• First Drive: Renault Twingo

    by  • October 29, 2014 • Car Reviews, First Drives

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    2014 Renault Twingo exterior static

    The new Renault Twingo is shorter, yet more spacious than the outgoing model

    It’s the city car with the engine in the boot – yes, the all new Renault Twingo has arrived in Ireland, bringing with it what Renault calls ‘stylish and fun motoring’.

    We got to take the happy-looking little car for a quick spin through a very wet and murky Dublin at its Irish launch yesterday.

    Twingo is made up from the words twist, swing and tango and the French marque is hoping it will evoque all of those.

    Now in its third generation, the new Twingo is ‘radically different’ from its predecessors, and features a number of firsts – including the aforementioned rear-mounted engine, rear wheel drive and five doors.

    Renault describes it as ‘very much a car for 21st century cities – compact, nimble, efficient, safe and fully connected to the outside world’.

    The new model comes with a choice of two new petrol engines – a 1.0-litre SCe 70 and a Energy TCe 90 Stop and Start.

    The SCe 70 has a top speed of 151kph and can accelerate from 0-100kph in 14.5seconds.

    The 1.0-litre Dynamique SCe 70 model with Stop/Start technology has fuel economy of 4.2litres/100km and puts out 95g or CO2 – putting it in the €180/year car tax bracket.

    Meanwhile, the TCe 90 – available on the top of the range Dynamique – has a top speed of 165kph, with 0-100kph acceleration in 10.8seconds.

    With Stop & Start as standard, it consumes 4.3l/100km and has emissions of 99g.

    The new Twingo is more compact on the outside, yet more spacious on the inside than the outgoing model. And, Renault says, it also has the best turning circle in its class.

    And, as if having the engine in the boot wasn’t novel enough, the Twingo also promises some very interesting cargo options.

    2014 Renault Twingo interior boot rear passenger seats folded

    Folding down the passenger seats gives a load area that can carry a flatpack book case

    Although we didn’t get to investigate them properly at yesterday’s launch, the lie flat rear and front passenger seats will definitely be something we’ll be checking out.

    Renault says that with the seats configured in this way the little Twingo can carry loads of up to 2.31m – that’s long enough to tote a flat pack book case or a double bass.

    Sadly, there’s no extra storage under the bonnet.

    The French car company is also playing up the customisation available in the Twingo – with both exterior and interior options available via individual items or ‘high value packages’.

    Drivers can avail of navigation, phone, multimedia and trip computer functions by hooking up their smartphone to the R&Go system, which is standard. The built-in R-Link touchscreen multimedia system is available on the Dynamique trim.

    The new Twingo will be available in three trim levels – Expression, Play and Dynamique.

    Standard features across the range include electric power steering, electric front windows, speed limiter and automatic activation of the rear screen wiper when reverse gear is selected.

    Safety-wise, hill start assist, emergency brake assist and a tyre pressure monitoring system are standard.

    Upgrade to Play and you also get air conditioning and a height adjustable driver’s seat and steering wheel.

    Meanwhile, Dynamique adds cruise control, lane departure warning, electric heated door mirrors, and storage pockets in the rear doors.

    While we didn’t get to spend very long with the Twingo yesterday, it presents as a very interesting prospect indeed – one which we’re looking forward to exploring more thoroughly at a later date.

    The new Renault Twingo is available to order now, with test drive cars in dealerships from mid-November. Prices start from €13,990.

    Visit the Renault Ireland website, or its Facebook page for further details.