It's no dynamic benchmark, but the two-seater is still a likeable car

Our Verdict

Renault Wind

A sporty little two-seat coupe with a capacious boot and a removable roof

What is it?

The Renault Wind is an oddly appealing-looking coupe-cabriolet that’ll seat two and in this test car is powered by the base 99bhp 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol motor. Power is sent through a five-speed manual gearbox, whether you opt for this model or the more powerful 1.6.

What’s it like?

The 3.8-metre long Wind has a promising start in life being based on the Twingo, which is an involving steer in any of its guises. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of the Wind.

See the first drive pictures of the Renault Wind 1.2 TCe Dynamique S

It retains the grippiness of its hatchback sibling, but the numb, rubbery steering means that the joy that could be taken from the decent chassis is veiled by the steering. This 1.2-litre engine is also less than encouraging. It’s fine for normal, everyday driving but a shortage of torque means it needs to be worked very hard for any more rapid progress.

Tackle some typical British roads and it’s evident that there is some flexing going on, though the short wheelbase and light kerbweight means that it’s not too bad and certainly better than many of the bigger CCs on the market.

For all its acceptable body rigidity, it’s never a settled car to drive. There is a subtle fidgeting over most road surfaces, and bigger pot holes and undulations can cause a some disconcerting jarring and shuddering.

In truth the finer points of the Wind’s dynamics are unlikely to be of significance to those thinking of buying it. More important will be the tidy-looking dash, funky exterior and low running costs.

Should I buy one?

The Wind is a long way off cheap, but it is well equipped with cruise control, climate control, sports seats, steering wheel audio control and the extra security of a hard-top roof.

So it’s easy to see why some would enjoy the Wind – it’s a likeable car, and the rarity factor will win it advocates. Given its semi-sporting, two-seat layout there are few direct rivals, but we’d suggest sacrificing the hard-top and digging a little deeper for a Fiat 500C Abarth or Mini Cooper.

If you must have a folding tin-top, the Wind makes for one of the most appealing in this price range simply because it avoids the severed-hatchback looks that most rivals have. It’s no benchmark but for the right target audience it has desirability factor to spare.

Renault Wind 1.2 TCe Dynamique S

Price: £16,400; Top speed: 118mph; o-62mph: 10.5sec; Economy: 44.8mpg; CO2: 145g/km; Kerbweight: 1131kg; Engine type: 1149cc, four-cyl, turbocharged petrol; Power: 99bhp; Torque: 112lb ft; Gearbox: five-speed manual

Read all the latest Renault reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
7

6 August 2010

this looks quite funky to me. a bit like the renault / french answer to the tigra. and i always liked the tigra.

www.KOOOLcr.com

 

6 August 2010

Apparently, the 1.6 16v 133 bhp is more fun to drive sportingly.

jer

6 August 2010

Never said this before bit c'mon it's a rubbish idea, design and average execution. I love the Renaltsport efforts but this is like a Tigra after GBH.

6 August 2010

Interesting car , shame about the name. Since Renault already own the "Traffic" name , why not call this the Renault Traf ( wind spelt backwards)

6 August 2010

[quote Uncle Mellow] Interesting car , shame about the name. Since Renault already own the "Traffic" name , why not call this the Renault Traf ( wind spelt backwards)[/quote]

Do you write the link jokes between news presenters and weather presenters? you must have a good agent lol.

i dont like this new car, its blown out of all proportion.


6 August 2010

I've been known to say some nice stuff about French cars recently. This isn't going to be one of them.

14 August 2010

i do remember autocars test of the 1.6 wind being much more positive than this review, in many aspects, especially of the handling- being specifically enthusiastic about the renaultsport influence- can this version be THAT different?! and that was about 2 weeks ago....

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • 2016 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron UK review
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    First UK drive finds the facelifted A3 Sportback e-tron remains a first-rate plug-in hybrid that is packed with tech if a little short on driver appeal
  • Citroen C11.2 Puretech 82 Furio
    First Drive
    29 September 2016
    Citroën's city car gets a new sporty-looking trim level, adding visual adornments, but no premium for the 1.2-litre Puretech triple we're driving
  • Mercedes C350e Sport
    First Drive
    28 September 2016
    Petrol-electric C-Class is a surprisingly well-priced alternative to a diesel but not the greatest example of the new ‘PHEV’ breed
  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka