Renault Twingo vs SEAT Mii
Can radical new Renault Twingo city car find a way past the excellent SEAT Mii?
In an age when cars are often accused of being too similar, the new Renault Twingo is a bold attempt by the French manufacturer to put itself back to the top of the city class by doing something different.
The radical, rear-engined Twingo shares components with the next-generation Smart ForFour, and alongside its novel mechanical layout, it hopes to attract customers’ attention with its cheeky looks and extensive personalisation options.
However, there’s no shortage of talented cars in this class. The SEAT Mii shares the superb quality, grown-up driving experience and refinement of its Skoda Citigo and VW up! cousins, and adds a hint of Latin flair to the mix – especially in the fashion-inspired Mii by Mango trim. So, which of these trendy city cars will be our catwalk winner?
Click on the links above to read each in-depth review, then read on for our verdict.
Customisation is currently all the rage in the small car class. Renault’s £200 personality packs match interior and exterior coloured trim into themes. SEAT is no different, and in addition to Mango-themed items like the bespoke key cover, the Spanish brand offers a host of exterior decals, plus a £399 rear spoiler and £200 side skirts. You can also order decorative dash inserts to give the interior a lift.
Placing the engine at the rear has given the Twingo a short nose, while the rear-wheel-drive set-up and absence of front driveshafts allow for a really tight turning circle. It has a slightly smaller boot than the Mii, but a longer wheelbase gives it a fraction more rear legroom.
The Mii is produced with the up! and Citigo at the VW Group’s huge Bratislava plant in Slovakia. The new Twingo is built alongside the forthcoming Smart ForFour at Renault’s Novo Mesto factory in Slovenia, where there’s been a £352million investment to prepare for the production of the two cars.
Winner: SEAT Mii
SEAT’s link-up with Mango has given its sensible city car some fashion-inspired style. This special edition won’t be to all tastes, but even so, whichever version you choose, the Mii is all the city car you’ll ever need. Like its VW up! and Skoda Citigo sister models, the SEAT comes with a first-class cabin matched to class-leading handling and ride. It’s an impeccably engineered and fun-to-drive city car, so it wins this test.
Runner-up: Renault Twingo
The Twingo is a funky, affordable and likeable city car that’s cleverly packaged, spacious and efficient. Nimble around town and easy to drive, it’s not hard to see its appeal. However, it lacks the refinement, precise handling and performance of the SEAT – and isn’t as good an all-rounder. Also, while the Renault comes with lots of personalisation options, the SEAT has the edge for cabin quality.
|SEAT Mii by Mango||Renault Twingo SCe 70 Dynamique|
|On the road price/total as tested||£11,345/£12,510||£10,995/£12,365|
|Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)||£5,673/50.0%||£4,431/40.3%|
|Annual tax liability std/higher rate||£316/£632||£248/£497|
|Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)||£1,585/£2,642||£1,721/£2,868|
|Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost||4/£264/B/£20||3/£258/A/£0|
|Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service||£94/£120/£94||Free (4yrs)|
|Engine||3cyl in-line/999cc||3cyl in-line/999cc|
|Peak power||74/6,200 bhp/rpm||69/6,000 bhp/rpm|
|Peak torque||95/3,000 Nm/rpm||91/2,850 Nm/rpm|
|Transmission||5-spd man/fwd||5-spd man/rwd|
|Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel||35 litres/repair kit||35 litres/repair kit|
|Boot capacity (seats up/down)||251/951 litres||188-219/980 litres|
|Turning circle/drag coefficient||9.8 metres/0.33Cd||8.6 metres/0.69Cd|
|Basic warranty (miles)/recovery||3yrs (60,000)/2yrs||4yrs (100,000)/4yrs|
|Service intervals/UK dealers||12,500 miles (1yr)/148||10,000 miles/153|
|Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.||24th/32nd||15th/12th|
|Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars||89/80/46/5||78/81/68/4|
|0-60/30-70mph||14.1/15.2 secs||16.1/17.4 secs|
|30-50mph in 3rd/4th||7.1/11.9 secs||9.4/12.5 secs|
|50-70mph in 5th||19.0 secs||21.3 secs|
|Top speed/rpm at 70mph||106mph/3,000rpm||94mph/N/A|
|Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range||44.4/9.8/342 miles||40.9/9.0/315 miles|
|Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket||147/108g/km/14%||160/95g/km/12%|
|Elec fr windows/sunroof/heated seats||Yes/£690/no||Yes/£850/£250|
|Met paint/parking sens/alloy wheels||Yes/£550/yes||£495/£150/yes|
|Split/fold rear seats/air-conditioning||Yes/yes||Yes/yes|