France's answer to the Fiat 500.

Introduction

Co-developed with Daimler's Smart ForFour, the third-generation Renault Twingo is unusual for being rear-engined and rear-wheel drive. With five doors as standard, the layout allows for a car with impressive manoeuvrability and cabin space, but reduced luggage capacity. Launched in 2014, it was joined by a more sporty GT variant in 2017. As a sub-£10,000 city car, its rivals include the Fiat 500, Citroen C1, Skoda Citigo and Hyundai i10.

 

Body Style: Supermini          Seats:5              MRP from £9,545 - £13,755 

          

Did you know? The Renault Twingo is manufactured alongside the Smart ForFour in Novo Mesto, Slovenia.

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7.2/10)

With its rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive set-up, the Twingo is a breath of fresh air in today’s city car market. Ultimately, however, it’s slightly underwhelming as a package. Yes, it’s competitively-priced, funky, spacious and economical, but it’s not quite as much fun as it should be unless you opt for the flagship 110hp GT. However, if you’re looking for a distinctive hatchback with space for four adults, the Twingo could be for you.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

Spec & Trim Levels

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

We Like

Funky looks

Tight turning circle

Sporty GT version

We Don't Like

Restricted luggage space

Noisy cabin

Disappointing handling

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior: ★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

Before the original Mini rewrote the small car rulebook in 1959, rear-engined runabouts were not unusual. Since then, they’ve become a rarity, so the decision to launch the Twingo with its engine in the back was brave and should be applauded. There’s no denying that the car is distinctive and cute – a welcome breath of fresh air on our roads.

Its chic styling is a nod to the Renault 5 and much-loved Mk1 Twingo of 1993. Its cheeky front end reflects a fun character and, as with the rest of the Renault family, the diamond badge is bolder than ever. At the rear, its wide haunches are a throwback to the iconic Renault 5 Turbo, while disguised rear door handles are meant to give a coupe-like appearance. Finally, the black glass bootlid and small spoiler give the Twingo that extra bit of joie de vivre.

The flagship Twingo GT is easily recognisable thanks to its 17-inch wheels, lowered ride height, air intakes, twin exhaust pipes and new orange body colour (if specified).

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

Inside, the Twingo is almost as funky as on the outside. And there are plenty of customisation options available to make it stand out even more.

A large round speedo dominates the binnacle ahead of the driver, while the centre console can either feature the R&Go Smartphone application (you fix your phone to a cradle and turn it into a touchscreen dashboard with full connectivity) or you can specify the R-Link system, which incorporates a built-in seven-inch touchscreen.

The seats are comfortable, although the driving position in the front is relatively high, while the steering wheel won’t adjust for reach – it only moves up and down. Finally, it should be noted that the Twingo's rear windows pop out rather than wind down. Passenger access is good thanks to the rear doors.

Thanks to the layout and wheel-at-each-corner design, the Twingo is 100mm shorter than its predecessor at 3.59 metres, but has a 120mm longer wheelbase (2.49 metres) and 330mm more cabin room.

Practicality

At launch, Renault claimed the Twingo was the only five-door car in its segment with a folding front passenger seat as standard With the rear seats down, the cabin is long enough to take a flat-pack bookcase thanks to its load length of 2.31 metres.

Luggage capacity is a modest 219 litres, but can be extended to 980 litres by folding the 50:50-split rear seats. However, the boot shelf is a little higher than most of its competitors because the engine is slung below.

There is also 52 litres of stowage space within the cabin, including a removable 2.6-litre compartment at the bottom of the centre console, 29 litres beneath the front seats – with nets available to hold items in place – and a 6.4-litre glovebox.

Unlike some rear-engined cars of old, there is no extra storage under the bonnet. This area is only for access to top-up screenwash, oil, etc.

Boot space

Min: 219 litres

Max: 980 litres

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

Connectivity is standard in the Twingo via the smartphone-operated R&GO system, which (thanks to a universal cradle) turns your smartphone into a touchscreen for the dashboard. Via a downloadable app, users can access a variety of navigation, telephone, multimedia and trip computer functions.

The navigation is provided by CoPilot and the maps are downloaded onto the smartphone, meaning the driver does not use up data allowance while driving.

A £600 Techno pack is available on all trims except the entry-level Expression. It includes the R-Link multimedia system (seven-inch touchscreen, TomTom Live navigation, FM/AM/DAB radio, 2x35w speakers, Bluetooth audio streaming, hands-free calls, USB and Aux sockets, voice control and vehicle applications), plus a reversing camera and parking sensors.

