Car Review: Renault - Twingo  Series 07 (3 stars)

The Renault Twingo struggles to make a name for itself amongst a tough crowd.

The original Twingo was a super-cool little city car, a one-box design that looked like it had been hewn from a boiled sweet. It was a subject of much upset for anyone who had spent some time in France in the mid-90s that Renault insisted on not converting the car to right-hand drive and selling it in the UK. It was cute, fun, stylish - in fact, everything the second-generation Twingo isn't.

A lot of the fun and style has been taken out of the car, probably because it would have cost too much to keep something like that in, and the Twingo loses out on character to the likes of the Fiat 500 and the Toyota Aygo.

It's something of a cliché to say that a car handles like a go-kart, but that is genuinely the case with the Twingo, which although it suffers from steering that is too light, can be highly entertaining for a keen driver. The payoff for that keen handling is a stiff ride, however, which can irritate and impacts badly on the overall driving experience.

There is ample space inside, however, and four people can be carried in comfort utilising the nifty sliding rear bench, which can move the rear seats back by up to 10cm. Obviously this does have quite an effect on boot space, which is merely average to begin with. With cars this size, though, you do have to choose the one or the other. There's no way to have a decent-sized boot and room for four in a city car.

The 1.2-litre TCE turbocharged petrol engine is our favourite in this car - it combines with the Twingo's low weight to produce impressive fuel consumption figures and a perky performance that is strong around the city streets. The Twingo is not a natural motorway cruiser, and it could do with an extra gear up top to lessen the din at 70mph. If you're after a performance car, though, the Renaultsport model is bags of fun and definitely worth a look.

The Twingo does suffer from a lack of a distinctive identity - many rivals are instantly recognisable even by those who don't know cars, but the Renault definitely isn't. Buyers might feel let down too by the poor quality interior, which they could get for much less in a Korean car. It's probably best to shop around.

Renault Twingo Series 07 StatisticsCar Reviews

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