The Renault Twingo is a subcompact hatchback, and one of the smallest Renault cars of the modern era. It first came to life back in 1992 and has since spawned three different generations. Sadly, Renault chooses to end the production of the Twingo after almost 30 years of consecutive production and soon replace it with a Renault 5 EV. So, is Renault Twingo a good car?
In short, yes, the Renault Twingo is a really good car which comes as no surprise as it also is one of the most popular and most successful Renault cars of the modern era. Thanks to its affordability, usability, practicality, and really cheap running costs, the Twingo was and still is the car of choice for many people around Europe.
In this article, we are going to go through all the things you need to know about the Twingo which includes going over the most popular powertrain options, the design, the driving experience, the reliability, all the common issues, the price, and practicality.
We will also round it all up with the Twingo safety credentials and its fiercest rivals to date. For the sake of not making this article ten pages long, we are only going to discuss the 2013 and later Twingo models. So, if you are interested in learning more about the Twingo, stick around and find out!
The very first 3rd generation Twingo models only rely on gasoline engines. The range from 0.9L 3-cylinder units to 1.0L 3-cylinder inline units. Even though you’d think that the larger one is likely the more powerful one, that is not the case as the 1.0L unit is only able to push 71hp while the 0.9L unit pushes 90hp. This is because the 1.0L came out in 2014 while the 0.9L came out in 2016.
The post-facelift 3rd generation of the Twingo still relies on the same powertrain, but the output now ranges from 65hp to 93hp for the most powerful 0.9L engines. However, in 2020 Renault came out with the Twingo ZE, an electric version of the Twingo with 82hp, a 16kWh battery with 22kWh charging with about 110 miles of range.
All of these are exclusively front-wheel drive cars and most models rely on a manual transmission. However, the 93hp post-facelift Twingo and the 90hp pre-facelift model can also be had with an automatic transmission. All in all, the Twingo can manage 40 and 50MPG which is indeed a really good number for a gasoline engine.
Design and Driving
Design-wise, the Twingo was always viewed as a cute car, but the reality is that not many people really pay much attention to the Twingo which is a quality many people love about it. The interior is fairly easy to understand, but it isn’t a luxury car, not by any means.
The driving experience is fun, zippy, and agile, but nothing to really wow you. All in all, the Twingo is a harmonious mixture of usability, fun looks, and simplicity which means that you really can’t be opinionated about it that much.
Reliability and Common Issues
Contrary to the previous section, there are many debates that be held about the reliability of the Twingo. Some swear that the Twingo is the most reliable car on the planet while others deem it to be a glorified trash can on wheels. The reality is usually somewhere in the middle which means that the Twingo can be immensely reliable if you take proper care of it, but if you treat it as a trash can, it is going to become one.
The most common problems include a whole host of electrical problems, problems with the springs and axle stubs, problems with ignition coils, low-quality body panels, engine knocking, engine sputtering, and faulty seat belt buckles.
Pricing and Practicality
Right now, you can get a used Twingo for next to nothing which does make a lot of sense since the car was cheap new. To be perfectly honest, it does not depreciate quite as much as most cars do, but that is partly because the secondhand Twingo is a surprisingly popular car. Either way, you are getting your money’s worth with a used Twingo.
Practicality is as you’d expect, fine for one or two passengers, horrendous for four people, and doable for three people. The Twingo is actually a surprisingly tall car which means that headspace is fine, but the real problem is how narrow it is. The trunk space is fine for its class, but this is not a weekly getaway car.
How Safe is the Renault Twingo?
Well, it’s not looking too well for such as small car, but the 2014 Twingo enjoys a fairly decent four out of five stars rating which is more than good enough. The main reason why the Twingo didn’t get five stars is due to lacking all the modern-day safety active systems such as automatic braking, cross traffic alert, and such.
The essential adult and child occupant protection is on par with some full-size SUVs even. As such, we can say that the Twingo is a safe car, but it’s not top-level. Either way, for such as small car, most people would be surprised to know that it is actually safer than some SUVs in specific environments.
Which Cars Rival the Renault Twingo?
The little world of Renault Twingo is brimming with really fierce rivals which are able to trade punches with the Twingo in most areas. These include the Toyota Yaris which is the more reliable one, the Citroen C3 which is the cheaper one, and the Fiat Punto which is the more spacious one.
Overall, there really is little between these four cars as they were never built to excite. They were built to do the job as well as they can, and they certainly manage that.
Why did Renault Discontinue the Twingo?
The main reason why Renault discontinued the Twingo is due to the upcoming Euro 7 emissions standard which is too strict for the existing engine to pass. This means that Renault would have to develop and test a brand-new engine for the Twingo which makes no sense when all small cars are turning toward electric power these days.
The second reason is that Renault is getting ready to announce the new Renault 5 EV which is going to be the indirect successor to the Renault Twingo.