Renault Twingo: A Worthy Alternative To The Fiat 500?

When the first generation Renault Twingo came out in 1992, I had one thought at the time. Who on Earth would buy such a car? Well, it turns out millions of Europeans and South Americans did!

Today, the Renault Twingo is now in its third generation. It looks a world away from the original model that got unveiled. And boy does it present an attractive proposition to consumers! In fact, it's fair to say that the Renault Twingo also targets people that buy the Fiat 500.

Still, is it a better buy than its Italian competitor? In a word, yes. Let me explain the main selling points of the car:

Image Source: Flickr

Fresh, urban styling

Walk up to a third-generation Renault Twingo and you'll soon realise one thing. The car looks trendy and modern! The French car maker has no doubt taken on board feedback from previous owners and the motoring press.

What they've done is come up with a car that looks amazing. The thing that surprises me about the Renault Twingo is that it doesn't look "French", as odd as that sounds. Anyone that has followed the styling of Renault cars over the years will know what I mean.

The current Renault Twingo is more cosmopolitan and urban. What it doesn't do is align to a particular country's style of vehicle. This fact alone gives Renault an advantage when it comes to selling the car in different markets.

One can expect to see the latest model in countries like the UK, a place where such models were seldom seen in the past.

It defies convention

One thing you'll notice about the Renault Twingo is that it's not a "typical" city car. For example, take the location of the engine. You would expect it to be at the front end of the car, right?

The latest generation is a rear-engined model. Renault have no doubt taken some tips from the Renaultsport design team when it comes to space saving! The only difference is the Twingo still has a usable boot. To access the engine, you simply remove the cover.

If you're a mechanic, you will no doubt curse the location of the engine. Still, it's not a large unit to work on. And it's less complicated than other rear-engined cars like the Porsche Boxster, for example.

So, what's at the front end of the car? The only things you'll find there are fluid reservoirs such as for the windscreen washer. One downside to the Twingo is the fact there's no usable space up front. The bonnet just slides down so you can check or refill various fluids. Still, that makes simple maintenance quick and easy for most people.

It's affordable

For some reason, many of the Twingo's competitors are expensive to buy brand new. The good news is you've now got an affordable city car that you can get new.

If you want to save even more money, there are models available on the used car market. You can expect to see some for sale at places like Autoworld, for instance. And, as time goes on, I'm sure there will be more used examples for sale.

Source: Flickr

One thing Renault does well is build cars that are affordable to both new and used car buyers. And there's no sacrifice or cost-cutting involved!

Two efficient petrol engines on offer

With a car so small and light as the Twingo, there's no reason to fit a diesel unit. Renault offers two petrol power plants. The first is a 0.9-litre turbo engine that has 88 brake horsepower. That might not sound like much, but the car only weighs 943 kilograms! It also boasts a combined fuel economy of 65 MPG. Plus, CO2 emissions are just 99 g/km.

The other petrol option is the 1.0-litre. It's got less power at 69 brake horsepower, but the car weighs even less at 864 kilograms. Fuel economy is reasonable at 60 MPG combined while CO2 emissions are 105 g/km. If making a choice between the two, I'd recommend the smaller 0.9-litre unit.

Plenty of standard kit - even on the basic Expression trim

One point that will attract many new owners the most is the level of equipment offered on the Twingo. The Expression is the basic trim and offers DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. It also comes with remote central locking, hill start assist and electric front windows.

The range-topping Dynamique trim boasts cruise control, front fog lights and start-stop technology.

If you're in the market for a small city car, don't just assume you should opt for a Fiat 500. The Renault Twingo is a real worthy alternative. Don't believe me? I invite you to take one out for a test drive. You'll be glad you did!

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