Renault Kwid Overview
The most competitive end of the automotive market happens to be the smallest car segment also called the A-segment. This is the compact hatchback segment dominated by the Maruti Alto with other fringe players like Hyundai Eon and the Datsun Go clutching at the straws. Breaking through this segment isn’t easy, volumes may be high but value low and at the end of the day what customers are looking for more than anything is overall ownership value. That is a terribly hard thing to come by where pricing at all stages is highly critical and none barring Maruti have managed to surpass expectations.Check for Renault Kwid price in Chennai at Tryaldrive.
Renault India are the latest to step into this segment and they have a unique proposition to offer. Their car for the customers in this sub Rs 4 lakh segment isn’t a hatchback, it’s a compact car aping to be an SUV. That ticks one box on the unique selling proposition list. According to Gerard Detourbet, the father of the Logan, the Duster, the Lodgy and now the Kwid, the global hatchback segment (irrespective of price bracket or size) is seeing a sharp decline and it is being replaced by SUVs. He’s right you know, the Alto for instance is no longer the highest selling car in India, it’s the Dzire and though that car isn’t an SUV, you’d know by now just how popular SUVs are getting to be in India. So full marks to Renault for toeing an absolutely new line.
Renault Kwid Style
Clearly at first glance, the Kwid looks like a hatchback that does not want to appeal to the no nonsense Alto car buyer. This segment works on a matter of a few tens of thousands rupees, so for those who can stretch budgets a bit, it has always been the Hyundai Eon to go to. You get the extra bit of feel-good factor with the quality of materials, features and an overall accomplished design that you don’t get with an Alto. The Kwid wants a slice of that segment.
And Renault says so in not as many words but in the design of the Kwid. It looks much like a compact SUV with a chunky grille and flared wheel arches. The headlamps and taillamps are simple yet neatly designed and the sculpted bonnet and front bumper give an impression that the Kwid is a more premium offering than cars of its class. Unique bits like the turn indicators on the front wheel arches and the variant badge on the C-pillar stand out right away.
It is a budget hatchback after all and costs saving bits are hard to miss. The wheels have just three lug nuts, much like the ones seen on the Nano, the door handles are not body coloured, the ORVMs are simple plastic clad units that have to be adjusted manually and you get vinyls for the side strips and not actual cross hatchback like body cladding. You also get one big wiper up front instead of two, which sure will leave a large patch of dirt on the windscreen in the rains. I admire the package overall though. It has a certain degree of desirability that cars like the Datsun Go can’t quite offer.
Renault Kwid Space
Those familiar with the Kwid will be quick to notice the changes inside the cabin. Things like the new steering wheel that’s wrapped in perforated leather, the new instrument cluster and larger touchscreen sure help make the right first impression. The digital instrument cluster that also includes a tachometer is a huge step up from the previous one. The display is crisp and clear and the absence of a glass before the instrument cluster means there are no reflections at all. What’s also impressive is the new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It is slick to use and it features Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The dashboard gets some design changes as well and a few controls have been shuffled and rearranged to make it more ergonomic.
The storage recess atop the glovebox has been done away with while the glovebox itself has been made a size or two larger. New to the Kwid is the option of a passenger side airbag (it’s only available with the 1.0-litre engine). The airbag housing takes the place of the secondary glovebox that was notorious for its flimsy lid. Also, in the AMT variant, the gear selector knob is no more on the dashboard, but has been moved to the console between the seats. All said, while the new design and layout looks a lot more upmarket than before, the quality of materials hasn’t improved. There are still plenty of places where cheap plastics have been used and an improvement here would have helped uplift the ambience to another plane.
The front seats have been carried forward unchanged so you are seated at a good height that provides a good view of the road. Although the cushioning is slightly on the firmer side, there’s good side and under-thigh support. Get in the back seat, and you are sat low, which results in a knees-up seating position. The seat base isn’t very long and you don’t have a lot of under-thigh support here either. There is reasonable headroom and legroom for average-sized adults but space is significantly down on the taller Maruti S-Presso. The Kwid Climber does remain the only car in its class to offer the comfort of a rear centre armrest. Interestingly, boot space has gone down from 300 litres to 279 litres. The switch to larger 14-inch wheels and the requirement for bigger wheel wells has resulted in slightly less room for luggage. The rear seat backrest can be folded to make more room though.
