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

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

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keeforelli 14 August 2010

Re: Renault Wind 1.2 TCe Dynamique S

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....

tannedbaldhead 6 August 2010

Re: Renault Wind 1.2 TCe Dynamique S

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

Uncle Mellow 6 August 2010

Re: Renault Wind 1.2 TCe Dynamique S

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