Our Cars brief update, Renault Twingo (month seven), CAR+ December 2015

Published: 01 November 2015

► Month seven with our Renault Twingo
► Stripped-back, simply charming Twingo
► We'd take a Twingo over the Smart ForFour 

The Twingo and Smart ForFour may be the same car under the skin, but that doesn’t make them the same car. For starters, our Twingo Play SCE costs £9995, whereas this posher ForFour Prime is £12,315. It’s hard to make like-for-like comparisons – both share the same three-cylinder engine and running gear, but their characters are as divergent as the trim levels. They’re actually different sizes, for starters – the Smart is shorter by 100mm, believe it or not. I prefer the look of the Twingo, not least because of hidden rear-door handles that make it look like a racy sports coupe (in my mind). Inside, the Smart has more sophisticated trim, and a futuristic dashboard with (in this example) a big, optional touchscreen. But the Twingo has a stripped-back, simple charm about it – it’s still a bit ‘Renault 4’, where the Smart feels ‘mini-Mercedes’. That extra kit means the Smart is heavier too, and a fraction slower – and in this world of wheezy 1.0-litre engines, every second counts. So I’ll stick to my bumble bee, and its rip-roaring 14.5sec 0-62mph time, thank you very much.

Logbook: Renault Twingo Play SCE 70

Price: £9995 
As tested: £10,585 
Miles this month: 553 
Total miles: 5000
Our mpg: 40 
Official mpg: 62.8 
Fuel this month: £70 
Extra costs: £0

By Mark Walton

Contributing editor, humorist, incurable enthusiast