Thanks to the rear-engine layout – which allows the front wheels to turn much more than in a conventional car – the Twingo is wonderfully manoeuvrable: its light steering and tight turning circle make it a doddle to get in and out of tight spaces. However, if you’re expecting mini-Porsche 911-like driving thrills – after all, the cars share a similar layout – then think again. Undoubtedly the worst aspect of the Twingo is its inability to tackle corners with any kind of conviction. Not that we’ll ever know for sure, because as soon as the paranoid electronic stability control senses the merest whiff of a body lean or tyre flex, it freaks out and instantly shoots a scolding pulse of inside wheel braking to bring everything back to front and centre. Sure it’s safe, and yes there’s zero chance of the car rolling over, but boy, does it make for a frustratingly dull drive.
The ride is pretty fidgety too: particularly on the larger 16-inch wheels that come with Dynamique trim, as the suspension makes a real meal out of ridges and any surface imperfections. Models with 15-inch wheels are a little more comfortable, although they still have a firm feel, riding less smoothly than, say, an Up, Mii or Citigo. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, given Renault Sport’s involvement, it’s actually the sportier GT that provides the most comfortable ride. The Twingo is a very light car and when passing trucks or getting buffeted by gusty side-winds, you certainly notice this. Consequently, at motorway speeds, a firm guiding hand is compulsory in order to try to maintain a steady course.