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Humphrey The Pug

New Twingo

Went up to MIRA in Nuneaton last Tuesday to learn about and drive the new Twingo and Trafic.

In the flesh the Twingo is a pretty car and doesn't actually look a great deal like a 500, as it does tend to come across in the photo's. It is a far better quality and resolved product than the half arsed, soon to be discontinued Twingo; Renault got the current Twingo massively wrong over here which was evident from the training day 5 odd years ago, it was too expensive and too cheap feeling and needed to be a 5995/6995 car max but it wasn't hence why we only sold one new one last year and they were a massive flop nationwide and I believe across Europe too.

Anyway new Twingo rights alot of wrongs:

Firstly it is well designed with plenty of character and is well built too, it feels a small premium product, both inside and out with soome nice touches and interior and exterior colour options and accents which lift the car nicely but aren't OTT.

There is tons of space inside, you can easily fit four adults in in decent comfort, the 5 door only option is a good thing IMO as many families are downsizing, I've seen this with people with kids moving from Clio to Captur as opposed to Megane or Scenic and as a second family car with Twingo being 5 door and having plenty of interior space I think it is a good move on Renault's part, rear windows though are pop out affairs as the rear door cards are heavily sculpted to be concave to give shoulder room, or most likely they are pop out as a cost cutting measure.

The boot isn't very deep but that is due to where the engine is however it is big enough for what it will be used for and if you want you can get an Ikea Billy Bookcase in there by folding down the passenger front seat and rear seat so there is a bit of flexibility if needed.

We didn't get up to masses of speed in the car it was generally a manouvering excercise so tight slaloms, reversing and 1 point turns, this was all done to highlight the very impressive turning circle which is on par with a black cab, impressive indeed. Steering was nice with good feel and pedals and gear stick all worked well together with a good weight, sometimes major controls on past Renault's can be a bit too light with no real feel, this wasn't the case in the Twingo

The cars we drove were non turbo 3 cylinder 70hp engines and they are brilliant, very responsive, more than powerful enough and had a nice thrum to them, they were more than ample, there will also be a turbo 90 hp version; as seen in Clio and Captur, however the 70 will be the most popular one and really the 90 isn't needed.

It deserves to sell well and as long as Renault do what they have been doing lately with Clio and Captur then it will sell well, Renault are doing well at the moment and long may it continue.
Frank Bullitt

Most importantly, when will they be available to test drive? I've been keepin an eye on the Twingo, the Mk2 lost the cheap chiq of the Mk1 and with Dacia taking the cheap element Renault can position this as chiq, and also allow there not to be cheaper Clio options.

I might be tempted by one at some point, 3-pots too; yummy.
Nice Guy Eddie

I sat in one at the Festival of speed and was quite impressed overall, certainly a lot nicer then the C1/Aygo/Pug. Engine in the backs a bit quirky which begs the question as to what is upfront and why can you not open the bonnet?

The interior was a bit Fiat Panda in its squareness but quite liked the personalisation options you can add. How much are they?
Humphrey The Pug

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
I sat in one at the Festival of speed and was quite impressed overall, certainly a lot nicer then the C1/Aygo/Pug. Engine in the backs a bit quirky which begs the question as to what is upfront and why can you not open the bonnet?


Ahh yes up front, sorry I forgot.

The bonnet can be released and slid forward a foot or so to gain access to coolant and windscreen washer fluid top ups, also there is a crash structure in there too.

Another thing that I forgot to mention is a smart phone app that comes will all Twingo's to turn your Android or iOS device in to a sat nav, this is exclusive for Twingo and Trafic customers, it is free on the Twingo. We didn't get to have a play with it however from the presentation it looked quite good and comprehensive, the car also comes with a cradle for your phone.

As for test drives, the first cars won't be appearing until end of August/early September.

No costings yet however on the first day of training the delegates were told it was going to be similarly priced to the UP!!, now this could be a problem as as good a car is in this sector I have found, particularly if someone is looking at a Polo and Clio, the VW tends to win even if the spec and technology on the VW is lower, we shall see.
Dr. Hfuhruhurr

So there's no luggage space in the front?

Interesting write-up; it's a car I like the look of very much.
PhilD

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
So there's no luggage space in the front?

Interesting write-up; it's a car I like the look of very much.


+1 to both points - why no luggage space up front?!

Meant to say on previous threads about 500s and Kas etc that my money would be waiting in the bank for the Twingo.

You say the turbo isn't really needed Humph, but did you drive it 4 up with some luggage?
Martin

I assume it's a lot cheaper not to provide luggage space in the front as it keeps all the bodywork and crash protection simple?

It does sound like an interesting car, but I think pricing it against the up! is a little ambitious.
Humphrey The Pug

Dr. Hfuhruhurr wrote:
So there's no luggage space in the front?


Correct.
Humphrey The Pug

PhilD wrote:
You say the turbo isn't really needed Humph, but did you drive it 4 up with some luggage?


No; two people only, however it is predomiately going to be a city car so 70hp will be ample.
Humphrey The Pug

Martin wrote:
It does sound like an interesting car, but I think pricing it against the up! is a little ambitious.


Yep that is mine and my colleague's concern, as I've mentioned already, if a VW is on the list then they are going to buy the VW even if it isn't as good, has a lower spec and poor engine, I've lost Clio's to frankly shit specced and poor engined similarly priced Polo's and they tend to be women too, the Twingo will appeal more to the female element too.

I've been smoking around in a 60hp Mii Toca on and off for a few weeks, there is the odd niggly thing that is annoying however it is a bloody good car.
PhilD

Humphrey The Pug wrote:
PhilD wrote:
You say the turbo isn't really needed Humph, but did you drive it 4 up with some luggage?


No; two people only, however it is predomiately going to be a city car so 70hp will be ample.


a 3 with turbo could sound great though, a la Smart Coupe, and be tunable.
Frank Bullitt

Humphrey The Pug wrote:
Martin wrote:
It does sound like an interesting car, but I think pricing it against the up! is a little ambitious.


Yep that is mine and my colleague's concern, as I've mentioned already, if a VW is on the list then they are going to buy the VW even if it isn't as good, has a lower spec and poor engine, I've lost Clio's to frankly shit specced and poor engined similarly priced Polo's and they tend to be women too, the Twingo will appeal more to the female element too.


People probably suggested the same when Fiat was bringing the 500 to the market and Citroen the DS3 - if the product is good, people will buy it and I still think Renault has enough cachet amongst many people who think 'Papa and Nicole' or 'Va Va Voom' rather than 'Safrane with dodgy electrics' - surely the popularity of the Captur is evidence enough.
Martin

Yes, cars like the 500, Captur, Qashqai (an even bigger success) etc prove that people will buy something good despite the badge.

I hope the Twingo does well.

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