Renault Kwid Gearbox
Renault has built an all-new engine for the Kwid from ground up. This 799cc motor from the BR family of Renault engines makes 54PS@5,678rpm and 74Nm@4,386rpm. This petrol engine has a dual overhead cam architecture with a 4-valve per cylinder valve train. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, also all new. Plastic has been used extensively in the engine, of course not in the critical components. However components like the oil sump and intake manifold are plastic parts which help in reducing weight. Renault hasn’t disclosed acceleration performance figures but fuel efficiency is claimed to be a class leading 25.17kmpl. To know more info on Renault Kwid check Icps2016
Critical question though is whether the engine will feel adequate as a workhorse. Inner city running will be a breeze, the transmission ratios are nicely matched to the torque curve of this engine and it revs easily and never felt stretched to the limit. Thanks to the overall kerb weight, which stands at just 660 kilos, the engine never really breaks into a sweat. However load it up and I suspect this engine is going to work very hard indeed. A full test will reveal whether it can handle heavy duty tasks or not. That said a majority of you who use the car largely alone or with just a passenger or two at most, and rarely for a long drive out of town, will find this a perfectly adequate car to drive.
Engine refinement too is quite impressive, there isn’t first of all the cold engine rattle that sub litre class engines are prone to when fired up. Second the noise insulation is tightly controlled so you don’t really hear the engine clatter inside the cabin as a disturbance once on the move.Engine responses too are quick and a slick transmission with a strong power band should keep the labours of driving in urban traffic to a bare minimum. The advantage here is that 80 per cent of torque is available from as low as 1,200rpm, so you feel the surge instantly.
In the future Renault will get down an automatic variant as well. They have been studying the AMT (automated manual) and it should come in the near future. Don’t however expect a larger more powerful engine, unless the market dynamics demand it. European nations and other countries will get stronger engines, but given the Indian market’s penchant for fuel efficiency, the 799cc engine will be par for the course.
Renault Kwid Riding
A lesson Renault has learnt with the Duster is that a rugged high ground clearance car will find its takers here and with the Kwid, the carmaker delivers just that. Riding high at 180mm, the Kwid has the highest ground clearance in its class. And considering it’s a short wheelbase, this will be more than enough to go over just about every large speed breaker the country has in store for it. The high ground clearance also gives excellent visibility out of the driver’s seat making it a very easy car to drive around town. What impressed us right away is the ride quality of this tiny hatchback. The Kwid uses MacPherson struts up front and twist beam suspension at the rear and the setup is tuned to perfection for our roads. Large undulations are evened out impressively and broken roads don’t throw you about inside the car like most hatchbacks in this segment do.
The nice chunky steering and the driving position are spot on. You sit at a good height and there is no offset pedal nonsense or steering on your chest sort of feeling that budget cars tend to have. The Kwid has considerable roll but not of the scary kind. You know you can keep it together when you are hustling this Renault baby, and in fact it is good fun to chuck around corners, much like the Alto. Just 660kg of mass to stop does ease pressure off the tiny disc brakes up front and the drums in the rear. The brakes could do with a bit more play though and the 155 section tyres with a bit more bite. When weight is on your side however, you can get away with a little less grip. Renault should however have an ABS equipped variant in the lineup too, which is not on offer as of now.
Renault Kwid Safety
Braking duties are handled by discs in the front and drums at the rear. Renault is offering rear parking sensors, Driver Airbag, ABS with EBD, seat belt reminders and Overspeed alert as standard. Moreover, on the upper variants, you can get a passenger airbag and reverse parking camera with guidelines to safely park.
Renault Kwid Cost in Chennai
Renault Kwid On Road Price is 3,26,173/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,78,099/- in Chennai. Renault Kwid comes in 5 colours, namely Fiery Red,Moonlight Silver,Planet Grey,Electric blue,Ice Cool White. Renault Kwid comes with FWD with 799 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 53 bhp@5678 rpm and Peak Torque 72 Nm@4400 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 16.8 seconds . Renault Kwid comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .
Renault Kwid Final Thought
Renault has done an impressive job with the Kwid no doubt. However don’t swallow all the drivel that’s bound to be marketed. Try it out for yourself and I’m certain you’d be surprised. This hatchback has great potential to provide good value to its owner. It has several areas of strength like its exterior styling, a strong power train, good ride quality, confident and secure dynamics, decent feature set and a host of options that are unmatched in the segment. Will this car, positioned in the sub compact segment, work out to be a healthy business model for Renault? Only time will tell. I’d place a bet on it, albeit a small one!