Skip to main content

As an American, there are hardly any small, affordable, city-focused cars for sale today. Of course, we had the Smart Fortwo, but that was discontinued after the 2019 model year. We also had the Chevy Spark, but again, that was discontinued as well, following the 2022 model year. In America, there truly is only one mass market, gasoline-powered city car on the marketplace today: the Mitsubishi Mirage. However, even the Mirage is soon to be discontinued.

Elsewhere in Europe, city cars are thriving. While American cars had to get bigger to reach ever-evolving EPA and crash test standards, Europeans got to innovate in the city car marketplace. Through this innovation, Europe got one of the best city cars ever made: the Renault Twingo. It may not be the fastest, longest-lasting, or most durable city car out there, but it is teeming with personality. Here is everything you need to know about the Renault Twingo.

Is the Renault Twingo reliable?

The Renault Twingo is historically a fairly reliable vehicle. If you want to import one to the United States, it is important to remember that we never got these in an official release. This means that parts can be challenging to source. However, with dedicated online forums, you are bound to find a ton of information to keep your Renault Twingo on the road.

According to CarThrottle, it seems like the first-generation Twingo has some fairly common rust areas on the body, but if you can source yours from a relatively dry climate, you could easily find one with a pristine body. Meanwhile, HeyCar explains that build quality is mixed when it comes to the newer generation Twingo. While the interior of the new Twingo models can be viewed as premium due to the lack of visible body metals on the inside, flimsy plastic could lead to premature wear if you want to keep your Twingo as a daily driver for a long time.

How safe is the Twingo?

The Renault Twingo is a reasonably safe vehicle. Because the Twingo was not sold in the U.S., it can be tough to distinguish just how safe these vehicles are. However, the Euro NCAP gave the first-generation Renault Twingo three out of five stars in overall safety. The second-generation Twingo made some improvements, and it received a four out of five-star rating in safety. Finally, the newest Twingo, the third generation, also received a four out of five-star rating. 

Is the Renault Twingo fun to drive?

The Twingo is a blast to drive, but not in the way you’d expect. The first generation Renault Twingo, the most influential model, only produced around 75 horsepower. This gave the Twingo an anemic 0 to 60 mph time of 14 seconds, nearly dangerous in modern traffic. However, this is not where the “fun to drive” aspect of the Twingo comes in. Instead, the Twingo is fun to drive because it has so much personality. From the smiley face front fascia to the neon-colored interior trim, this car is all about fun.

In a drab city car segment, the Twingo shines as a cute but very useful city cruiser. It may not have the cultural impact that the Beetle had. Still, the Twingo is teeming with even more personality with its center-mounted digital dashboard, solid manual transmission, seat upholstery that matches the color of the interior air vent trim, and a huge sunroof. The Twingo is a blast to drive.

If you can get your hands on a first-generation Twingo in the States, jump on the opportunity. The Twingo is a cheap car, great on gas, easy to park, easy to maintain, and a blast to drive. The Twingo shows what a great city car can be when the focus is all about fun rather than aggressive styling.

Related $500,000 Ferrari 488 Pista Gets Wrecked by a $5,000 Renault Twingo

$500,000 Ferrari 488 Pista Gets Wrecked by a $5,000 Renault Twingo