The new Renault Twingo is an attractive addition to the city car ranks chiefly because it’s handsome and unusual.

The car is fresh and appealing to look at and comes across as likeable and charming – and among younger buyers, that may be more than half the battle. But the car is likeable mostly in spite of its handling, performance and practicality.

Matt Prior

Road test editor
The Volkswagen Up is the quality option. The Panda is more fun, though, but the VW still just has the edge

Truth is the Twingo’s rear-engined configuration brings more apparent compromises than gains – as the sanitised handling, disappointing refinement and flawed cabin packaging attest.

Add given the car’s sluggish performance, mediocre real-world economy and unexceptional value for money and you’re left with a lot to overlook for the sake of some amiable visual character and a tight turning circle.

Too much, clearly, for us to be able to declare the new Twingo much more than a competent new city car.

Top 5 City cars

  • Volkswagen Up
    The Volkswagen Up city car isn't revolutionary, it's just quantifiably better than the opposition

    Volkswagen Up

    1
  • Hyundai i10
    The Hyundai i10 is offered with either a 1.0-litre petrol engine or a 1.2-litre petrol engine

    Hyundai i10

    2
  • Suzuki Celerio
    The Celerio is an all-new city car from Suzuki

    Suzuki Celerio

    3
  • Fiat Panda
    Panda’s 4 star EuroNCAP crash score falls short of some rivals

    Fiat Panda

    4
  • Vauxhall Viva
    Vauxhall Viva 1.0 SE is priced from £7995

    Vauxhall Viva

    5

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    4 May 2016
    The new Edge SUV is looking to steal sales from BMW and Audi, but has it got enough of an edge to make that happen?
  • First Drive
    3 May 2016
    New entry-level 1.8 TFSI engine takes over from Audi's 2.0 TFSI as the cheapest way into a TT Roadster, but is it necessarily the best choice?
  • First Drive
    3 May 2016
    Audi's SQ7 is silly fast, and makes a silly noise, at a silly price – but contains tech that will prove incredibly influential
  • First Drive
    2 May 2016
    There's lots of work yet to be done, but the Aston Martin DB11's hardware has been signed-off. To experience it, we've driven a prototype
  • First Drive
    1 May 2016
    If you like Minis, going quickly and basking in the sun, then you're in luck; we've driven Mini's new John Cooper Works Convertible on foreign roads