Elsewhere on the car, there are various safety tech and driver aids, including electronic stability control, hill-start assist, emergency brake assist, lane-departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring, cruise control, automatic lights and wipers, LED running lights and halogen headlights.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

The Twingo is available with a trio of three-cylinder petrol engines – a 70hp 1.0-litre, plus 90hp and 110hp versions of the turbocharged 0.9-litre.

The entry-level SCe 70 takes 14.5 seconds to reach 62mph, tops out at 94mph and emits 112g/km of CO2. The TCe 90 has a top speed of 103mph, a quicker 0-62mph time of 10.8 seconds and CO2 emissions below the magic 100g/km. A six-speed twin-clutch automatic gearbox is available with this engine, otherwise all units have a five-speed manual box.

The most powerful engine, the TCe 110, is the quickest in the range. Its stats are 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds, a top speed of 113mph and CO2 emissions of 115g/km.

The smallest SCe 70 engine is fine for around town, but if you regularly tackle longer journeys, including spells on motorways, the turbocharged TCe 90 is a better option.

It’s fair to say that both these engines are nippy, especially around town, but both feel a little underwhelming. If you want more power and fun, then go for the GT. It’s noticeably faster and sounds great, too. It’s still no hot hatch, but it’s as close as Renault can get, given the tiny space for an engine at the rear.

The Twingo is easy to drive, especially around town, and its turning circle of just 8.59 metres is remarkable. You sit fairly high in the car and visibility is good, plus it’s comfortable and the ride is well-cushioned. Overall, it handles well and feels pretty well planted, but it’s no mini-Porsche 911.

Having the engine in the back also means that mechanical noise is well suppressed, but there’s a fair amount of road and wind noise in the cabin.

Ultimately, if you’re looking for a more driver-focused Twingo, the GT offers a good combination of speed, agility and performance. With a modified turbocharger, revised engine mapping, specially-developed exhaust, tweaks to the chassis and transmission, and great personalisation options, Renault has done everything it can to make the GT stand out from the pack.

Recommended engine: Twingo GT (TCe 110)

0-62mph

9.6 seconds

Fuel economy

54.3mpg

Emissions

115g/km

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features: ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ (6/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

The Renault Twingo was awarded a slightly disappointing four out of five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring 78% for adult occupant protection and 81% for child occupant protection. Safety equipment available includes electronic stability control, hill-start assist, emergency brake assist, lane-departure warning, tyre-pressure monitoring and four airbags. There are Isofix child seat mounts in the back, and an additional mount is available on the front passenger seat as an option (which also adds heated front seats).

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

Colours

Personalisation is one of the Twingo’s trump cards, and there are numerous ways to make your car look distinctive.

There are 10 basic colours, including Crystal White, Inca Yellow, Flame Red and Tahoe Blue, plus the superb Blaze Orange which is only available for the Dynamique S and GT.

In addition to the colours, you can specify one of six Personality Packs, which are a series of funky exterior/interior combinations with names such as Fashion, Party, Urban and Casual Chic, and Retro Racer. These add decals, continue the chosen paint colour inside with matching plastics and fabrics, and offer body-coloured door mirror surrounds and trim strips.

The GT is available in Blaze Orange metallic paint or a choice of Crystal White, Lunar Grey or Diamond Black. All of the shades have optional contrasting aircraft-inspired stripes. There is also a Sport exterior pack that adds orange or black detailing to the front grille, side door strips, door mirrors and rear spoiler. Inside, the colour scheme echoes the exterior.

Trim Levels

There are five trim levels: Expression, Play, Dynamique, Dynamique S and GT.

The Expression comes with the R&GO application, which turns your smartphone into a touchscreen, and enables full connectivity. Other features include EBA (emergency brake assist), ESC (electronic stability control), HSA (hill-start assist), remote central locking, tyre-pressure warning, 15-inch grey wheel trims, front electric windows and daytime LED running lights.

The Play version adds air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel, plus 15-inch two-tone wheel trims.

The Dynamique features 15-inch alloys, pinstripe shoulder-line decals, front foglamps, electric heated door mirrors, cruise control, lane-departure warning, leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearshift knob, white instrument backlighting, a folding key and storage pockets in the rear doors.

Dynamique S adds 16-inch diamond-cut alloys, aluminium pedals, part-leather upholstery and orange interior personalisation. Dynamique S customers can also specify a bodykit and GT options, including tinted rear windows, automatic lights and front wipers, fog lights with cornering function and rear parking sensors.

