Renault Twingo III, back to basics with both the good and the bad. Why didn’t they launch the first generation again, rather than break the bank to develop the Renault Twingo III?
First of all, it couldn’t possibly be identical to the first-generation Twingo because that car was built entirely by Renault (In Europe at least), and the Renault Twingo III is essentially a Smart ForFour with a Renault logo. Or maybe the Smart ForFour is a Renault Twingo III with a Mercedes logo. We’ll never know.
Why is the Twingo III back to basics and why not send it back there?
First of all, at concept level the Renault Twingo III came with only a few options and many colour choices, just like the first Twingo. Only now you get standard equipment like steering wheel, windows and power steering.
Moreover, the first Twingo stood out for its simple but sporty engines for the car’s 2 kg wieght and especially for its independent suspension. So the third generation came with the engine mounted at the rear, like the Porsche 911 or most Skoda cars of the 80s. The combination of rear-engine + rear-wheel drive makes the Renault Twingo III a particularly fun car, especially if it also has the supercharged 0.9 petrol.
However, here comes the downside. In pure Renault tradition, a Twingo costs more than a Clio and almost twice as much as a Sandero. So why buy a Twingo? Just for the sake of fashion? Do you really think you want to impress someone by saying you have a Renault Twingo III? If you had a Renault Wind, yes, you’d have refined taste in cars. But to spend 20.000 on a crate with wheels instead of buying two Sanderos or maybe even a Duster? By the way, the petrol engines on the Sandero are identical to the engines on the Twingo. Renault Twingo III – the official “Spend some money, but you know you don’t have it anymore” car.
Renault Twingo III engines
- 1.0 SCe of 73 horsepower – The base engine for the Twingo comes from the Mercedes factory and does a decent job. Some engines have had issues with oil consumption, but the issues have been like rust: here and there but nothing worrying. That’s also the base engine on the Sandero so you’d rather buy a Sandero.
- 0.9 TCe of 90 horsepower – One of the best modern small engines, this 0.9 TCe is the only proper engine in the Twingo and even in big cars like the Dacia Logan II. Likewise, there are no known issues just the feel of those 3 cylinders that are excellent in town, but they do tend to fall short on the open road. Yes, it’s ok to go the occasional long drive, but that’s about it. After all, a Twingo is an urban car.
General issues Renault Twingo III
- The EDC automatic gearbox returns with a shady history but today it presents itself a little better. There are no serious issues with this generation of EDC after 2017, though keep in mind and change the oil every 60,000 km.
- The only things cheaper than the plastics inside are the wires on the electrical side. Everywhere will have minor electrical issues (they are under 18 years old) and the interior is simply too cheap for the asking price.
- The glass used for the window is about as sensitive as a schoolgirl kept on a leash by her parents. If you’re not careful how you touch it she will start crying and possibly fall apart dramatically.
Renault Twingo III verdict
It costs a lot, it’s not that practical, it’s not that equipped and lacks an RS version. Still, for some people it matters how a car looks so for them there is probably the Twingo. But it’s not enough for the car to look good, it also needs the right badge. Proof of this is the fact that the Smart ForFour, which is literally the same car, sells well and the Twingo is stuck in dealerships. I still don’t understand why you would buy a Twingo instead of a Sandero. Or, even better, if I wanted to be fashionable I’d buy a Renault Wind.
What engines do you recommend? The 90hp 0.9 TCe is far and away one of the best modern engines, and the Renault Twingo III needs this engine to put the rear-engine-rear-wheel-drive setup to good use. A car that lays on it’s back, but didn’t manage to lay us on our backs. And if you wanted to lay a girl on her back in a Twingo, you still couldn’t. You wouldn’t have enough room. Because you’ve got a Twingo.