Practicality and Boot Space
In terms of practicality and comfort, the Twizy has more in common with a scooter than a car. Look at it as an alternative to a motorcycle and it makes a lot of sense, with space for two as long as you are well acquainted and the passenger doesn’t mind squeezing in behind the driver. There’s also a locker behind the rear seat, which might be big enough to stash an emergency coat, and two gloveboxes either side of the steering wheel. This isn’t a car for a holiday trip.
Various options aim to make Twizy life easier, including slot-in tailored luggage, doors and even a heated blanket to keep you warm.
If you would rather sacrifice the passenger space for carrying capacity, Renault also offers a Cargo version of the Twizy, which has a proper opening ‘boot’ but is a strict single seater. It’s aimed at businesses who do urban deliveries and will certainly attract attention. Bizarrely though it’s the most expensive model in the line-up.
There’s not much to a Twizy, so don’t expect luxury or technology. But have a look through the specification list and options and there are some items to keep gadget fans happy.
The only electronics on show are in the instrument display, with a digital speedo, range meter. The windscreen is also heated by tiny little elements to prevent it fogging up – essential as the Twizy doesn’t have a traditional heater blower fan.
Venture onto the options list and things look a bit brighter, with a Bluetooth kit and Garmin sat nav available. The hands-free system includes wireless remote control and colour display, voice synthesiser and speech recognition. It also allows you connect your phone to play music. Whether you’d want to make calls or shout instructions to a computer in a car with no doors is debatable though – it could be embarrassing in traffic!
Compare the Twizy to its most natural and obvious rival – a scooter – and the Renault offers a much better chance of emerging uninjured from an accident. It has a strong safety cage, seat belts and even an airbag. With the heavy battery mounted low down under the floor it’s remarkably stable too, so will be harder to knock over than the looks suggest.
But it doesn’t stack up so well when you look at its safety credentials next to any modern car.
The Twizy is officially classified as a ‘quadricycle’, which means it doesn’t legally need any of the safety kit with is required for a full-size car. Renault has done more than the law requires to make the Twizy safe, but there’s still no anti-lock brakes, electronic stability aids or anything else to help prevent an accident. With no doors, it also feels very vulnerable to side impacts too.