Renault Kwid vs Maruti Alto 800 Road Test Comparison Review

Renault Kwid has challenged the country’s best-selling hatchback, the Maruti Alto 800. So what happens when veteran meets a young blood and who walks away with honour? Let’s find out. 

Renault Kwid vs Maruti Alto 800 Road Test Compare

No one has championed the small car category like Maruti Suzuki India Limited.  With two cars out of every three sold in the country belongs to Maruti, it's hard to challenge Maruti on this small car turf. For years now, Alto has hoisted the flag for its parent brand and it still continues to be best-selling car across the segments. However, now Renault has got its contender i.e. new Kwid pitted right against the Alto. Kwid strength lies in radical looks that is totally unheard in the segment before. In fact it looks like anything but a cheap, budget car at least on the outside. Inside, however, it features some cheap plastics do reek of low quality.
Still Kwid has got a lot of things going for it especially when compared against the Maruti Alto. So who comes as a victor when both of these cars meet on the battle ground. Whether it will be new Kwid that becomes the segment benchmark or Maruti Alto continues to lead the segment by humbling Kwid's challenge.  Read on further to find out. 
Style, Design & Interiors
Looks is the area where Renault Kwid holds decisive advantage over the Alto. In fact, Kwid's biggest strength is its muscular pretensions that exude very SUV like feeling. Broad shoulders, squared haunches and body cladding makes Kwid looks like younger Duster. Pumped up view of the car has struck a chord with customers and that's why Kwid continues to attract chunk of young customers buying the car for the very first time.
Maruti Alto, on the other hand, is a very practical and mundane design. It has got a departure from the older Alto though it still feels run of the mill car. Puny headlamps, unanimated profile and bland rear offer nothing extraordinary to the consumers. Still, this Maruti has lot of practicality on offer that includes city friendly dimensions and short overhangs. In isolation, there is nothing wrong with its looks though when pitted against Kwid, Alto starts sulking a bit.
Inside the cabin, both cars fail to arouse any contemporary feel. Both have poor quality plastics and although Kwid has got first in class features like touchscreen infotainment system, rest of the equipment is very ordinary in terms of touch and feel. Still, Kwid scores above the Alto in terms of space and equipment.  Rear bench of the Renault is decisively more spacious and comfortable than Alto.
Alto equipment and layout feels crude and although it is very practically laid out, it completely lacks in the appeal. Spacewise too Alto lags behind the Kwid. Its short squab and small width is good only for two occupants at the rear. Maruti has tried to eke out more passenger space with slim and scooped out front seats along with use of slim doors and although it has freed up some extra rear room, Alto still is no match for Kwid expanse. Boot space too tilts the balance further in favour of Kwid which comes with 300 litres of luggage area.
Renault Kwid: *****        Maruti Alto 800: *****
Engine, Transmission& Driving Dynamics
Under the hood, both cars are evenly matched in terms of capacity of swept volume. Both are powered by 0.8-litre, 3-cylinder, DOHC motors breathing through 12 valves configuration.  Alto has the output of 48 PS and 69 Nm while Kwid dishes out a tad higher 53 PS and 72 Nm. What additionally comes handy is the low kerb-weight of the Kwid, which is a good 50 kg lighter than Alto.
That said, the real world performance of both the cars are not very divergent. Both have peppy, eager nature and though Kwid has got weight advantage, it doesn't feel particularly swift than Alto. In fact, on the contrary, top end of Alto motor feels rev happier than of Kwid. As both motors are tuned more in favour of fuel-efficiency, expecting scintillating performance won't be fair expectation. Both motors come mated with 5-speed manual transmission that channelizes power to the front wheels. There is nothing raving about ravishing about either of gearbox as both units are notchy and lack consistency. The rubbery feel is very much present and although gears slot in coherently, these lack in the reassuring feel. Braking too seems to be a bit jittery in both the cars and lack of ABS in both the cars (even not offered as option) is unnerving.
Dynamically Kwid holds its head high thanks to broader shoulders and wider track. Its longer wheelbase also comes handy in keeping it stable on the highways. Ride quality is simply cut above the rest and Kwid isolates the passengers from undulations like a big car. Handling of both cars is on par with the course though Alto with its dinky dimensions makes fast-speed lane changes with relative ease. 
Renault Kwid: *****        Maruti Alto 800: *****
Overall Verdict
Who could have ever thought that one day Maruti would take a beating on value for money.  Thanks to nearly cent percent localisation, the Kwid starts its offer from as low as Rs 2.57 lakh, similar to pricing of Alto 800. Now this low price of Kwid has really multitude the issues for Maruti. In somewhat similar price what one gets in Kwid is the SUV-esque styling, airy cabin, modern interiors along with many first in class features. Alto may offer you a bit more fuel efficiency though Kwid's motor doesn't fall behind either. In sum, Kwid rises to the occasion and as it betters off Alto in almost all aspects of comparison. Now only if you are not smitten by Maruti brand, then Renault Kwid offers maximum bang for your buck. We have little doubt about this. 
Renault Kwid: *****        Maruti Alto 800: *****

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