Review: The New Renault Kwid Could Be Your Ideal First Car
The latest variant of the Renault Kwid gets 180-mm ground clearance and massive boot space.
Renault India has enjoyed a great run with the Kwid ever since it was launched a little over a year ago. But the company hasn’t just stood around and rested on these laurels and this is why we get the Kwid 1.0.
The Kwid is also offered with a 799-cc three pot engine which will continue to be sold and the 1.0 litre SCe version (999-cc) will only be offered in the RXT trim at the moment. This strategy allows Renault to take the fight to its closest competitor, namely the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Alto K10.
We took the new Kwid variant out for a spin and here’s our take on what’s different about this entry-level four-wheeler.
To keep things simple, Renault India hasn’t changed very much with the Kwid 1.0 SCe in the visual department– the main difference being the bold side
cladding that clearly has 1.0 written on it and you also get the new gloss grey ORVM covers.
What you do get is an amazingly well designed product that has all the appeal of an SUV in a scaled down version. It looks the part, it’s very cute and I personally find it to be the best looking car in its class by leaps and bounds.
Add to that the bold styling and sporty stance that has surely been complemented by the introduction of a more powerful engine.
Speaking of which, the real story with the Kwid 1.0 is the new engine. This 999cc, 3 cylinder can churn out a solid 68PS of power at 5500 rpm and
generates 91Nm of torque at 4250 rpm. Compared to the 799cc unit, power is up by 14PS and torque by 19Nm – a big change to say the least.
While we are still on the topic of numbers here, the Kwid 1.0 offers a power to weight ratio of a staggering 97PS/tonne! Its lightweight construction and increase in output translate to great performance and outstanding efficiency as well.
The ARAI tested mileage on the Kwid 1.0 SCe is 23.01kmpl, which isn’t such a big change from the 25.15kmpl that the 799cc version scored. In real world conditions, however, we got a little above 15kmpl out of the litre-engined Kwid, which is still rather decent considering the amount of time we spent in start-stop traffic while driving through Chennai.
Fire up the engine and you immediately know that it is rather different from its smaller engine sibling. This engine feels smoother and Renault seems to
have done a good job with the NVH package.
The gearshift is nice and smooth and the Kwid is quickly off the mark. Driving around in day to day traffic shouldn’t be a problem at all with this car and the electric power steering makes the task of manoeuvring around town effortless. Out on the East Coast Road I found a bit of tarmac that allowed me to stretch its legs a bit.
Hitting a 100km/h was easily done and even at 120km/h, the car ran smooth and true. Despite being extremely light, the Kwid felt rather planted on the road and the ride quality on this car is surprisingly good – a sure sign that Renault has spent a lot of time ensuring that the suspension set up on the Kwid is well suited for our roads and regular driving conditions.
Add to that, the 180-mm of ground clearance is a definite confidence booster, especially when you are negotiating large speed breakers or wandering off the tarmac on a dirt track
This is a car that you actually enjoy driving and the more you do, the more it appeals to you. It has all the right ingredients of being a great everyday mode of transport and should you feel the need to venture out on a holiday in it, it has enough space on board to manage a few large bags in its 300-litre boot!
In terms of convenience and features on board, the Kwid 1.0 SCe gets the works. Remote keyless entry, front power windows, a powerful air conditioning unit,
an upper glove box with a lid, a rear parcel tray and an on-board trip computer are all standard on the RXT version.
However the best and most commendable feature on the Kwid goes to the integrated touchscreen infotainment system which offers you superb connectivity options and navigation! You really couldn’t ask for more from a car that is destined to sell in the entry level segment and I know that all this will appeal to such buyers who want more for less.
As far as safety is concerned, Renault has equipped the Kwid with a driver’s side airbag and you also get those Pro-Sense front seatbelts. It is a start, however I wish and hope that the Kwid gets a passenger airbag as well as ABS in the near future to make it an even better package.
Overall the Kwid 1.0 SCe is a car that really wins you over. Its quirky design, SUV-like appeal and performance are all commendable attributes. Renault has done
a fantastic job on the levels of refinement and fine tuning it for our market.
It is a car that you really can’t go wrong with and on that note, I will say that this version too is a blockbuster in the making!
So, if you were saving up to buy a car during the upcoming festive season, my suggestion is that you wait and see what deals are out at the time on the Renault Kwid 1.0 SCe – it just might be the first car that you were looking for!
(Vikram Gour is one of India’s renowned automotive journalists and the Co-Founder of MotorScribes. He can be reached on Twitter @VikramGour)
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