If that’s just what you're after in an affordable little runabout, it’s well worth a look.
So, how does it feel to drive? Well to be honest, if you weren't told beforehand that the engine was in the back, you probably wouldn’t realise the fact – which is probably about as big a compliment as I could pay Renault regarding the Twingo's handling neutrality. Essentially, though the driving position is a little more commanding than most, in every other respect, on first acquaintance at least, this feels just like any other modestly-powered city runabout.
Or at least it does until you come to tightly twirl the wheel. In this car, the front wheels can turn to an impressive 45 degree angle: more typically, urban runabouts are limited to about 30-degrees. As a result, this car offers a super-tight turning circle of just 8. 59m – which is pretty much on par with a London taxi cab and over a metre tighter than any other rival can offer.
The engine most buyers will opt for, the 70PS 1. 0-litre SCe petrol unit, three cylinders in size - as is common in this segment - but offering a mere 91Nm of pulling power, which explains the distinctly leisurely performance.
If you really can’t face going quite that slowly the other mainstream engine on offer, is the TCe 90PS unit.
You might think of a typical modern citycar as being a pretty space-efficient thing. Then you come to this MK3 model Twingo and realise just how much more is possible. Here’s a design so different from its conventional predecessor that you might wonder if a couple of generations have been skipped while you weren’t looking. Outside, it’s 10cms shorter than before, yet somehow inside, it’s 33cms longer. The bonnet’s tiny and the turning circle’s tighter than that of a taxi. Such are the benefits of Renault’s decision to put the engine in the rear.
Being rear-engined defines this 3. 5-metre-long car in other ways too. With no oily bits at the pointy end, the front wheels can be pushed right to the corners, which improves stability - as well as increasing cabin space to such an extent that the interior of this Twingo is virtually as big as that of a Renault Clio supermini from the next class up. As a result, some have hailed this as the most significant small runabout we’ve seen since the original Mini.
And in summary? Well it’s true that some other rivals might be cheaper, slightly more efficient or a little better built. But try any one of them after living with a Twingo and you might well find the ownership proposition a little… mundane and conventional. Isn’t life too short for that? If you think that it is and you’re shopping in this segment, then here’s a great place to start.