Which is your best class bunking experience

Cars from 16: Ellenator, Aixam & Twizy put to the test

Many young people dream of being on the move independently. For many novice drivers, buying a moped or scooter is the first step towards self-employment. However, there are now alternatives to traditional means of transport. We tested three vehicles for young people aged 16 and over - but the results were not convincing.

Many adolescents want their own vehicle so that they no longer have to rely on their parents or public transport. In Germany, young people are not allowed to get an AM or A1 driving license until they are 16 years old at the earliest. The exceptions are the federal states of Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Thuringia, Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: the minimum age here is 15 years.

We tested three multi-lane motor vehicles for young people aged 16 and over:

  • Renault Twizy 45

  • Aixam City Diesel

  • Ellenator

The three vehicles can be driven with an A1 (Ellenator) or AM (Aixam and Twizy) driver's license and, thanks to their body, should be an all-year-round alternative to the classic 50cc scooter or 125cc motorcycle. In our test, however, they could not convince and sometimes showed major weaknesses. Both Renault Twizy and Aixam City Diesel performed “poor” overall, as they were devalued because of their poor safety equipment. After all, the Ellenator was rated as "satisfactory".

Vehicles from 16 years of age: Danger of tipping over in the evasive test

Aixam and Ellenator performed terribly poorly in the area of ​​driving stability. The light vehicle threatens to tip over at 45 km / h, the Ellenator at 65 km / h in the evasive test. The rear axle with the closely spaced wheels is the undoing of the converted Fiat 500. With the Aixam, the very soft suspension ensures that the vehicle is in danger of falling over. The Twizy performed better here. But the e-mobile fails when braking. In addition, the Renault is the only one to do without ABS.

In addition, the limited speed of 45 km / h poses a safety risk that should not be underestimated. In the dark, in particular, other road users find it difficult to correctly assess the large difference in speed because they are perceived as normal cars.
For all three vehicles, the necessary driver's license is obtained on a two-wheeled vehicle, but the license holder is driving a car-like vehicle with completely different driving behavior. In the case of the Aixam and Ellenator, the poor driving stability represents an additional risk for novice drivers. Here the legislature is required to close the gap in driving license law or to implement a change in the law.

Hardly any security equipment

In the security category, Aixam and Twizy received the grade poor. The Renault Twizy offers no safety equipment except for three-point seat belts with belt force limiters and the standard driver airbag. Neither ABS nor ESP are available for the mix of scooters and cars. Aixam, also from France, leaves it at the seat belts for the two occupants, an airbag is not available. After all, an anti-lock braking system (ABS) is available for an extra charge.

In the event of an accident, the two light vehicles offer better protection than a two-wheeler thanks to their passenger cell.

The Ellenator scores points in terms of safety compared to its two competitors. It is based on the small car Fiat 500 and thus has a stable body. ABS, ESP and seven airbags are also included as standard.

Results table

Assessment / model

Ellenator

Renault Twizy 45

Aixam City Diesel

Body / trunk

3,2

4,1

3,4

processing

3,5

3,8

4,7

Suitability for everyday use

3,6

4,1

4,0

light and sight

3,4

4,2

3,5

Entry / exit

2,6

2,9

2,2

Trunk volume

3,0

5,5

2,6

inner space

3,2

4,4

3,9

service

2,6

4,0

3,7

multimedia

2,6

4,7

3,9

Space in front

2,8

3,4

3,8

Interior variability

4,7

5,3

4,0

Comfort

3,2

4,8

4,1

suspension

3,9

5,0

3,6

Seats

3,2

4,7

4,6

Interior noise

3,0

4,4

4,6

Air conditioning and heating

2,6

5,2

3,5

Motor / drive

3,1

2,3

3,6

Mileage

3,1

4,1

4,5

Running culture / performance.

3,1

1,4

4,2

Shift / transmission

3,1

1,3

2,2

Driving characteristics

4,1*

2,9

4,3*

Driving stability

4,6

1,3

4,8

steering

3,0

3,4

4,9

brake

2,6

4,1

2,8

security

3,7

5,2

5,3

Active security

4,2

5,0

5,0

Passive security

3,1

5,3

5,5

Consumption and pollutants

2,3

1,0

3,8

consumption

3,0

1,0

2,5

Pollutants

1,5

1,0

5,0

total

3,2

4,7*

4,8*

* Aixam and Ellenator: devaluation of driving characteristics. If the driving stability has achieved a grade of 4.6 or worse, the driving characteristics category is rated a maximum of 0.5 better than driving stability.

* Aixam and Renault Twizy: devaluation of the overall rating. If the security has achieved a grade of 4.6 or worse, the overall grade is rated a maximum of 0.5 better than the security.

Aixam City Diesel

advantages

disadvantage

  • small and agile
  • practical trunk
  • Car-style interior and body
  • closed passenger cell
  • expensive to buy
  • critical driving behavior at the limit
  • heavily vibrating diesel engine
  • bad emission behavior
  • low level of security

A typical representative of the classic light vehicles is the Aixam City Diesel from France. The two-cylinder diesel engine has an output of 6 kW (8 hp) and even accelerates up to 49 km / h in the test. It can be driven with an AM driving license.

In terms of workmanship, the Aixam does not reach the level of the two competitors because it is not manufactured according to automotive standards. Incorrectly assembled add-on parts, rattling doors and sharp component edges cast doubt on the overall solidity of the vehicle.

