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Renault Twingo Hatchback engines, drive and performance

2007 - 2014 (change model)
Performance rating: 2.5 out of 52.5

Written by Chris Ebbs Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

There are three engine choices in the Twingo range. The entry-level models come with a 1.2-litre petrol with 60bhp, but as you’d expect, it’s sluggish and not enjoyable to drive. 0-62mph takes a leisurely 15 seconds and it feels strained most of the time, particularly on open roads. Higher specification models come with a more powerful 1.2-litre 16v engine that has 75bhp.

It’s still far from fast, but feels nippy enough around town, even if it also has to be revved quite hard. The GT model may look sporty, but it still uses the same 1.2-litre engine, albeit with a turbocharger fitted to boost power to 100bhp. It’s certainly livelier and is more comfortable when it comes to tacking dual carriageways. Both models come with five-speed manual gearboxes, with a pleasantly smooth shift action.

The Twingo isn’t particularly fun to drive, but is fairly competent on the road. In town the light steering makes tight manoeuvres and parking easy, plus it’s easy to nip in and out of traffic. However the steering lacks feel on open roads and doesn’t instil much confidence when tackling corners. There’s also too much body roll making it uncomfortable on country lanes.

Other small cars such as the Citroen C1, Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 107 trio, are more enjoyable to drive.