Don your bucket hats and warm-weather vests, because summer is here. But it never lasts. You’ll need something small and sporty to cover the most miles with the most smiles because, before you know it, winter will come back around.
A great place to start is the Twingo-based Renault Wind, for something sleek, unique and cheap. It’s powered by a choice of a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol producing 99bhp or a 1.6-litre returning 131bhp that packs a bit more of a punch. If you opt for the faster 1.6 – and we suggest that you do – you’ll have a car that can cover 0-62mph in 9.2sec (it’ll feel faster, promise…) and top out at 125mph. The five-speed Wind is equipped with Renault Sport suspension, so it’s agile and manoeuvrable, too.
Dynamique trim opened the line-up, launching at just £15,500 and offering 16in alloy wheels, air conditioning and cruise control as standard, while the next step up, Dynamique S, gained 17in wheels, automatic lights, Bluetooth and USB connectivity and an improved sound system. GT Line added an alarm, climate control, heated mirrors and leather seat trim, while only 200 examples of the range-topping Collection were sent across the Channel. It’s worth tracking down if you want a Wind, though, with its generous kit list also including heated leather seats. Our search through the classifieds found a 2011 30,000-mile Collection for £5490.
Be wary when buying, though. A lot of used examples are in cambeltreplacement territory, which should take place every six years or 72,000 miles. Early Wind models date from 2010 and many ads we came across had no mention of a cambelt change at all, so make sure to check that this has been done, irrespective of mileage. Any parts that need replacing should be easy to find, though, because bespoke components were limited mainly to the Wind’s body panels.