Car group tests

Renault Twingo vs Peugeot 108 & Hyundai i10

We see if turbo power gives the Renault Twingo the performance it needs to compete with rivals from Peugeot and Hyundai

City cars have gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months. New models have been launched and ranges expanded to include engines for different needs. For this test, we’ve lined up three city cars that we’ve tried before, but this time with larger-capacity engines. 

First up is the new Renault Twingo. We've already tested the city car with a 69bhp naturally aspirated engine, but it came up short against the SEAT Mii. This time around, it’s the 89bhp turbo model’s turn – can it succeed where the less powerful Twingo failed?

The Renault will need to be good to take on the 1.2-litre Peugeot 108. Apart from a bigger engine, the 108 is largely the same as the Toyota Aygo, which has previously been defeated by the Skoda Citigo. Peugeot will want to deliver a knock-out blow to arch rival Renault.

The Hyundai i10 is the sensible choice here. But does 1.2-litre four-cylinder power make it worth the extra outlay over the 1.0 three-cylinder car? We drove all three models on a variety of roads to find our urban champion.

Renault Twingo review

Peugeot 108 review

Hyundai i10 review

Read full individual reviews by clicking the links above, and scroll down to find out which city car came out on top...

Head-to-head

Boot space

The Hyundai wins the space race here thanks to its larger dimensions. There’s 252 litres on offer, compared to a maximum of 219 litres in the Renault. Both the Twingo and 108 show their cost-cutting roots via their one-piece glass tailgates. They also feature 50:50 folding seats. In contrast, the i10 gets a proper steel bootlid with a window, and its rear bench has an offset fold, although it’s not quite 60:40.

Accessories

If you can’t afford to upgrade to the £600 R-Link touchscreen infotainment system, the Twingo’s phone cradle is a budget option. It allows you to clamp your phone on the dash, so you can use it like a touchscreen when you’re on the move, although it does get in the way of the stereo controls.

Aftersales

Renault offers its 4+ finance package on the Twingo, which also includes servicing, warranty and breakdown cover, leaving just fuel and insurance to pay for. Peugeot has a three-year Just Add Fuel personal lease, which includes insurance. Hyundai offers five years of roadside assistance.

Verdict

1st place: Hyundai i10

It’s close, but the i10 wins, thanks to the fact it has plenty of space, decent kit and a grown-up driving experience, all at a price that undercuts its rivals here by a significant margin. However, the 1.2-litre isn’t the engine we’d go for – compared to the three-cylinder i10, it’s thirsty and doesn’t have much more performance. We’d save another £500 and go for the 1.0-litre instead.

2nd place: Renault Twingo

Turbo power does wonders for the Twingo. Don’t expect searing performance, but the TCe powerplant is rapid enough, and it returns excellent economy, which adds to the appeal. We’d recommend adding the Sport pack, too, because it gives the car a sporty edge. That does bump the price up, though, while the quality of the interior falls behind its cheaper rivals.

3rd place: Peugeot 108

The 108 can hold its head high in this company. It’s a stylish city car with personalisation options that would offer something for most buyers. The 1.2-litre engine delivers punchy performance around town, but it has plenty of vibration, too. Combine that with the cramped cabin and poorer motorway manners, and unfortunately the Peugeot finishes in third place.

Key specs: 

 Hyundai i10 1.2 (87) PremiumRenault Twingo ENERGY TCe 90 DynamiquePeugeot 108 1.2 Allure
On the road price/total as tested£10,810/£10,810£11,695/£12,565£11,495/£12,745
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£5,329/49.3%£4,575/39.1%£5,115/44.5%
Depreciation£5,481£7,120£6,380
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£323/£645£279/£559£275/£549
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,749/£2,914£1,121/£1,868£1,407/£2,345
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost4/£269/C/£308/£277/A/£011/£277/A/£0
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£349 (3yrs)Free (4yrs)£12.99pm (3yrs/30k)
    
Length/wheelbase3,665/2,385mm3,595/2,492mm3,475/2,340mm
Height/width1,500/1,660mm1,554/1,646mm1,460/1,615mm
Engine4cyl in-line/1,248cc3cyl in-line/898cc3cyl in-line/1,199cc
Peak power/revs87/6,000 bhp/rpm89/5,500 bhp/rpm81/5,750 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs120/4,000 Nm/rpm135/2,500 Nm/rpm116/2,750 Nm/rpm
Transmission5-spd man/fwd5-spd man/rwd5-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel40 litres/£5035 litres/repair kit35 litres/space-saver
Boot capacity (seats up/down)252/1,046 litres188-219/980 litres180/868 litres
Kerbweight/payload941/509kg943kg/N/A865/375kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient9.6 metres/N/A8.6 metres/0.69Cd9.6 metres/0.59Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery5yrs (unlimited)/5yrs4yrs (100,000)/4yrs3yrs (unlimited)/1yr
Service intervals/UK dealers10,000 miles (1y)/16212,000 miles (1yr)/15316,000 miles (1yr)/300
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.18th/13th15th/14th14th/9th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars79/80/71/478/81/68/480/80/62/4
    
0-60/30-70mph10.8/10.9 secs11.4/11.4 secs11.0/10.9 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th5.7/9.1 secs5.1/7.5 secs5.7/8.6 secs
50-70mph in 5th14.5 secs13.4 secs15.1 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph109mph/3,100rpm103mph/N/A106mph/3,200rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph53.4/39.4/9.6m50.6/36.5/10.1m51.4/36.8/9.5m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mph57/42/62/69dB61/49/63/71dB63/45/64/71dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range37.5/8.2/330 miles58.5/12.9/450 miles46.6/10.2/359 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined43.5/68.9/57.6mpg57.7/72.4/65.7mpg52.3/76.3/65.7mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined9.6/15.2/12.7mpl12.7/15.9/14.5mpl11.5/16.8/14.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket174/114g/km/15%112/99g/km/12%140/99g/km/12%
    
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/no/noSix/yes/£150/noSix/yes/no/yes
Automatic box/stability/cruise control£655/yes/yesNo/yes/limiterNo/yes/no
Climate control/leather/heated seatsNo/no/£195£500/£850/£250£450/£650/no
Metallic paint/sunroof/keyless go£495/no/no£495/£850/no£495/£1,000/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothNo/yes/no/yes£600/yes/yes/yesNo/yes/yes/yes

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