The entry level hatchback segment is getting strengthen year by year with large number of volumes and when it come to small hatchbacks, Maruti Suzuki has remained the ultimate ruler. For more than a decade now, this joy ride belongs to Maruti with offerings like Maruti 800, Zen, and Alto 800/K10. There is no doubt that Alto is the best selling model in its segment but it’s not a best looker. Even stiff competition from Hyundai Eon and Datsun Go has left the India’s no. 1 car maker unflappable. The segment is very tuff to crack but French car maker Renault has decided to have a go at it with the all new Kwid hatchback. Renault in India is solely riding on the existence Duster SUV which is garnering good numbers while its other products like Fluence, Koleos, Pulse, Scala and even Lodgy have not done well to Renault when it comes to sales performance.
Despite of a tough task ahead, Renault is pretty much confident that it has a potent product in hand to rule to entry level segment. With the price starting at 2.5 lakh, the car now commences a waiting period of more than six months. So has the French car maker done enough to dethrone the best and break the monopoly? Let’s find out the answer in our expert review section.
With the prices starting at Rs. 2.56 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it manage to undercut most of its rivals. The top spec variant costs at Rs. 3.53 lakhs which is quite less as compared to top variant of Alto and Eon which cost around Rs. 4 lakh. The aggressive pricing has been made possible due to the 99 percent of local content.
Engine and Performance:
Renault Kwid might be flaunting the SUV inspired looks but underneath it is a mild 799cc 3-cylinder petrol motor generating 53bhp power@5678rpm and peak torque of 72Nm@4386rpm. It is available with a 5-speed manual gearbox only. On paper, the figures are pretty much at par with the competitors but its 85PS/ton power to weight ratio results in peppy driving experience.
Start the engine and on idling, the motor does sends out vibrations that can be felt throughout the steering wheel, AC vents, doors, pedals and gear lever. But things take a turn for better once you get going. The NVH level is not at the disturbing level but it is slightly higher than its chief rival Alto.
As expected, the three cylinder motor was never going to be as smooth as a four pot engine, but refinement levels of Kwid are more than acceptable considering the price range. Press the accelerator and Kwid moves quickly. The planted ride quality overshadows the NVH levels and you will hardly feel any bump inside. Renault in city drivability is good and we loved its ability to move down on broken roads with ease. Cruising on the highway up to 100 km mark is not a hitch thanks to clever gearing and Kwid cruises quite well but the motor doesn’t stir enough confidence when pushed harder. Kwid also delivers best in class mileage of 25.17 KMPL and with light weight and small engine it delivers consistent fuel efficiency.
Overall, despite of minor up and down the whole set up kept things ideal and impressive at lower speeds. Renault Kwid is undoubtedly the best city car to drive in its segment.
Space and Dimensions:
The biggest highlighting point of Kwid is the interior space which will make you feel that you’re sitting in a segment higher vehicle. The front seats are basic, yet supportive and it could have done with a bit more bolstering but the good thing is it breaks the monotony of all grey interiors. The legroom and headroom at rear are remarkable; though shoulder room is a tad stiff. For storage, there are plenty of options available inside like two glove boxes, front door pockets and a cubby hole. It offers a class leading boot space of 300 liters which is 123 liters more than its chief rival alto and 85 liters more than Hyundai Eon. And the good thing is it can be further increased to 1115 liters by folding down the second row seats.
Indian audience has been used to the design of Alto for a decade now and it started to look kind of boring. In terms of length and all, Kwid certainly belongs to a typical entry level segment car but design wise it is not something we have seen or expected in the segment. Renault has designed Kwid in a clever manner by keeping the Indian audience’s craze for SUV in mind. So Renault went for SUV+ Crossover stance for Kwid which goes very well with SUV passionate market.
The front fascia gets the conventional front styling with a bold structured grille which munches into front bumper and it is flanked by squared off headlamps with C shaped chrome touch inside. The side profile is well sculpted and clearly reflects the SUV inspired styling of the car with bold fenders; black cladding along the wheel arches which houses the integrated side indicators. But the tyres look on the smaller side which somehow hampers the side profile.
The rear is highlighted by the oval shaped and cute tail lamps which might remind you of Grand i10’s lights. At the top you get an integrated rear spoiler and black lower bumper trim for a SUV-ish look. Besides, Renault is also offering several customization options for most of Indian tastes. As compared to the competition, Renault Kwid is certainly the best looking car in its segment.
Interior and safety:
Get inside the cabin and you’ll be welcomed by roomy and spacious interiors, it also shows that Renault has spent quite of its time on market research to analyze the enthusiast taste. The cabin gets the typical dull grey color while Piano black finish at the central console breaks the monotony. The steering wheel is huge with sufficient amount of support and it is surely best steering wheel you would get in less than 10 lakh segment.
It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is like a dream for such a budgeted car. The MediaNAV system is derived from Duster and incorporates navigation, Bluetooth, USB, Aux-in and radio. It also comes with futuristic looking digital instrument cluster with orange backlight and distance to empty, odometer, trip-meter & real-time fuel consumption useful gauges.
The quality and feel inside is acceptable for this price, although Eon’s interiors have a slight advantage when it comes to fit & finish. However, the interiors are better than the Alto series. Safety is neglected in this segment as the buyers are more concerned about the value for money but Renault is giving a driver airbag as option while ABS is a sad omission.
So, does the Kwid have what it takes to dethrone the king? Well, Renault Kwid is an interesting entry in the compact hatchback segment and will achieve the new heights in sales for the carmaker. The car has loads of segment first features, best in class fuel efficiency which scores high on practicality and space. It also performs very well when it comes to riding ability and performance. Kwid ticks all the right boxes and is ready to re-define the compact hatchback segment. If there is anything that Renault needs to worry is there after sales service and If Renault can get this right then there is no stopping the Kwid from being a runaway success for Renault.
|Comparison of Renault KWID|
|Comparison of Renault KWID variants|