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Renault Kwid
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 3/5
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 2 years/50,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
2.83 Lakhs-4.84 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Practical demeanour
  • Good Performance
  • High equipment
  • Spacious cabin

Weak Areas

  • Mediocre handling
  • Average Quality
  • Low comfort 
  • Average Boot space
Renault Kwid
 
 

New Kwid on the Block

The SUV kind looks, a well designed cabin and spacious boot along with enviable fuel efficiency make Kwid an attractive option. Its small petrol engine has the pep expected in a city car.

 


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

Even as preferences for sedans and compact SUVs continue to grow, the hatchback segment is still the most aggressive of the lot in the Indian car market. Banking upon the power of this category, Renault too has brought its small car to compete with Maruti Alto K10, Celerio, Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano.
 
This sub 4 lakh hatchback has 799 cc 3 cylinder petrol engine that churns 53.2 bhp at 5678 rpm and 7.34 kgm of torque at 4386 rpm. It is mated to 5 speed manual synchromesh transmission. 
 
Looking at its legacy, the Kwid belongs to Renault’s Compact Module Family (CMF). In simple terms, this grouping lets the manufacturer take different pieces from their part bins and combine them together to make cars of various sizes for various segments. The benefit is considerable cost saving. Kwid fits in the CMF-A classification, the A signifying sub compact segment.
            Kwid Class Leading Space
The concept version of Kwid with the same name was revealed in Auto Expo 2014. Remember how it looked so eccentric? Renault finally brought out the production version in May 2015 in Chennai. What we appreciate is that the company focused on the 3 important factors that are loved about cars - styling, space and affordability. Pricing was important while competing with Maruti and Hyundai, which is why the company had to maximize localisation. 
 
Ecardlr looks into the design, features and performance of Renault Kwid: 
 
The Exteriors 
 
Looking at the Kwid for the first time you may wonder if it really belongs to the A segment. With its raised stance and SUV design cues, it looks more like a hatch turned crossover. And indeed its length of 3679 mm is more than that of Alto 800 at 3395 mm, Eon at 3495 mm and Celerio at 3600 mm. The Kwid is also wider than its main rivals. It has a width of 1579 mm as compared to Alto 800’s 1490 mm and Eon’s 1500 and 1550 mm options. So the Kwid looks inevitably bigger in appearance. Only Kwid’s own cousin Datsun Go in this segment has larger dimensions. 
             Kwid Fog Lamps
The SUV stance comes from the raised ground clearance of this car and beefed up wheel arches that make it feel taller than it actually is. 
 
Another thing that adds to the strength of its looks is that the bonnet is not steeply raked. There is a squarish front giving it a muscular front and camouflaging the small dimensions. 
 
The C-shaped chrome accent in the headlamp housing looks nice. The area just outside the headlights has also been blackened to contrast with the overdose of chrome. But we can even see the bumper through the headlight housing and dirt can accumulate in this part with time. The front grille has a new design, different from the Duster and the Renault diamond logo sits in between. The pattern theme of front grille is also reflected in the air dam below. 
 
You see sharp lines on the bonnet and the windscreen washer is also located here. For cost cutting there is a double armed, single blade wiper for this budget hatchback. 
 
Renault Kwid has black cladding on the wheel arches as also on front and rear bumpers. There is minimal overhang for the side profile and the wheelbase measures an impressive 2422 mm. A stylish addition is that there are turn blinkers well integrated on the black wheel well cladding. Kwid uses 155/80 R13 JK Tyres. 
Interestingly, the doors have what appears to be black plastic cladding as in the Grand i10 – and this breaks monotony of door panels- but actually it’s only a vinyl sticker to keep the costs low. Earlier, the fluidic design of Eon had become more attractive than the plain Alto and now it is the European design language of Kwid that gives it an edge over other cars in this budget category. This Renault car does look more stylish than the rest in its pack. 
          Kwid C Shaped Headlig
Variant name can be seen on the base of blackened, plastic rear quarter panel. The depressed roof design adds to the strength of exterior design.  At the rear end you will see the boot lid cutting its way around the wrap around tail lights.  The Kwid insignia and Renault logo take the centre position on the tailgate. Rear bumper is almost fully black and only the sides are body coloured. Although the windscreen appears to be big, the viewing area is smaller because of the blackened edges. Paired with a sloping angle, this actually reduces the utility. 
 
