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What Car? wants to hear from you

Just a quick hello

My name’s Will Nightingale, and I’m a road tester for What Car? magazine.

You may or may not know, but we have a long-term Twizy on test. You can read about it here - http://www.whatcar.com/car-news/our-cars-renault-twizy/october/263685

It’s massively popular in the office, but we’d be really interested to hear about real owners’ experiences with the car. How many miles are you getting from a charge? Any reliability issues so far? Has anyone found a solution for the absence of a secure parking permit holder?

At some stage in the future, we’d also like to get together a group of owners for a feature in the mag. I’ll keep you posted on that one, but it’d be great if some members of the forum would like to take part.

Hi Will

Thanks for getting in touch. I’ve had my Twizy for nearly 4 months now having done over 2000 miles and so far I can safely say I still love driving it and haven’t had any real problems with it so far.

I use it for the London commute from Hornchurch in Essex and a round trip is around 35 miles. This is a real mix of city/town driving and highway driving and I usually have around 5-10 miles left after a round trip depending on how I drive it.

I do, occasionally, use it at weekends too and if I stick to town driving I definitely get at least 50 miles range and I’m sure I could manage 60 if I stuck to 30mph and was gentle on the pedal. But that’s never gonna happen!

I would definitely be interested in being featured in the magazine and I’m sure some of our other members would be too. It would be a perfect excuse for our first Twizy meet up! Please do get in touch when you have more information on this.

Loving mine, much more usable and practical than I ever imagined and one of the best driving four wheelers with superb feedback, braking and handling.
Done 380 miles this week in a muddy rural area, carries kids to school perfectly, takes a weeks family shopping if you load back seat and either side of front seat, does 40-45 mile range in this hilly area, charges very quickly with the standard household plug, keeps the driver surprisingly dry and clean. Tradewise accepted it onto my trade insurance policy after I ignored the broker who refused cover and simply dealt with Tradewise’s underwriter direct.

Needs: longer seatbelts, cubby lids that stay up when open, the back seat base should flip over to give a storage area/booster seat like in the handbook but is riveted down on all models for some reason as they binned the idea for some reason, Skyroof should have been available from launch, Renault should have stockpiled the bespoke Conti tyres as none available, ignition key is cheap and old fashioned, driver’s seatbelts would be better opposite way round for RHD market as the main one gets in the way when getting in and out of the back seat on left side/UK kerbside. All minor stuff.

It is a very sorted electric vehicle for early adopters which has the best reaction from the public of any car I have driven and as well as being serious fun to use day to day and has many hidden benefits such as: taking the same size parking space as a touring motorbike on its sidestand-which means you can park in all sorts of new spaces; having a heated screen which works when still on charge and there being no side windows to defrost when wanting to move off quickly; having a tough waterproof inside which is absolutely ideal for muddy kids boots, dirty overalls, carrying dirty items; having much of the joy of a motorbike with some of the practicality of a car; and so on.

I was a total sceptic and have now fallen for it for the wonderful but practical experience it gives day to day-everything else now looks obsolete.
The brake discs on my two other vehicles are rusting over as the Twizy has nicked 90% of their mileage. Says it all really.

It fits my circumstances as an additional vehicle perfectly, but others may struggle with the lack of weather protection, security and their ability to charge it at the roadside.

Happy to get involved-running mine in a muddy rural hilly area as a proper, all weather, full time second car for the family and business which may be different from most owners!

Will watch the What car long term test with interest, Will.
I have the most diverse choice of vehicles, swapping between a Bmw GSA 1200 motorbike, Citroen C15 van, and a Porsche GT3RS. Cant quite put my finger on it, but the Twizy makes me smile the most by some margin, quite a few people in my trade (motor trade ) laugh at the car, but love it when they blag a ride :slight_smile:
Happy to give you any info.

Hi Will,
I am a week into Twizy ownership after stepping out of an Abarth 500 that spent weekends on the drive and was used for the daily commute during the week. So I was interested in getting my money out of the Abarth and reduce my motoring costs completely. The Twizy wasn’t really an option at first because of the High price for the doors with no windows, and I wanted the alloys and needed music. After joining the forum when researching Twizy Windows, I saw an advert for an unwanted competition win Twizy at a much cheaper price. I quickly checked my finances and broached my wife with the idea… she was horrified at me loosing the Abarth but after explaining the plus points she came around.

