they still fail to inspire confidence at speed. Both versions, however, offer plenty of grip and reasonable body control, although we’d steer clear of GT if you value comfort - the firmer sports suspension doesn’t help ride quality.
The Twingo’s boxy shape doesn’t help its refinement; wind and road noise is very noticeable at speed. The engines are vocal when worked hard, but they never sound too raucous, while the GT has a pleasant three-cylinder thrum. The poor refinement and rough ride prevents the Renault from feeling as well polished as the new Hyundai i10.
Unfortunately, for a car designed to be driven at low speeds, the TCe also feels rather unrefined in the city. The five-speed manual gearbox is notchy and the vague clutch makes smooth progress a challenge. Ultimately, the VW Up provides a better all-round driving experience.
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