Review: Renault Twizy “spartan but undeniably fun”

We have been reviewing electric cars now for about a year and the Renault Twizy is the smallest, quirkiest, most annoying but lovable little run around yet.

I have been checking out one while in Spain and I have to say that it is just perfect for running quickly down to the local town, you can even park the Twizy length ways between two cars it’s that small.

It offers a great way for anyone to cut the costs of their gas guzzlers as charging it only costs about €1.50 to fully charge the 50 mile range battery and despite the a low top speed it is still great fun to drive.

However while the Twizy is fun to drive, affordable at only €9,990 (Starting) there are some big catches that you will need to consider. Ultimately your enjoyment of the Renault Twizy will greatly depend on your geographical location.

Read on to find out more.

Design

The design of the Twizy is certainly unique, think of a moped that has had a frame built around it and with 4 wheels and it’s something close. The car itself is very spartan, there isn’t even any doors but should you decide to purchase the scissor doors they themselves don’t even lock and they don’t have windows either.

The driver sits in the middle of the Twizy with a space behind for a passenger who will have a much rougher time as all the wind drag hits the passenger in the rear. The seats are both fixed plastic units and are easily wiped clean thankfully, as in wetter countries the cabin will be getting wet.

On the outside the Twizy has a 180ltr space that can be access via the rear side opening tailgate offering decent space for a couple of bags of shopping.

Performance and Handling

The small electric motor will carry you along at speeds of up to 50mph and you should see a range of about 50miles depending on the terrain. The Twizy was not designed to be fast but being in such a small space travelling at even 50mph feels fast and nipping around some Spanish streets was fun. The electric motor gives roughly around 17 bph which seems nothing but the Twizy weighs very little so it is more than enough.

Handling is something between moped and a go-kart and it’s fun, body roll is light but as there is no power steering your arms will be getting a workout.

Charging and Costs

The Renault Twizy is fully electric and can be charged via any standard house socket in about 3.5 hours. Renault offer a battery hire scheme which means they will always ensure your battery has a minimum of 75% of its original capacity and you will be covered for breakdowns.

This however adds cost to the price, for 10,000 miles of cover it will cost €60 per month over 36 months. You can reduce the term to 24 or 12 months for an additional €5 which will whack on a further €2,000+ to the €9,990 price. This is before any other options like Bluetooth, doors or wheel options are selected, so this little electric car is now up around the €12K mark.

Is this too much for such a small spartan car, I think so, a starting price of €7,995 would have been much nicer.

Conclusion

In the a country that has a nice warm climate the Twizy makes perfect sense especially if you are near a town and really only venture there and back. It’s the perfect run around, leave the big car for the long journey and use the Twizy as much as possible. Indeed for rental companies this is the ideal car to offer with a villa, offering flexibility to get out an explore for two or just for nipping to the store.

In countries such as Ireland, the Twizy make no sense, Ireland is wet, very windy and often we have long distances to travel between our homes and towns especially if you are very rural. Sure in big cities it would be handy so long as the weather is nice but otherwise avoid.

The Renault Twizy is a tale of two halves, sadly the Irish related half is not good. I love the Twizy though and my score reflects how I found it in a very warm climate.

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