Review: Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014)

Rating:

Practical cabin layout, with sliding rear bench. Comfortable ride.

Only one trim and engine option. Not the best car to drive. Interior materials showing their age.

Recently Added To This Review

10 September 2016

Oil leak reported from 2013 Renault Twingo Renaultsport bought used. Fixed by local independent Renauilt specialist. Read more

20 January 2012 Renault confirms UK pricing

Costing £10,350 on-the-road in Dynamique 1.2 16V 75 guise. Boasting improved styling, with a cheekier front end and the new Renault design identity, plus revised bumper, tailgate and new rear lights,... Read more

Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014): At A Glance

The first generation Twingo never made it to the UK, but its blend of cute styling and a practical cabin made it popular on the continent. The second generation car arrived in 2007 and offered more of the same but with sliding rear seats to maximise useful interior space. It struggled to find fans in the UK so Renault facelifted it in 2012 with the aim of giving it more appeal.

Renault has steadily reduced the number of variants on offer and when it revised the Twingo there was just one trim level and engine to choose from, although there’s more choice with used cars, including a fun 133PS Renaultsport version and a 100PS Gordini.

This updated Twingo is powered by a 75PS 1.2-litre petrol, which isn’t particularly remarkable. It has enough pep for town driving, but refinement is unimpressive and the drive itself could be better. The handling is fine with plenty of grip and agility thanks to the light weight, but the steering feels spongy and the gear change action could be better.

Thankfully the 1.2-litre engine is reasonably clean and economical, with emissions of 108g/km and an official consumption figure of 60.1mpg. Those figures make it an affordable car to run, but many rivals, such as the cheaper Hyundai i10, manage emissions of below 100g/km and are even more efficient.

Unfortunately the Twingo's practical layout isn’t enough to make it a wise buy. The single trim available offers a good level of standard equipment including air conditioning and cruise control, but it’s still too pricey to compete with more recent, cheaper small hatchbacks like the superior Volkswagen Up and Hyundai i10. Both are better to drive, better-built and are available in a wider range of trim levels.

What does a Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014) cost?

List Price from £10,730
Buy new from £10,495
Contract hire from £158.33 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 3687 mm
Width 1949 mm
Height 1470 mm
Wheelbase 2367 mm

Full specifications

The Twingo might be a small car but it has an impressively practical cabin. The back row of two seats is mounted to runners, so it can be slid forward or backward depending on whether you need load space or rear legroom. Renault has cleverly fitted adjustment handles that are accessible from the boot, so you don’t need to clamber around to adjust the seats.

The seats also tumble forward entirely to give almost 1000 litres of boot space, which is very impressive for such a small car. For carrying flat packs or going on a camping trip it's ideal. It's by no means an estate car but it impress with its practicality.

Up front the layout is quite spartan. The dashboard and centre mounted instrument binnacle are finished in a hard yet durable plastic, but some of the minor controls like those for the air conditioning feel quite flimsy. Storage space up front could be better, but that's a problem shared with many small cars. 

The steering and seat adjustment ranges aren’t huge, but it’s still fairly easy to get comfortable in the driver’s seat and the seats themselves offer a decent amount of comfort. Thanks to the adjustable rear bench the Twingo is suitable for carrying adults in the back row, but there are only two seats and access isn’t great because of the three door layout.

From 2012 Renault is only offering the Twingo in one trim level – Dynamique. The good news is that it’s well equipped, with Bluetooth, USB connection, four speakers, alloy wheels, cruise control and air conditioning – but the bad news is that it’s expensive at £10,715. For that you could get a Hyundai i10 in top-trim – a more up-to-date car.

Standard Equipment: 

Dynamique includes alloy wheels, four-speaker audio with AUX-in and Bluetooth, air conditioning, electrically adjustable gloss black door mirrors, gloss black interior details and a sliding rear bench seat.

Child seats that fit a Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014) like to drive?

Updated Renault Twingo models from 2012 are only available with one engine choice, which is a 75PS 1.2-litre petrol. It’s a good enough engine, with adequate performance for town and respectable fuel economy of 60.1mpg – but it lags behind the competition. Many rival cars manage zero VED thanks to emissions of below 100g/km, but the Twingo produces 108g/km, although tax is still cheap. 

The Twingo may look cheeky but sadly there's little character in the way it drives. True it is light and agile, so can be fun on a twisting road, but any enjoyment is hampered by spongy-feeling steering and an imprecise gear change. Refinement isn’t great, either – the cabin is loud and buzzy at higher speeds, while both wind and tyre noise are audible at anything over 30mph.

On the plus side the ride quality is good – speed bumps and potholes are absorbed well. The suspension only begins to show its lack of sophistication when the car is pushed particularly hard though corners, when body roll becomes a problem.  The car also wobbles and bounces over very rough, broken surfaces, but for town and dual-carriage way use it’s very good.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.2 60 mpg 12.3 s 108 g/km

Real MPG average for a Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

96%

Real MPG

54–60 mpg

MPGs submitted

6

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Renault Twingo (2012 – 2014)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Renault Twingo oil leak - can I make a warranty claim?

I purchased a used 2013 Renault Twingo from a Ford main dealer many miles away. It was purchased over the phone and came with a three month warranty including mechanical, electrical and multimedia. The Renauilt had an oil leak, evident after a month, which I've just had fixed by a local independent Renauilt specialist. The supplying retailer now wishes me to deal directly with their warranty firm to discuss reclaiming the cost. Should I do this or should I insist on dealing with the retailer directly?.
A warranty insurer could not be held liable for an oil leak that pre-existed taking out the warranty. Normally the dealer would be liable for the first six months, but you should have referred the matter to the dealer first. See: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Answered by Honest John
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