Style is everything nowadays in the city car segment. It is no longer enough for cars like the Renault Twingo to merely offer a good-value, solid dynamic package, when even rivals from Korea, such as the Kia Picanto, are starting to have greater visual appeal to the more fashion conscious motorist.

This latest Twingo is Renault’s response to the segment’s trend. The second-generation Twingo initially failed to match the cheeky charms of its simple, chic predecessor that first launched in 1993 to critical acclaim – and 2.4 million sales over its lifetime – but never actually officially made it to the UK because it was not engineered for right-hand drive.

But as part of its mid-life revisions, the Mk2 Twingo has received a new exterior skin to reignite some of the Mk1’s charm and make a more compelling rival for the style-led city cars including the Fiat 500, Mini and Citroën DS3, as well as the more functional city cars including the Volkswagen Up triplets and Fiat Panda.

This Mk2 Twingo is quite different from the original, chiefly because it is available in right-hand drive.

Based on a modified version of the previous-generation Clio platform and available with a punchy 1.2-litre turbocharged engine, it is much more sophisticated technically than its predecessor (mechanically the first-generation Twingo was a fairly basic device, even though its interior was cleverly packaged and featured a sliding rear bench seat), not to mention significantly more expensive.

So is the more accessible approach taken by the latest Twingo enough to keep its head above water in a segment that’s as stylish and competitive as it’s ever been?

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

Top 5 City cars

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK