Renault Kwid Hatchback First Look Review


Renault Kwid Overview

It isn’t easy to take on the might of the market leader, Maruti Suzuki, especially in the small car space? Hyundai’s Eon almost made it, Datsun gave it a Go too! Now, Renault Is all set to give it a shot. It has developed its brand in the Indian market primarily on the back of the Duster. And this segment – the crossover/compact SUV space – has been recession-proof for quite a few years now. Not just in India, but across the globe. Another market trend over the past few years has been the eagerness of car manufacturers to look for niches to appeal to a wider audience.

And, in this case, Renault has thrown everything – including the kitchen sink and a 7-inch touchscreen – at the market. It has sold over 1.2 lakh Duster SUVs in India, and have captured a 2% share of the market. Now their target is 5%! And this is the car that will help them achieve that target. The Kwid is a brand new hatchback, built on a completely new architecture. And it’s key differentiation, in Renault’s own words, it its ‘SUV-like’ looks.

Renault has been thinking of entering the small car space for quite some time. To take advantage of ‘frugal engineering,’ as Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn says, Renault was exploring the option of developing a small car with Bajaj. And while that didn’t quite make it to fruition,Nissan – part of the Renault- Nissan Alliance – did launch the low-cost Datsun brand in India, with its first product being the Go hatchback. So, clearly, they’ve learned a thing or two from the development of the Go, and have thought long and hard before engineering the Kwid.

Renault Kwid Style

On the outside, the first thing that grabs attention is new fascia with slim LED guide lights and DRLs on the top and the headlights finding their way to the bumper. It’s been done very smartly too, the bonnet line has not changed at all, in fact, all the changes up front are on the new beefier front bumper. The grille too has been updated with vertical slats and chrome embezzlements, because really, nothing says premium like more chrome. In profile, the Kwid now gets bigger 14-inch low-resistance CEAT shoes, that not only fill up the arches but also do their fair bit in improving fuel economy.Check for Renault Kwid price in Hyderabad.

Although, the tyres do lack grip which means spirited driving and hard braking can cause some serious involuntary kegel clenches. Not a deal-breaker but something that you need to keep in mind if you’re opting to keep the stock tyres on. Renault has tweaked the wheel covers as well that now seem to reflect the new fascia’s design language. At the back, new LED tail-lights, guide lights and reflectors contribute to the fresher look. The new changes to the front bumper also bring compliance with pedestrian safety norms.

Renault Kwid Space

On the inside, the Kwid feels a whole lot fresher. There is a new steering wheel, a new digital instrument cluster and most importantly a large touchscreen infotainment system. The new system uses the latest generation of Renault’s MediaNav OS with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The 8.0-inch screen is definitely disproportionate to the cabin, although I think, is a neat optical illusion. You spend most of your time in the car staring at this really premium large screen and you might forget that you’re sitting in an entry-level hatch.

There are new seat covers too, that liven up the interiors, although the plastics still feel sub-par. Everything else is more or less the same, under the hood customers can choose between an 800cc and 1.0-litre motor. Our test car with the 1.0-litre motor seemed to drive almost the same despite the 40kg of extra weight, requires considerable gear grinding in traffic. Overall though, this smart cost-effective update was exactly what the Kwid needed to sufficiently arm it to take on the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso.

Renault Kwid Gearbox

The updated Kwid continues to source its power from the set of petrol engine options. The 800cc 3-cylinder engine makes 54PS and 72Nm of torque, paired with 5-speed manual transmission. The powertrain feel easy with a couple of occupants inside but when more people join along with some luggage, the vehicle tends to struggle. This small engine is meant for urban driving conditions, so expecting outright performance from it is not fair enough. It will help you commute from one point to the other without any fuss.

However, when it comes to refinement, it isn’t the most polished one out there. The buzzing from the 3-cylinders is indispensable while the engine also fails to muffle its voice. And this becomes worse when you move to the upper half of the rev band. In comparison, the Alto and Eon are much unobtrusive both at the idle state and while on the go.

The 1.0L engine on the other hand shares its architecture with the younger 800cc one. The company has just increased the bore and stroke of the 800cc motor to increase the displacement and boost the drive shaft for added power. This adds 14PS of extra power but this isn’t apparent as you kick start the engine. What you will feel is the increased level of composure as the car builds up pace. This leads to better highway performance and the powertrain doesn’t feel exhausted even if driven to three-digit speed.

However, in terms of noise and vibration, it still remains identical to the 800cc engine, sounding grumpy when driven hard. In terms of acceleration, where the 0.8L engine increase desire for more grunt, the 1.0L feel just ok as 0-100kmph in the latter is achieved under 14 seconds which is indeed impressive. In fact the acceleration time is on par with segment above vehicles such as Maruti Swift and Ford Freestyle. The credit for this goes to the light weight of Kwid and the engine just complements this characteristic further.

And this is not the end of merits this car comes with. To counter the likes of Maruti Alto automatic transmission (AGS), Renault has been offering this car with the AMT gearbox. You just have to shell out extra Rs.30k over the manual counterpart. And the Kwid ‘Easy-R’ which Renault calls it, justifies the price. The AMT is one of the best so far in the budget segment with minimal shift shocks. The transmission picks up the acceleration inputs fairly well and makes swift progress.

With the new update, it also gets much needed creep function and the carmaker has labelled it as ‘Traffic Assist’. The creep function let the car creep forward at crawling speeds without the need of continuously pressing the accelerator while making progress in bumper to bumper traffic conditions. Having said that, the manual mode for help control gear changes is still missing, so Renault should work on this. Overall, the small car is one of the best city commuters.

Renault Kwid Driving

The Renault Kwid features quite ample specifications for the city drive and will not let you down. The McPherson Strut and Twist Beam suspension on the front and rear wheels respectively form a greatly configured setting for bumpy cities and high roads. However, the car lacks grunt when you get on the highway or expressway. Also, the engine starts making noise and you will feel the annoying vibration if you force the car beyond a certain speed. Keep the speed to the optimum and the Kwid will run on butter.To know more details on Renault Kwid visit Industrynewswire

Renault Kwid Safety

The braking setup has sufficient bite and the car stops without any drama. And with ABS with EBD in the latest update, you can now push this car a little hard as the front wheels will not lock-up. Besides ABS and EBD, the standard safety features of Kwid include driver side airbag, driver and passenger seat belt reminder, speed alert system, front seats: integrated headrests, rear seats: integrated neck rest and high mounted stop lamp. Other safety aspects in the car include reverse parking camera, front fog lamps, remote keyless entry with central locking, intermittent front wiper & auto wiping while washing and engine immobilizer.

Renault Kwid Price in Hyderabad

Renault Kwid STD Ex-showroom Price is 2,75,099/- and On Road Price is 3,24,192/-. Renault Kwid STD comes in 5 colours, namely Fiery Red,Moonlight Silver,Planet Grey,Electric blue,Ice Cool White. Renault Kwid STD comes with 0.8 Litre SCe – Smart Control Efficiency 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 25.17 Kmpl . Renault Kwid STD comes with Manual Transmission with FWD.

Renault Kwid Final Word

The Renault Kwid has done enough to stay relevant, credible and capable. And yet it remains good value, offers a fair bit of kit at the entry end of the market, and looks pretty cool while doing it. So yes this is a proper facelift, one that deserves your attention if you are an entry buyer. But I would still hold out on Renault climbing back with a good crash rating, and making more safety equipment as standard or even optional from the base variant up, on the new Kwid.

The updated Renault Kwid still remains good value for money. The 0.8 version starts at ₹ 2.83 lakh and gets 4 variants going up to ₹ 4.13 lakh for the top spec RXT. The 1 litre model is only available in RXT trim and starts at ₹ 4.33 lakh and goes to ₹ 4.70 lakh for the fully loaded AMT variant. The Climber trim comes in at ₹ 4.54 lakh and you get its top spec AMT version for ₹ 4.92 lakh. The Renault Kwid always had to take on everything from the Maruti Suzuki Alto, Wagon R and Celerio to the Tata Tiago. Some changes in the competition set include the arrival of the Hyundai Santro, the upgrading of the Wagon R to a higher segment, and the brand new Maruti-Suzuki S-Presso which really does become its most immediate head-on rival. More on that clash soon!

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