The multimedia offer is limited to a radio with USB and AUX connection; a Bluetooth hands-free system and a CD player are available for an additional charge. Despite the small body dimensions, the space is surprisingly good. Even people who are 1.85 meters tall have enough leg and headroom in the seats. The trunk is also surprisingly large at 270 liters.

The two-cylinder diesel engine shakes the vehicle, the vibrations in the passenger compartment are particularly noticeable when the vehicle is stationary. The Euro 4 emissions standard for light motorcycles and motorcycles applies to the Aixam. The exhaust emissions determined with a mobile exhaust system (PEMS) are in some cases far higher than those of modern cars. Alternatively, an environmentally friendly electric version is also available.

In view of the poor vehicle quality (grade 4.8), the base price is very high at € 10,890 and even exceeds a small car like the VW up! (from € 9,975).

Ellenator

advantages

disadvantage

  • Comfort and safety on par with a car
  • four seats plus trunk
  • with a top speed of 90 km / h no traffic obstacle
  • very expensive to buy
  • critical driving characteristics at the limit
  • sluggish acceleration
  • low payload

Based on the Fiat 500, the Ellenator scores with the advantages of a conventional car. Under the bonnet is a 1.2-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine, which is reduced to 15 kW (20 hp) in accordance with the A1 driving license and the four-seater to up to 91 km / h accelerated. Downhill it even reached up to around 120 km / h in the test. A specially developed and patented rear axle is built into the Ellenator, with the two rear wheels in the middle under the trunk. As a result, it is classified as a three-wheeled vehicle in class Le5.

In terms of workmanship and material quality, the Ellenator overshadows its competitors. The cockpit offers a wealth of functions, most of which are bundled in the infotainment system. The vehicle includes a radio with USB and AUX connection, six loudspeakers, a Bluetooth hands-free system and audio streaming as standard.

As expected, the passengers in the Ellenator find the most space, even 1.95 meters tall people can still sit in the front. However, space is limited in the second row and in the trunk. For those who value driving comfort, the Ellenator is the first choice. In terms of noise comfort, it is way ahead of its competitors, only the tight chassis tuning is noticeable negatively.

Overall, the Ellenator is the most balanced vehicle in this group test, but it is by far the most expensive at 18,470 euros.

Renault Twizy 45

advantages

disadvantage

  • environmentally friendly electric drive
  • cheap to buy and maintain
  • safe driving characteristics
  • very small and extremely manoeuvrable
  • modest ride comfort
  • no heater
  • limited storage and transport options
  • low level of security
  • poor visibility to the rear due to the lack of a rear window
  • short range

The Renault Twizy 45 is a mixture of a scooter and a car and is therefore the closest thing to a two-wheeler. It is driven by an electric motor with an output of 4 kW (5 HP). With a top speed of 45 km / h and compact dimensions, it is best served in the city.

Since the Twizy works without doors and only doors without windows are available for an extra charge, the interior is made of durable plastic. Because the body is not completely closed, it only offers limited protection from wind and weather. The Twizy can be assessed very well towards the front, the poorer the visibility to the rear. Since the light vehicle does not have a rear window, it reverses while flying blind. After all, there are parking sensors for an extra charge.

A cockpit can hardly be more reduced than in the Renault Twizy: the steering wheel, two steering column sticks, two buttons for selecting the gear and a hazard warning button are all the little Frenchman has to offer. The multimedia offer consists of an optional Bluetooth audio and hands-free system, the control unit of which is located at the top of the headliner. A USB and AUX connection are also on board.

There is no space problem in the small Twizy: Even people who are 1.90 meters tall will find enough freedom of movement in the driver's seat and there is also enough space for adults in the seat behind it.

With a basic price of 6,950 euros (plus a monthly battery rental of 50 to 72 euros), the Twizy 45 is by far the cheapest vehicle in our test. In terms of comfort, however, it cannot keep up with the two competitors. The weak security features mean that the Twizy is ultimately downgraded to 4.7.

Tips for the consumer

  • You should think about the area of ​​application of the vehicles before purchasing. The light vehicles, which are limited to 45 km / h, are only suitable for longer cross-country journeys to a limited extent. The Renault Twizy is only partially suitable for year-round use due to the passenger cabin that is not completely closed and the lack of heating, and the range is also limited.

  • The AM or A1 driver's license can only be obtained on a two-wheeler. After obtaining your driving license, you should therefore take additional driving lessons with the respective vehicle before driving a light vehicle or the Ellenator for the first time. In this way, novice drivers can get used to handling the clutch and gearshift (Ellenator) and practice reversing into parking spaces.

  • Ellenator drivers should avoid the limit area as the vehicle tends to tip over. Steering movements should not be too abrupt and curves should not be driven through too quickly.

  • Attention: Other road users are often difficult to assess the speed difference. Driving at night and outside built-up areas in particular should be avoided.

  • In addition, novice drivers should complete driver training in order to get to know the vehicle and especially the driving characteristics and the limit area better.

That's how we tested

The evaluation of the vehicles was carried out on the basis of the criteria of the ADAC car test. Some test criteria had to be adjusted due to the three different vehicle concepts and the lower vehicle speed.

Instead of the ADAC evasion test, the vehicles had to pass the VDA evasion test in accordance with ISO 3888-2, which is more suitable because of the narrower pylon lane and the resulting lower achievable speeds.

Since the results of the crash tests carried out at different speeds according to Euro NCAP are not comparable, they are not included in the test. Instead, the active and passive safety equipment of the vehicles is assessed.

The exhaust emissions were measured using a portable exhaust measurement system (PEMS). The range of the electrically powered Renault Twizy was also determined on the road.

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