Renault Twingo -

Used Car Review

Renault Twingo GT, 2017, action
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, front
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, front, action
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, side, action
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, rear, action
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, rear, static
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, interior
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, rear seats
Renault Twingo GT, 2017, boot

THE latest Renault Twingo is a complete departure from the rest of the cars in the company's range.

It harks back to cars it produced back in the 1960s like the Dauphine and Floride, which were rear engined and rear wheel drive.

Developed alongside the latest smart Forfour, they both use much of the same equipment including engine and drivetrain.

Oddly in these days of a rev counter being fitted to every car, Renault decided that the Twingo did not need one and I certainly missed it because I like to know what the engine's doing.

That said this is a fun and focused city car partly because the engine is at the rear and it's more than capable of longer journeys on the motorway.

But through a series of bends, it's a joy to drive, with very good grip and stability and reasonable feel from positive and direct steering.

The manual five-speed gearbox has quite a long throw and doesn't like to be hurried too much, but the pedals are light and brakes excellent.

As it should be with all city cars, it has a very tight turning circle, which means that you can make a u-turn in many places where others would have to do a three pointer.

When it came out in 2014 there were just two versions of the same 1.0-litre three cylinder engine, with either 69 or 89bhp.

The SCe70 has a top speed of 94 miles an hour and, as you would expect, takes 14.5 seconds to ‘sprint' to 62mph but is has an official average fuel consumption of 62 miles per gallon and emits just 105g/km of CO2.

Upper models fitted with the same engine get automatic start/stop and this helps increase economy to 67mpg and reduces emissions to 95g/km.

To make swifter progress with this engine much gearchanging is needed to keep it on song.

The TCe90 has a turbo to add power but is optimised for increased efficiency not out and out performance.

Performance is much improved however, with zero to 62mph now taking 10.8 seconds and top speed up to just over 100 miles an hour.

But, because it's designed for best efficiency, economy doesn't suffer and, when this model is fitted with start/stop, it averages 65.7mpg and 99g/km of CO2.

When I road tested it I got a real road average of 48.5mpg in varied driving, which has to be right up there with the best.

At the top of the range is the GT, which has 108bhp squeezed from the same 1.0-litre turbo engine. This reaches 62mph from rest in 9.5 seconds and averages 54 miles per gallon - a great combination of performance and efficiency.

It also comes with sports suspension and this spoils the very good comfort of the lower order cars - something that makes them stand out from much of the competition.

They are also ahead of many others in the level of equipment. Even the entry Expression comes with DAB radio and Bluetooth, a smart phone cradle with an app to use it as a sat nav, hill start assist, remote locking, height adjustable steering wheel and electric front windows.

Next up is the Play, which adds, air con, height adjustable driver's seat and alloy-look wheel covers, while Dynamique adds cruise, lane departure warning, stop/start, alloys and electric heated door mirrors.

Pay about £3,900 for a '15 15-reg SCe70 Expression, or £6,200 for a '17 17-reg TCe90 Dynamique.

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