Driver seat upholstery started to peel-off 2 months after bought the car from new! It happened at 3,000 km.
Alternator bearings failure at 11,000 km, just after my warranty expired. Cause: factory overtightened v-belt by mistake. (All 1.149cc-engined Twingos were recalled for a V-belt tension change that year) cost me rather dearly to repair. Replacement with a new alternator was out of the question - it was THAT expensive.
Water pump gave at 19,000 kms for no obvious reason. Engine overheated (as it has no water temp gauge!!!) and a blown gasket was the result. Again cost to replace rather high (new head bolts, etc.)
Front pads lasted VERY little (as little as 9,000 kms.) Maybe it was my driving style, but even double of that would be unacceptable for such a small car.
Rear suspension proved very weak - it deformed after hitting a high-speed hole. On other cars such a bump would result in no more than a tyre puncture and bent wheel. Here it was a combination of all three.
Build quality was a disaster. I started hating the car just for the way it was built - exactly like ZASTAVA/YUGO levels of fitment.
Sold it after 2 years of otherwise happy, but problematic motoring.
Very charming and sexy little car.
My car was equipped with the ultralight, (then new) new-technology D7F engine, and it was unbelievable how torquey & at the same time how economical this car was. It went like a sports car from 0-100kph, but at the same time consumed as little as 5.5 ltrs/100kms in stop-and-go city driving, and even in pedal-to-the-metal sport driving through town, it never consumed more than 6.4 ltrs/100kms.
On the highway it was remarkable - 4.5 - 5.0 ltrs/100kms. Top speed was quite remarkable for a smallish car, too - 160kph easily.
Inner roominess - awesome. felt like a minivan for 4 persons. Front seats were awful in terms of body support. I hated them - they were almost like those camping chairs - 1 hour of driving and your back hurts. (now they are much improved at the new Twingos).
Handling, steering and braking felt OK for such a tallish car. Gearbox also very efficient & comfy (if you get used on the abnormally long 1st gear, as with all RENAULTs).
This car is a marvellous design (especially last 4 years, with the D7 series of engines), but, the car I bought just happened to be an unlucky example, probably built on monday morning. I both loved and hated it, for reasons mentioned above, until the rear axle bent - than I gave up and swapped it for a BX 16Valve - which is another story and a HUGE amount of fun (love & hate :).