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Much work has been done in brightening up the Twingo’s cabin to make the Renaultsport 133, but the effect is more that of a plain Jane who has run amok through Accessorise, rather than an effortlessly natural beauty.

There are the obligatory chunky sports seats, vivid orange seatbelts, a rev-counter mounted as a pod on top of the steering column, aluminium pedal facings and the ubiquitous Renaultsport logo.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
The chunky sports seats hold your body well during cornering

Ergonomically it’s something of a mess, too.

The speedo (sited left of centre in the middle of the dash) falls far from your natural sight line, the small number of switches are scattered around the cabin and if you can find the switch that deactivates the ESP without first referring to the handbook, you’re one up on us.

Then there’s the driving position, which echoes that of the old Clio; there’s not enough rearward travel on the seat, you sit curiously high in the car and the steering column, which adjusts for rake only, will prove too far away for tall drivers.

There’s not much stowage space on board, you’ll need to pay extra if you want to connect your iPod. The single-slot CD stereo system provides distinctly mediocre sound reproduction.

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A total disaster, then? By no means. The Twingo does rather well in the one area you’d expect it to fall flat on its face: it’s really quite spacious. Access to the rear is not easy and often confounded by those orange belts, but the front seats roll a long way forward and then remember their way back to the original positions.

There’s more than adequate headroom for even very tall passengers and even sufficient legroom for short journeys. Moreover, the individual rear seats don’t just fold, they recline and slide forward too, doing wonders for the boot capacity. 

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