Neither the quality nor the quantity of what the naturally aspirated Twingo offers in this department impresses.
It’s not a painfully slow car, but it’s sufficiently pedestrian to be hard work to drive at times, and it’s less flexible and less refined than its competition.
Were it the job of an Autocar road test to make excuses for a car that doesn’t quite cut the mustard, we might explain the Twingo’s failure with overly long gearing or tightness in the engine.
But, frankly, so what? Most of the comparable cars that have braved our timing gear in the past five years have done so with little more than 1000 miles on the odometer, and every one – from Chevrolet Spark to Toyota Aygo via i10, Picanto, Ford Ka, Vauxhall Adam and Up – needed less than 15sec to hit 60mph from rest. The Twingo took 17.6sec.
It’s a shortfall that you inevitably perceive on the road. Seldom are you afforded the opportunity to accelerate from low speeds in this car using less than about 90 percent throttle, out of duty to avoid holding up traffic behind.
Overtaking is possible out of town, but you need lots of room and, ideally, a descending gradient. On the motorway, the car’s cruise control often fails to conjure enough power to maintain 70mph up a long climb in top gear. Such concerns may be unlikely to bother city dwellers, but a torquier delivery would certainly give the car more authority in the cut and thrust of urban traffic and make it feel less exposed the rest of the time.