A fairly conventional seatbelt, two pedals, two indicator stalks and an entirely normal steering wheel characterise a driving environment that might make the Renault Twizy feel quite familiar. This would be true were it not for the central driving position and for the fact that – even with the optional scissor doors of our test car lowered – the cockpit never feels remotely enclosed.
A high driving position makes for good all-round visibility. But most testers agreed that they felt as if they were riding on the Twizy rather than driving in it. It’s an impression underlined by the air rushing into the cabin where conventional windows might otherwise be, and on a chilly day at cruising speeds it makes you acutely aware of the lack of any cabin heating.
The Twizy offers its driver as much room as any supermini. Its controls are easy to use and the digital speedometer, trip computer and battery meter are clear.
The interior plastics are hardy enough and easy to wipe clean – important given that there’s no way to protect them from rain and road grime – but they do feel cheap, reminding you more of the cubbies and fittings on a mass-market motorbike than those of a contemporary car.
Ironically, a big motorbike might offer more storage than the Twizy. The main cubby – a 31-litre box behind the rear seat – is fiddly to open and tricky to access and would barely accommodate a small shopping bag.
Although it may be a much safer and more energy-efficient means of getting around the city, the Twizy barely seems to offer any more practicality than a big scooter. For £7k, you have a right to expect more.