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Renault Wind: Test Drive Review

Date: 02 November 2010

Category: Sports
P11D price: £15,320
Key rival: Peugeot 207 CC

Renault has breezed down a different road to its main competitor with the launch of its new baby convertible.

Peugeot has enjoyed reasonable success with its 207 CC, the drop-top version of its supermini, and before that with the pioneering 206 CC, but its French rival has taken a more bespoke route.

The Renault Wind is a sporty-styled two-seater complete with retractable hard-top that folds in 12 seconds and is packaged in a way that doesn't eat into the 270 litres of boot space.

There are a choice of two engines, each accounting for around half of volume. The 1.2-litre 100hp unit driven here offers CO2 and economy of 145g/km and 44.8mpg, while the 1.6-litre 133hp alternative, costing £900 more than its less powerful sibling, returns 160g/km and 40.9mpg.

In the cabin, the Wind feels a little minimalist, which isn't to say its cheap, but there are design elements such as the fabric door handles rather than the solid plastic ones you'd expect to find. There's also little storage space, although the cabin is nicely laid out.

The way the door pillars swoop round to meet the roof leaves the driver feeling as if they are sat in a cocoon, and while it's a pleasant feeling to be tucked away with the roof down, there is a hefty problem: that kicked-up door blocks the driver checking their blind spot over the shoulder on the motorway, which makes for unnerving driving. There's also another problem: when you put the roof up or down, the windows drop too, but then stay open when the mechanism has finished, so the driver then has to manually raise each window. There's a bit of rattle and shake caused by the loss of rigidity when you take the roof off as well, and the lack of a sixth gear means revs are high on the motorway.

However, the Wind is a strikingly cute and well-priced little two-seater with residual values sitting above average for Renault at 33.9%, according to KwikCarCost, which leads to a 42.7p per mile running cost for this example. As a perk car, it's somewhere near the top of the Renault range in terms of appeal right now.

Renault Wind 1.2 TCe 100 Dynamique
P11D price£15,320
Model price range£15,320-£18,200
Fuel consumption44.8mpg
CO2 (tax) 145g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40%
per month
Service interval12,500 mls
Insurance (1-50)group 16
Warranty3yrs/60,000 mls
Boot space270 litres
Engine size/power1149cc/100hp
Top speed/0-62mph118mph/10.5secs
On sale July 2010
VerdictAttractive perk car, but not
quite as polished as it could be


Attractive perk car, but not quite as polished as it could be