We've begun to see Twingo drive reviews making their appearances, while consumers have still not been given the chance to get their dirty little fingers on one we can still try and discern an impression from the scrawling of the "professionals"
First up in the powerplant. Neither the SCe70 1.0L Triple nor the TCe 900cc Turbo Triple produce overtly impressive numbers and according to some reviewers neither delivers an adequate punch either. Richard Hammond for instance found the Turbo Twingo to be peaky and lacks a certain smoothness to the throttle. While he goes on to wax about the less potent SCe70...
Neither Twingo is quick, and the 69bhp version certainly isn’t with 0-62mph taking 14.5sec (as opposed to 10.8sec). But the turbo car is peaky and doesn’t have a smooth throttle response; the non-turbo, meanwhile, has really good response from low down and sounds nicer.
While others feel opposite...
That depends which engine you get. There's a three-cylinder 70bhp un-turbocharged base engine that is pretty hopeless at overtaking or hill-climbing. You need the turbo engine, also a triple, that makes 90bhp and a healthy dose of torques. Thanks to the turbo, and the Twingo's light weight, it's the best-performing of the sub-minis
, and the most fun you'll have in a baby car at the price.
But the cheaper 1.0 SCe 70 is definitely the favorite despite its apparent lack of grunt
Of the two engines, the cheaper 1.0 SCe 70 is definitely the one to go for.
It builds speed progressively, and revs more smoothly than the turbocharged 0.9 TCe, so while the entry-level car needs to be worked a little harder if you want to nip into fast-moving traffic, it still feels peppy enough around town, and it’s easier to drive.
But what about the handles?
There's no oversteer. A non-switchable ESP is like some overzealous H&S officer in a hi-vis. But the layout still has advantages. The light nose means it's super-agile down twisty roads. The steering isn't corrupted by torque demands, so feels very pure.
The engine and exhaust are further from your ears, so their noise is diminished. And it's great for a city car too, because the turning circle is extraordinarily tight. You can pull sneaky u-turns and backdoubles like a London cabbie. Getting into and out of tight parking spots is almost comically easy
Handling is also better on the 1.0 70 SCe.
The higher-powered 0.9 TCe gets variable-ratio steering, so it responds more quickly as you apply lock, but in practice this just makes it feel a little inconsistent, where the base car’s slower steering is more predictable and reassuring
The Twingo is well behaved, even if you chuck it around. If you think you’re buying a car that’ll be brilliant at skids then you’ll be disappointed.