This was my reasoning:

  1. Reduced list price helped us manage our finances better due to reduced loan payments;
  2. No fuel costs - I pay the £49 battery lease equivalent to 1 fill up in the Abarth, saving me money in fuel (an extra 1.5 tanks of fuel = £67 saved)
  3. No tax year on year (£165 a year saved)
  4. Reduced Insurance costs by £20 monthly;
  5. Renault 4+ with free recovery, servicing and warranty package saving me approx £470 in the year (Abarth was now out of warranty)
  6. Charging takes 3.5hrs and costs £1 - I have had clearance from work to plug-in for top-up’s;
  7. I have solar panels that can recoup energy costs
  8. I run two cars so am not compromised for longer journeys (never really carried anyone else in the Abarth).
  9. I can still pick up one of the children if the other is doing a seperate activity (They love the attention anyway)
  10. As a cyclist, I am not unused to the winter weather or getting wet

I worked out that provisionally I could save £1580, year on year for the length of the battery agreement and repayments for finance, as well as for the environmental benefits I feel I am contributing to my local community. As a Teacher of Design Technology, the Twizy is an excellent real example to them of environmental issues and practicallity (I live in Essex, home of Ford and the modifying/cruising scene). The students all want one and do understand the environmental concerns and that the car is an answer to those issues (despite the report of raw material to end of life polution concerns). My students see the car as a way to access personal mobility, exactly as the inventor of the car intended, in a ‘safer-than-a-scooter’ kind of way. By the time they are old enough to drive, perhaps I will have played a small part in their car buying. Some do think it is ugly - I blame the white plastic trims! (My wfe won’t let me buy the alloys).

I went on quite a long run yesterday with urban crawl, faster dual carriageways (at 52mph) and some heavy right foot to get up to speed at times due to the surrounding traffic’s closing speeds. I managed 39miles with a further 12miles range indicated by the trip computer. It’s about adapting and learning how to use the regenerative braking system to slow the car rather than the brakes and using the accelerator more like a switch, rather than feathering it to maintain speeds as in a petrol car. Bought a cheap Bluetooth speaker/hands free to doc with my phone that has a car system which makes all the functions voice operated, as the Parrot at £290 fitted is really expensive. But the key is the fun factor - it is a joy to drive despite the non-compliant suspension! Only when you stop do you feel the wind or rain on you; generally forward motion keeps out most of the extremes, however as living in Essex, we don’t get the weather that other Twizy forum owners experience.

[FONT=Times]Hi Will,

I have had a Twizy in London since June this year. Its my favourite ever car to drive by far. The combination of go-cart handling, rear wheel drive and a central driving position is unique to all but a handful of racing car drivers and the smooth linear acceleration leaves you wondering why we’ve put up with clunky engines and gearboxes for so long.

The way I drive in town means the car claims I only have about 40miles on a charge, I charge it up as often as my iPhone, alternate days usually, and range anxiety isn’t an issue in central london.

No reliability issues for me so far, after 800 miles with so little to go wrong and very little disc brake usage I don’t expect to bother Renault with it much in the future. I’m also convinced the car is getting quieter as the geared motor is properly run in now. Without bumpers I have had to click the plastic trim back into place on occasion when I am parking perpendicular to the kerb and hit it.

I am fitting a permit on the car next week, I’ll let you know if it gets stolen but the plan is to stick it on as usual only with the word ELECTRIC written on it in red ink, I expect it will be pretty difficult to put the permit on another car anyway. So far my pay and display tickets have all been safely left under the windscreen wiper and they are much more easily transferrable between vehicles.

I would be happy to take part in any meet ups or features on Twizy owners.[/FONT]

I would to, but as yet still awaiting mine to turn up. 2-3 weeks I think.

Having only owning one for a weekend I knew I had to get one.

Everyone who had a go, and there were lots, said they would love one.

Except I had to get mine with doors.

Still waiting for mine and have been following your long term test. Mine has been on order since May but I wanted the Sky roof which couldn’t be ordered by the dealer until September. I would be interested in taking part when I finally get it. Its been a long wait and the date has been moved back a couple of weeks again. Frustrating but hopefully worth it.

Hi Will , Count me in on this please…happy to give you my feedback as one of the first owners with 2000 miles under the belt and three hires so far to others via WhipCar.com. Great car, great fun and never has one vehicle caused such emotional reaction from the public…never met so many folk since I bought one! Main issue for me would be the handbrake which has had two incidents where it jammed on and took minutes to release…other than that very reliable so far and a far more practical prospect with windows fitted-now spends about 90% time with windows to cope with the Scottish weather! Cheers Andy

Thanks for all the feedback. It’s really useful for us to know how real owners are using their Twizys!

We haven’t had any really cold weather yet – at least in London – so it’ll be interesting to see how much the range drops below 5 degrees.

As for the Twizy feature in the magazine, we’ll hopefully be doing something in the new year. Not ideal for weather, I know, but I’ll have more info soon.