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Renault Twingo hatchback (2007-2011)

“The Renaultsport hot hatch is the saviour of the Twingo range, as it’s quick and tremendous fun to drive.”

Carbuyer Rating

2.1 out of 5

Owners Rating
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Pros

  • Very practical boot and rear seats
  • Low purchase price and running costs
  • Renaultsport version is great fun to drive

Cons

  • Bland looks
  • Questionable build quality
  • Poor access to rear seats

There's much to like about the Renault Twingo. It’s spacious and there’s a grown-up feel to the city car’s design that is missing from rivals such as the Ford Ka. It’s practical too, with a usable boot. There’s more room inside than you'd find in the likes of a Toyota Aygo or Citroen C1. The Renaultsport hot hatch version is quick and great fun to drive.

MPG, running costs & CO2

Many rivals are cheaper to run

The most efficient Twingo is the 1.2 16v Dynamique, which will average 55.4mpg and has emissions of 119g/km, which means a low annual Road Tax bill of £30. The Twingo is no ecomomy champion, however. Many rival superminis – including the Toyota iQ and Volkswagen Polo - are cheaper to run and offer a greater variety of engines.

Engines, drive & performance

Twingo is suited to city driving, Renaultsport model is fun

With its light steering and compact dimensions, the Renault Twingo is well suited to navigating city streets and squeezing into tight parking spaces. The 1.2-litre petrol engines – 60bhp and 75bhp units, plus a 100bhp turbocharged version - need to be worked hard to get the Twingo going, and they feel quite short on power, especially on motorways. It's a different story with the Renaultsport Twingo, which is engaging to drive and has a revvy 133bhp 1.6-litre engine.

Interior & comfort

Bumps are absorbed well, but it's noisy

The cabin is spacious for a city car, the ride is comfortable and the Twingo absorbs bumps and undulations in the road well. Wind and road noise are quite pronounced, so it's not particularly quiet at speed. The fact that the small 1.2-litre engines have to be worked hard to get any kind of pace out of the car also adds to the noise inside the cabin.

Practicality & boot space

Versatile cabin is let down by three-door layout

The Twingo's three-door layout spoils practicality and makes the two rear seats difficult to access. However, the Renault makes up for this with rear seats that slide back and forth, so boot space varies from 165-285 litres, which is impressive for such a small car. Fold the seats down and there's 959 litres available, which is also good. There are also plenty of storage spaces throughout the cabin, so the Twingo more than compensates for its lack of rear doors in this respect.

Reliability & safety

Twingo feels as if it has been built down to a price

Renault's reliability history has been patchy in the past, and electrical problems have been known to occur on many of its cars. The Twingo's build quality is quite poor - it feels as if it has been built to a price and the cabin materials are cheap. However, it is much more basic than most models in Renault's range, which means there's less to go wrong with it, so electrical niggles are less likely.

Price, value for money & options

All cars offer a basic specification

Entry-level Expression models are keenly priced, so it's hardly fair to call the Twingo expensive. However cars offer a very basic specification, so don't expect much for your money.

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Richard is a former editor of Carbuyer, as well as sister site DrivingElectric.com, and he's now Deputy Editor at Auto Express. Having spent a decade working in the automotive industry, he understands exactly what makes new car buyers tick.

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