21.12.2011 Renault Twingo Dynamique review
Renault's new Twingo will win sales on its more stylish looks alone and owners being able to create a more 'personalised' car. That it is a pleasant drive, very economical, deceptively spacious inside with individually adjustable rear seats and a reasonable boot, are bonuses that should keep owners smiling.
Petrol power means none of the worries about particulate filters with low mileage diesel engines in town. Good ride comfort and an easy rolling gait means that out-of-town journeys are perfectly acceptable.
Review by Russell Bray for nextgreencar.com
The new Twingo is low weight by today's standards at 950 kg (2095 lbs), but even so accelerative ability is nearer adequate than stimulating. You need to use plenty of revs because maximum torque (79 lbs/ft) from the 1149 cc petrol engine is produced at 4,250 rpm and maximum power at 5,500 rpm. The mulit-valve engine feels willing enough, but a little noisy at times. Acceleration to 62 mph takes 12.3 seconds and top speed is 105 mph. There is a livelier version with 99 bhp rather than this model's 74 bhp.
Renault has a deserved reputation for making front-wheel drive cars with adjustable and agile handling to please a keen driver and the new Twingo is no exception. Its chassis is taken from the forthcoming new Clio so the car responds keenly to driver input, though I would like more feel from the electrically (to save fuel compared to hydraulically) assisted power steering. You can still generate quite a lot of body lean but the benefit of the suspension settings are that the Twingo rides well over poor surfaces.
A bit more of a distinctive looker than the outgoing Twingo with a cheeky appearance that helps give a joie de vivre feeling which reminds of the original 1990s Twingo which was never officially imported into the UK. A raft of roof decals and a wide choice of alloy wheels and wheel trims will let owners make their car more personal a la Mini. Dashboard is quite fun with rev counter in front of driver and speedometer in a pod in the centre. Only three doors means rear seat access is for the slim and supple. Length is 3687 mm and it is 1654 mm wide (1949 mm including door mirrors).
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The Twingo driver's seat would better suit drivers under 6 foot tall as the backrest is stepped with large gaps between positions and the steering column only adjusts for angle and not reach, though the seat is height adjustable and there's good headroom. French cars always used to ride well, a reflection of how bad their roads used to be though we have that accolade now, but the Twingo was good despite wearing optional (£200) 15 inch 'Air' alloy wheels.
Radio controls on a 'stalk' below the one for the wipers makes a good contribution to road safety because you don't have to take your hands off the wheel to adjust volume or change station. Cruise control is worked by buttons on the wheel once it has been switched on.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Getting 55 mpg fuel consumption overall according to official figures, and 42 mpg on the urban cycle, from a petrol supermini shows than Renault hasn't spent all its time, and funds, working on diesels and electric cars. Carbon dioxide emissions of 119 g/km put the Twingo in VED band C so there is no first year's road fund licence and then £30 annually. Insurance is group 12. Warranty is three years/60,000 miles and service intervals are 18,000 miles/two years.
Relatively light weight, good aerodynamics when cruising and a fuel efficient engine with Euro 5 emission performance are the keys to the Twingo's low running costs. Interestingly Renault UK is quoting a CO2 figure of 119 g/km for the 1.2 litre 75 engine models, the same as the previous model, but the company's French website says 102 g/km. Slight differences in trim, and so weight, could account for the difference but watch this space. Believing Renault UK's CO2 figure of 119 g/km gives the new Twingo a Next Green Car Rating of 34.
Dynamique trim includes remote central locking, anti-lock brakes, cruise control, power steering, tinted windows, manual air conditioning, sliding independent rear seats, rev counter, trip computer, electric front windows, front fog lights, alloy wheels, RDS radio with CD player and Bluetooth telephone connectivity. Possible options include electronic stability control, full length canvas sunroof, automatic climate control, metallic paint and curtain airbags.
Model tested: Renault Twingo Dynamique 1.2 16v 75
Body-style: Three-door hatchback supermini
Engine/CO2: 1149cc four-cylinder petrol / 119 gCO2/km
Trim grades: Expression, Dynamique
On-road price: From £9,350. Test model £10,510
Warranty: Three years / 60,000 miles
In the showroom: February
Review rating: 3.5 STARS
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