The smallest of the family

      It makes no sense to introduce Twingo. Everyone knows it, however the opinions on it differ quite a bit. Twingo can be admired or hated, but nothing in-between.

      Twingo passed a few changes quite recently. The changes led to a change of design and increased security. The design has been changed just a little in the Laguna style, like change of main and rear headlamps and modified bumper. On the field of security happened much more. Airbag on the driver's side in standard equipment has been added, as well as the pre-tensioner of safety belts and reinforcements in important points of the bodywork. It looks like Renault wants to keep an image of a producer taking care of the safety and tries to do everything what is possible in order to make every model the safest car in itīs class. Mégane got this image in the lower middle class and Laguna in the middle one. Is Twingo going to be the same case in the class of mini automobiles? The changes suggest the answer: yes.

      Twingo has been produced Twingofor quite a long time and currently it is in a way the oldest model of the whole collection of passenger cars produced by Renault. It does not look like this fact would affect the car's elegance. Twingo pack in ginger color passed our test. For such a little vehicle, as with no doubt Twingo is, the car was equipped by a number of instruments, which make the ride more pleasant and they increase the security of the passengers. Airbag on the driver's and front passenger's side together with the side airbags are that kind of thing you would expect rather in cars of middle class or in more expensive colleagues, which belong to the higher class. Painted glass does not really increase security, but they make the ride more pleasant, especially in sunny days. On the other hand, reflexive front screen, Twingo has been equipped with, reduces the risk of dazzling because the rays, which could dazzle the driver, are being sent back to the space. We should mention also the electric operation of windows and rear view mirrors, tuner with the operation control under the steering wheel - the driver can concentrate on driving fully,Twingo vertically adjustable safety belts, ABS, inner air circulation, central lock with remote control and immobiliseur. We should not put aside glass electrically operated roof, which is literally from the front screen to the rear one.

      Twingo was the first car in its class. Actually, it was a founder of this class and became an "ethalone" of using the inner space. So we focused on the statement of the slogan saying "the smallest large car". From outside Twingo looks like a car, suitable just for sardines with children company. After opening the door the story becomes different. Two adults have really enough space in front, especially in longitudinal direction. It is a bit worse in terms of width; and persons over 190 cm high really misses vertically adjustable driver's seat. However, the car was created Twingoespecially for the more beautiful part of the humankind, so it's not such a big deal. Also on the rear seats there is space enough thanks to the sliding bench. If the bench is fixed in the back position, even two adults can travel by this car not feeling uncomfortably due to the lack of space for feet. In this case the luggage department space is 168 dm3. When you need to transport more luggage, you have to slide the bench to the front position with a little help of a simple mechanism - and the space enlarges to 261 dm3. The idea of a sliding bench is as simple as

      After sitting behind the steering wheel we appreciated the arrangement of the instrument board, which is unusual but practical. TwingoThe speedometer is in the middle relatively close to the front screen, so the driver does not miss anything whatīs happening on the road. Above "a little chapel" of the speedometer there is a button of flashing warning lamps in a form of a ping-pong ball. Both the placement and the funny form of this button are in the spirit of Twingo interior design. Little side rear view mirrors surprise you by a really good view. What we did not like was the form of the floor. It happened several times the male passengers could not floor the gas pedal due to the plate just next to it. Women with smaller shoes had no problem with the plate.

      The safety belts are anchored relatively far behind because of the large door. The feeling of being held tight makes the passengers feel safe. Twingo we have tested was equipped by yellow members of the interior. They look very sweet, however, they easily get dirty. We would also appreciated more instrument controllers like tachometer, cooling liquid temperature meter and two controllers of flashing lights.

      During the ride Twingo behaves almost as a "large car" because of the wheels in the corners of the bodywork. During the whole testing we did not mention any problems with the car's behaviour on the road. Well-dimensedTwingo brakes with ABS did not show any notice of being tired even when being treated really hard. Steering assistance would be useful for parking. Changing the gears is relatively OK, except for the fifth gear, which is relatively far from the driverīs seat and you need a power to because of the swing returning the handle to the neutral position. Twingo, equipped by an engine of 1149 ccm with the performance - according to the papers - 43 kW (which is really not too much) is not a car, which would stop the traffic. According to the producer, the car can reach 150 kph. We managed the car to drive on 174 kph, and to keep this speed constantly. Twingo would suit also more powerful engine, which is not, however, offered.

      The results of measuring the speed and consumption is not too accurate due to the conditions. The temperature was rarely over -5 degrees of Celsius, the snow calamity was everywhere. We suggest comparing with the producer's info, which is in the section of "new models".

The price of the tested car: 331 507 CZK (approx. 9.900.- USD)

Consumption of fuel during the test   
urban cycle 6,5 l/100km
extra urban cycle
(respecting the rules
50, 90, 130 Km/h)
5,9 l/100km
sportive ride 7,4 l/100km


At the end there is a duty to determine a winner of this duel:
(max 5, min. 1 points)
bodywork (design) 4
riding characteristics 4
brakes 4
engine 3
gearbox 2
consumption 4
luggage department 4
interior, control elements 4
price 3
total 32

(text Petr Havlicek & foto Marek Dostal)