The Twingo GT’s specification “blends sportiness with luxury”. As standard, it offers automatic climate control, automatic lights and front wipers, fog lights with cornering function and rear parking sensors.

Exterior features on the GT include tinted rear windows and a bodykit that consists of side skirts, extended wheelarches and a rear diffuser. Inside, the colour scheme echoes the exterior. Orange trim details feature on the part-leather upholstery, the air vents and the base of the gear lever. You also get Renaultsport-badged door sills, aluminium pedals and a ‘Sport’ gearknob.

Options worth considering across the Twingo range include an electric fabric-folding panoramic sunroof, heated front seats and the Techno Pack with R-Link multimedia system – which incorporates a seven-inch touchscreen with TomTom Live navigation, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, a reversing camera and parking sensors.

Size and Dimensions

The Twingo is roughly the same size as city car rivals such as the Peuegot 108, Suzuki Celerio, Skoda Citigo and Fiat 500. Thanks to its rear-engined layout, the Twingo feels spacious for such a small car and offers good visibility. It also has a party trick, which makes it ideal for city driving and exceptionally manoeuvrable: an impressive turning circle of 8.59 metres. Parallel parking is a doddle.

Length

3,595 mm

Width

1,646 mm

Height

1,554 mm

Max towing weight without brake

N/A

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

The Twingo’s small three-cylinder petrol engines – a 70hp 1.0-litre, along with 90hp and 110hp versions of a turbocharged 0.9-litre – are all pretty economical, with low CO2 emissions.

The entry-level SCe 70 is good for a claimed 57mpg and emits 112g/km of CO2, while the TCe 90 can manage 67mpg with CO2 emissions of 99g/km. The more powerful TCe 110 is good for 53.3mpg and emits 115g/km.

The Renault Twingo is cheap to insure, ranging from group two, up to 11 for the GT.

Reliability and servicing

The Twingo is warranted for four years or 100,000 miles (the first two years have no mileage limit). There is also a three-year paint warranty and 12 years’ cover against corrosion. Four years’ roadside assistance cover is included, too.

When bought on Renault Selections Finance, four years’ (or 48,000 miles) servicing is thrown in. Renault also offers two- and three-year service plans from £469. Servicing is required once a year or every 12,500 miles. The timing chain is maintenance-free, which helps to reduce servicing costs.

The Twingo came 67th out of 150 cars in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, with a 47th-place finish for reliability.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Renault Twingo

While the Twingo can’t compete with bargain basement cars such as the Dacia Sandero and Suzuki Celerio, there aren’t many funky city runabouts with so much space for less than £10,000.

Starting at £9,545 for the entry-level Expression and ending up with the GT at £13,755, the Twingo range is competitively priced, although go easy on the bewildering number of options available.

If you can stretch to it, the GT is the coolest car in the range and the most fun to drive, but all cars from the Expression up are pretty well specified and boast plenty of character.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

First Time Driver

Expression SCe 70 – £9,545 will buy an entry-level Twingo with low insurance, decent fuel economy and great manoeuvrability.

Company Car Buyer

Dynamique S Energy TCe 90 Stop & Start – well-equipped, with fuel economy of up to 66mpg and just 99g/km of CO2 emissions. Priced from £12,905.

Luxury Seeker

Twingo GT – priced from £13,755, the GT looks great and that extra power makes all the difference for keener drivers.

Rivals

Skoda Citigo

Just like its Seat Mii and Volkswagen Up cousins, the Citigo is a great drive, surprisingly spacious and very cute.

Hyundai i10

Fun to drive and cheap to insure, the i10 also comes with a great five-year warranty and is capable of up to 71mpg.

Peugeot 108

The little 108 may be cut from the same cloth as the Citroen C1 and Toyota Aygo, but we think it’s the best of the bunch.

Suzuki Celerio

The Suzuki Celerio is simple but effective. For a bargain £6,999, you get a small but surprisingly spacious city car that’s cheap to run (up to 78.4mpg).

Vauxhall Viva

Not a million miles away from the Suzuki Celerio in terms of size, space and performance, the Viva costs a shade under £9,000.

What others say

What Car?

“The Renault Twingo mixes cheeky styling with reasonable practicality, but it’s neither as refined nor as comfortable as its best rivals”

Top Gear

“As entertaining and satisfying as the old Twingo was mediocre”

Car Buyer

“The Renault Twingo is a small and economical city car that blends good looks with decent practicality”

 

Be part of something big

2017 Renault Twingo