Comfort is strictly limited. There is a roof overhead, but apart from that you are pretty much exposed to the elements.
Comfort and Refinement
Comfort is strictly limited. There is a roof overhead, but apart from that you are pretty much exposed to the elements. Even if you buy the optional doors, there are no windows to keep the rain out, and considering that it rains on average one day in two in Britain, you are going to get wet at some point is you choose to drive one of these. A few other normal niceties are missing in the Twizy. There no interior rear-view mirror, you don’t get a visor to shield your eyes from the sun, and there is virtually no boot.
The seat belt provision for the driver is a bit strange. There is a standard three-point lap-and-diagonal belt that reels out across your left shoulder, and then an additional loop of webbing to hook around your right shoulder. It is tempting not to bother with that second loop, and to just use the main belt.
To give a passenger reasonable access to the back seat, you first need to slide the front seat all the way forward.
Weather protection is severely limited. With no side windows, no sun visor and a transparent roof, sunshine streams into the Twizy, so you probably need to apply sun cream to drive it in fine weather. The windscreen shields you from the worst of the wind-flow, but inevitably it is a bit breezy at the sides, and in rainy weather you need to wear weather-proof clothing because you will get unavoidably wet.
Safety and Security
More quadricycle than car, the Twizy is a short-wheelbase, narrow-track little runabout with very little bodywork between you and an accident. Safety provision does not go much beyond the slightly fussy four-point driver’s seat belt and another seat belt for the passenger. It does have disc brakes all round, but no anti-lock braking nor any other electronic safety aids.
Renault is confident that the little Twizy is safe in an accident. Its engineers have simulated side impact sequences on a computer programme, and tested the airbag – yes, there is one – on a test rig. But the little car has not been subjected to any physical crash tests under the Euro NCAP programme, so its crash impact performance driven against an offset concrete block to mimic a real crash.
Security? What security? The Twizy comes with no doors, and even if you buy them as an optional extra, they have no windows. Anyone can lean in and take whatever you leave inside. Yes, there is a lockable compartment where small items can be stowed, but it is so tiny – 31 litres – that it is hardly worth mentioning. Not much more than a wallet, mobile phone, passport and small camera will fit in there.
Any form of entertainment is notably absent in the Twizy. You can pay extra for MP3 connectivity to stream your music. Satnav is not provided, but it is possible to connect up a portable satnav.
- Smart fortwo CDI
What We Liked
- Zany looks
- Compact size
- Ease of use
- Very tight turning circle
What We Disliked
- Paying extra for doors
- No windows in the doors
- No way to see out at the back
- No rear-view mirror
- No sun visor
- No escape from sunshine overhead
What We Would Like To See
- Windows in the doors
If you do a short daily commute and want to be green, the Renault Twizy is a fun and funky option for local travel. Its zany looks and quirky character are a strong part of its charm. It is so utterly 21st century that it makes other cars look outmoded. It is easy to drive and quite civilised if you ignore the lack of weather-proofing, which might be quite hard to do in a British climate. We love the Twizy for its novel approach to electric motoring. Would we want to own one? Yes, maybe, but more as a fun leisure runabout than serious daily transport.21 June 2012
Renault Twizy Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Renault Twizy|
|Body Type||2-door Pod|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||N/A|
|Top Speed||50 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Euro NCAP Rating|
|Warranty||4 years / 100,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 21/06/12)||£7,400 (doors £545 extra)|