The rebirth of the Renault 5

As part of Renault’s new five year strategy, the company will transition to a more sustainable and cleaner brand by embracing electrified and hydrogen solutions and offering the greenest fleet of cars by 2025.

Part of that fleet is the rebirth of the cult Renault 5 model. The prototype is said to reconnect with the past, drawing inspiration of the glorious times to create a car that will offer a modern approach to the electric car with a nod to the past.

Let’s start with the size – it is a compact city car with strong features, think yellow headlights for one. The R5 is immediately recognisable, but thanks to a modern treatment of lines and flush surfaces with futuristic detailing, the result is in keeping with current times. Additionally, the styling elements taken from the original design hide some of the more modern features, for example: the bonnet air intake hides the charging hatch, the rear lights include aero flaps and the fog lamps in the bumper are daytime running lights. There is even a nod to the original ‘5’ on the side vent, the wheels and rear logo.

 “The design of the Renault 5 Prototype is based on the R5, a cult model of our heritage. This prototype simply embodies modernity, a vehicle relevant to its time: urban, electric, attractive.”
Gilles Vidal, Renault Design Director


DRIVEN: Dacia Sandero


The Dacia Sandero, now in its second generation is Britain’s cheapest car on the road at the moment at only £69 a month, but is it too cheap for the British public?


The Sandero Access version we drove came with barely any kit; grey plastic bumpers, mirrors, door handles and 15-inch steel wheels wrapped in 185/65 budget tyres. It looks more like a company van with its lack of extras and tech. Interior wise, you get everything you would in an early 90’s hatchback, manual winding windows, manual locking doors, a steering wheel and a manual gearbox. No more than you really need and they all work as intended. If it is looks you are looking for, go for a higher spec trim with more standard kit. If you opt for the Ambiance trim priced at £6,795; colour coded bumpers, electric front windows, remote central locking, split rear sit with head restraints and a radio with USB connectivity are all included. The higher you spec this model, the closer you get to its more refined competitors.



This car was never going to be a driver’s car. Never fine tuned like a hot hatch, but that is not what this car is meant to be. It is a budget car that does what is needed. The little 1.2 Litre engine is pretty decent for puttering around town barely getting over 30 mph but doesn’t inspire confidence on the motorway. Cross winds affected the Sandero to no end causing the driver to always try to correct the car’s lurching tendencies. Road and wind noise enter the cabin at ease when on the motorway as does the drum of the engine which struggles at pace. This isn’t a comfort cruiser. Not in the least. You have to plan your overtakes ahead, making sure you are in the right gear and have plenty of space to pick up speed. When driving, a little gear shift indicator appears urging you to change-up and down through specific revs. This allows the engine more freedom to work at its optimum. The other quibbles I had were the fixed steering column, which I wanted to extend slightly to suit my driving style. The driving seat has no height adjustment, meaning you sit pretty high up in the car. All this can lead to an uncomfortable drive when taking the Sandero on long journeys.


As the Sandero is the cheapest car to buy in Britain at only £5995, its safety ratings are quite reasonable getting a four out of five-star rating with Euro NCAP, an improvement over the first generation. It is fitted with two conventional airbags in the steering wheel and above the glove box on the passenger side as well as two airbags in each seat. Two isofix child seat points are in the rear, however no head restraints are present, which may prove to be a risk during a collision. Most of the underpinnings have been taken out of the Renault parts bin, mainly that of the 1998 Renault Clio model. A three-year/ 60,000-mile warranty with roadside assistance is included in the price. This can be extended to five years or seven years for £395 and £850 respectively.


It is one of the largest of the super-minis, giving a large amount of rear legroom able to sit three large males comfortably and a boot capable of swallowing enough shopping bags to feed four hungry men. That totals to 320 litres of boot space, enlarged to 1200 Litres with the rear seats folded down, rivals that of a larger city car. Our base model was fitted with the optional £250 stereo and £50 spare wheel, which added a little more luxury to the Sandero.


One major problem we found was that when leaving the car, the driver had to be the last person out, as the passengers can’t lock their individual doors. It has to be done by the driver.

Running Costs

The Sandero did very well on the mileage front, averaging 48mpg from the little 1.2 Litre 16v engine pushing out a total of 75bhp and 109 lb ft capable of hitting a top speed of 97mph. On the green front, the Sandero releases 135g/km

There are two other engines available, a three cylinder 900cc turbo-charged engine and 1.5 Litre diesel engine both with 88bhp.  With regards to resale value, the Sandero Access is shaping up to hold 50% of its residual value at resale.

Tech Specs

Price: £5995

Engine: 1.2 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve

Power: 73 bhp

Torque: 79 lb ft

0-62 mph: 14.0 secs

Top speed: 97 mph

Weight: 941 kg

mpg:  48 mpg

co2: 135 g/km

Renault Twingo revealed ahead of Geneva 2014


The new Renault Twingo has been revealed in an online strip tease ahead of the Geneva Motor show starting March 4th.

The first of its kind to come in a five-door guise, it is to be built along side Daimler’s next generation two-seater and four-seater Smart after an agreement was confirmed in 2010.

The Twingo will be rear engined and rear wheel drive with a nod to the Renault 5 turbo. Changing from a conventional front engined and front wheel drive allows more manoeuvrability and a tighter turning circle, perfect for city driving along with added interior cabin space giving the feel of a car in a higher segment according to Renault.

The Twingo will come in a choice of four colours; light blue, red, white and yellow as did its predecessor. There is a lot of personalisation available with the new model starting with colour coordinated profile graphics to match wing mirrors, grill inserts and cabin trim. The rear door handles are hidden away in the windows as can be seen in the larger Clio models, even though the new model is smaller than its predecessor. There are images to show that a retractable fabric roof may be made available as seen on the Fiat 500C and the Citroen DS3 convertibles.


There is no word on engines just as yet, but it is highly likely that a three-cylinder turbo charged engine would make its way into the line up as can be seen in the larger Renault Clio.

“It is a modern take on the city car genre with the accent on innovation in terms of its lines and architecture. The new Twingo is a fun, playful and vibrant city car.”
Laurens van den Acker, Head of Industrial Design at Renault said.

There were no peeks at the interior, but it will be revealed at Geneva motor show.