2012 Renault Twizy Technic from UK and Ireland - Comments

17th Oct 2012, 14:49

Thanks!

After driving it full time for a few weeks, I have started to think other vehicles are on the whole excessive for most journeys, as the Twizy is so useful and appropriate for a lot of journeys.

As a second vehicle, it gets well used.

Well done to Renault for getting it made. Their next EV, launched in December, called the ZOE, will get many fans, as it is very similar to a normal car - 84mph, 130 mile range, 80% charge in 30 minutes...

18th Jan 2013, 08:16

Update:

Recall issued for brake fluid leak/calipers and for sticking accelerator pedal - mine works OK, but going in for checks.

Still enjoying it.

4th Feb 2013, 15:39

Recalls done, but the throttle pedal was not swapped as it was out of the part number range for the part swap, and even though it sticks in cold weather, they "can only do something if we can see the fault". Brakes still stick and grind, even after recall.

Still got a couple of other niggles, but I will just live with them to avoid dealing with the dealers, after problems this time to do with returning their (filthy and no fuel) courtesy car with just over an hour's notice, and comments like "well you did not buy it here and return it to us with all these faults". I tried to buy one from this dealer, but they had no physical stock and I returned to them for the RECALLS - which no-one notified me of; I did my own research. When I suggested the problems were to do with the cold weather (sticking throttle/grease, door raisers not lifting the doors, handbrake light and release solenoid not working in freezing temperatures) I got "well Renault should not have brought it into this country" and "tell Renault Customer Services about design faults - it's not up to us" etc.

I bought the official Renault windows (RRP £295) but they are shockingly dreadful; they don't keep out the water, wind, snow, draughts etc, have a huge gap at the rear so the seat belt still gets soaked if left standing outside, the zips are stiff and awkward, the windows creak and do not seal, and the whole thing gets in the way of opening and shutting the doors. Oh, and the soft clear plastic windows catch the door arch, and so get scratched when opening/shutting, and even touching it with your finger scratches it.

Windows: a complete waste of time and will be resold.

Twizy: still enjoying it. Wishing it was not a Renault though, as they are a poor brand with poor service. A shame, as the car itself is really nice - apart from a few minor bits that any garage that could be bothered could fix in minutes.

I know a few Twizy owners, and some have had good dealer service, and others poor. So if your local dealer is not interested in the electric ZE range, don't buy one. If they are, it's worth a look.

25th Feb 2013, 15:22

Warranty work: sticking throttle pedal now replaced, corroded hazard light switch replaced, brakes had a recall and have been stripped and checked, door catches adjusted.

All the above seem a common area of discussion on the Twizy forum.

Now running as it should.

5th Mar 2013, 15:06

Update: now sold

I enjoyed my Twizy, despite having to deal with Renault.

The sticking throttle issue is ongoing, and I know of at least one related crash - search Twizy Owners forum. I nearly wrecked mine, but just avoided a crash when mine stuck open - others have not been so lucky.

Final thoughts:

A real "moment" car, makes you feel special and makes any trip an adventure with so much interaction from others and such a response! Some great design, but inevitably some teething issues, being such a radical design - see the last post.

I would certainly buy electric again, but never a Renault again.

In reality, unless you want the style and fun - a Citigo or VW up! would make far more sense, as the insurance can be pricey, the battery hire equates to 8 gallons or so of fuel a month, and unless you buy used, depreciation will be crippling. Mine cost £8500 new (Technic, doors, windows, extended flaps), but another identical car with 800 miles was sold by a dealer for £5600 this week (see forum!). Due to this, you can't buy a Twizy for purely financial reasons - you buy it because you want one!

So, if you want one, buy ex-demo and haggle hard - UK dealers just cannot sell them. I would recommend Technic spec in white for best resale, and avoid the Renault windows, which are spectacularly poor, and just choose the extended mudflaps.

Luckily, I bought mine wisely and sold without a loss - after 6 months and 1500 miles - but this was because I have had many "curious" cars, so haggled extremely hard just before winter, and sold at the start of spring via the forum to someone who wanted a white Technic.

As said, I have enjoyed the Twizy and can see the benefits of a small electric car as an additional vehicle, but you need to overcome a few hurdles to own one; it does not lock, has to be charged via a cable, there is no heater etc.

As one of the 140+ vehicles I have owned, it has been memorable - mostly for the right reasons!

25th May 2013, 13:13

In hindsight, I timed my purchase and sale of a Twizy luckily and recouped my total purchase price (I haggled hard and bought it as an ex-demo, and sold to a forum member who wanted my colour/spec). Soon after, an 80 mile showroom car on the current plate was advertised for £3995..!!

I read the forum daily and note the following issues:

1. Renault has not dealt with the recall properly still.

2. Quite a few cars have glitches which Renault can't seem to fix, and they will not replace the car or offer decent part ex against something else.

3. Parts supply is dreadful: one owner has waited over four months for a suspension part with the car off the road.

4. The Continental eco tyres are hard to source and out of stock everywhere.

5. Two cars I know of have been crashed due to throttle issues, and Renault is accepting no liability and claiming it is driver error, so the owners have to claim on their insurance.

6. Insurance companies are clueless on the Twizy, and the one I know which was written off, the car took 6 months to be replaced - without a courtesy car.

7. With all the above coming to light, selling one is very hard and dealers are not interested - one Twizy owner with a faulty car paid £8200 for a car which he had to browbeat the dealer to offer £3000 as part ex after a few months and a few thousand miles of use. Seeing an 80 mile current registration prefix model offered by a main dealer at £3995 says it all really.

I was lucky with mine - I avoided the crash when the throttle stuck and knew how to get Renault to fix mine, but the timing of purchase and sale was pure luck.

All in all, having a free car for five months offset the horrid Renault experience - but if I had been stuck with a model that had a fault and lost thousands in a few months, it would have been a very different matter.

A Skoda Citigo makes more sense in every way; safety, security, comfort, weather protection, under 100g/km mean free congestion charge and tax same as a Twizy - and I would hazard a guess that the whole life environment impact of both vehicles would be similar if you take into account the fossil fuel used in the UK to make the electricity to run it, and the impact of the materials used in the battery production and subsequent replacement batteries it will need over its life cycle.

An electric drivetrain is lovely - great torque, quiet running, the benefit of no clutch but no sloppy automatic box sapping the power; it is as controllable as a manual (pedal controls exact drivetrain speed, like a drill so ease off, it engine brakes giving precise speed control) yet easy as an auto: the best of both worlds.

But the worries of it being a Renault and having to cope with their useless dealers and complete lack of spare parts, the lack of EV infrastructure in many places and the depreciation, quickly outweigh any benefit the Twizy offers over a city car.

God I was lucky, but I read of others who were not and really wished they had bought something else.

You have to admire Renault for putting it into production; but that is where it ends; many dealers are clueless and unhelpful, parts and tyres mean months of waiting, and even though they issued a recall for sticking throttles, they told no-one and then deny there is an issue when owners crash after their throttles stick...

I hope this helps anyone looking at a Twizy - it is an unbiased truthful account of the experience of owning one from start to finish.