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Why you need an electric Twingo

This time around, we think that we went a little bit overboard about this car. Although the Twingo is a small and seemingly uninteresting city car, we wanted to try it out anyway. There are so many things about this particular Twingo that make it so special to us. First of all, we had the luck of driving the Twingo during a two-week period in May of 2021 and it was a joy. This extended period gave us the chance to really experience the Twingo as a daily driver. Let's tell you some details about this little french bee.

The Twingo is Renault's smallest car (apart from the Twizy) and it's mainly focussed on daily driving and commuting to work. Although the Twingo comes with Diesel and Petrol engines, we wanted to try the all-electric Z.E. - which means it's particularly good around town. The Twingo's dimensions are epic, barely 3.7 meters long and only 1.5 meters wide, and with a punchy 82 horsepower and 160nm electric motor, you'll get around well enough. It only gets a useable battery of 21.3 kWh, that's really small! But since this car is designed for commuting, the range of 130km (in the real world) is justified. Obviously, they could've installed a larger battery, but this would just add weight. Sadly, the quickest charging speed is only 22kw. This means that the battery will be full in about an hour. Longer road trips are possible, but just expect a one-hour stop every 100 - 150 km. The small battery does mean that you can charge it on a wall-plug overnight, it only takes 11 hours. When we heard that the Twingo Z.E. was rear-wheel drive, we kind of expected it to be a drift missile, sadly not. The traction control can't be disabled and it just cuts power when the rear tires lose grip. Maybe this isn't the purpose it was intended for after all.

Our Twingo Z.E. was finished in mango yellow with additional blue pinstriping. We were also very lucky to have the optional retractable sunroof. This doesn't quite make it a convertible (unlike the Fiat 500C), but it's close enough. You get an electronically operated cloth sunroof that retracts all the way to the back, so even the rear passengers can enjoy it. This feature makes the Twingo Z.E. so much more enjoyable. The interior is also finished in yellow by the way. Inside it's typical Twingo, minimalist and well.., cheap. Expect no luxury. You get comfortable cloth seats, a 7-inch display, and cruise control. Nothing out of the ordinary, but this still is a small french EV. This car was fully loaded as well. You'll get a nicer interior on the new Fiat 500e, that car is a whole lot more expensive though. The Fiat 500e is also much bigger now, so the Twingo's main rival is the Smart ForFour. But the small city-EV market is still quite small at the moment.

Driving the Twingo is what you'll be doing a lot of until the battery runs out. It's a joy to drive around town, and we even took it on some twisty roads to check out how it handled there. You sense that the battery and drivetrain are optimized for town-driving since the battery drained very quickly on some uphill slopes. Expect a consumption of 11 - 13 kWh/100km in everyday use. If you only drive it in town, expect a range of 200km! Combined it's more like 130km. One funny thing we experienced that we didn't expect was a whole bunch of onlookers. People seem to like this car, especially when you retract the roof. The Twingo has always been a friendly car, and who doesn't want to look at a bright yellow, completely silent Twingo?

This was an awesome experience for us. We test a lot of performance cars and even the more tame cars are pretty big nowadays. But the Twingo is small, fun to drive and everything we'd wish for in a daily driver.


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