Considering the dimensions of this hatch, its kerb weight is pretty surprising. At 660 kgs (for the top trim), the Kwid is now the lightest car on sale in India.
 
Inside the Cabin 
 
The raised stance of Kwid makes ingress and egress easy. Inside the cabin you see a simple but nicely set-in dashboard. Renault has not chosen beige colour theme – it goes with grey. The seats have dark and light shades of this colour along with some red tone to break the monotony. 
           Kwid Media NAV Multimedia and Navigation System
On the centre console you will find a 7 inch infotainment system besides the AC vents and controls. There is piano black finish to it along with stylish chrome border and this creates an upmarket feel in an otherwise simple dashboard design. At the lower end of the centre console are the front power window switches, central locking button and the hazard light switch. We hear from some that Renault will bring in an automatic version sometime later and indeed there is round dummy attachment - towards the driver side - on the centre console which could be the space reserved for AMT gear selector. Kwid’s interior is more functional than glamorous and this is good. 
 
Quality of plastics is acceptable in the segment. The cabin has better fit and finish than the Alto although of course Hyundai’s style conscious Eon remains the upper yardstick. The best part is that cost cutting is not very evident in Kwid. Thick to hold, with thumb contours and a large horn pad, the steering has a piano black finish and is pleasing to use. 
 
Steering wheel cannot be adjusted for rake or reach. But its neutral position will suit the driving style of most people. While front and sideward visibility are satisfactory, the rear windscreen as mentioned earlier, limits the vision of the back. Internal rear view mirror is also small but it does not chop off anything from your vision. The ORVMs are tall. On the downside, they cannot be adjusted from inside and so you will have to roll down the windows every time you need to adjust them. 
            Kwid Class-Leading-Boot-Space
Renault has given an all digital instrument cluster to the Kwid. The top trim RXT comes with comprehensive MID having readouts for real-time and average fuel economy, distance to empty, distance travelled, trip meter, average speed and fuel consumed. But there is no tachometer for any variant. 
 
The basic air conditioner does a good job of keeping the cabin cool and you can shut all air vents individually when desired.
 
Front seats are contoured and comfortable. The lateral support is particularly nice and the under-thigh support too is good. Drivers who are not tall will not have visibility issues because of the seats being high set. Where Maruti has limited the front seat sliding to create more legroom at the back, Kwid has a healthier range for its seats. 
 
As an entry level car, Kwid comes with decent amount of in-cabin storage. You can fit in a water bottle in the front door pocket with space for some knick knacks.  Right in front of the gear lever there are 2 cup holders.  There is place to take your smartphone and a 12V charging point has also been provided. 
 
Getting in and out of the rear part of cabin is not as easy as for the front. The rear doors do not open very wide and the small space between the B-pillar and the seat base makes ingress -egress little tricky. 
 
But once you get it, there is hardly anything to complain about. There is adequate space and seats are comfortable. Seating position is high and under-thigh support is adequate. Headroom is also sufficient. As in other small cars of the A segment, the space is enough for two adults and the third will squeeze in. But the fact remains that the Kwid is wider than Alto and Eon. 
 
The occupants of the rear seat do not get any storage spaces and none of the variants have power windows for the rear. You need to manually roll the windows up and down. What the rear passengers get (and the ones in front don’t) are fixed grab handles. 
 
Renault Kwid has 300 litres of boot volume. This is close to a compact sedan - Dzire with 316 litres. Among hatchbacks it’s only Honda Jazz that with 354 litres of stowage space exceeds Kwid’s capacity. On folding the rear seats completely, there is 1115 litres of cargo space. 
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
Renault developed a new 0.8 litre engine for the Kwid instead of using the 1.2 litre petrol motor that has been plonked in the Datsun Go and Nissan Micra. This small three cylinder is essentially more fuel efficient than a 1.2 litre unit. 
 
It is an all-aluminium engine with 4 valves per cylinder and double overhead camshaft. The power of 53.2 bhp at 5678 rpm and torque of 7.34 kgm at 4386 rpm are at par with the segment competitors. But we cannot deny the fact that Eon and Alto are also available with more powerful engine options (1litre) too. 
 
Crank up the engine and you will feel lot of vibrations in the cabin. Without the AC on, the idling is refined and there are no shakers. Actually, whenever the compressor kicks in, the car starts vibrating. Yes, it will go away as you rev up the small motor and start driving around. To resolve this issue, what Renault can do is to increase idling rpm a little. The small petrol engine sounds like a diesel from the outside but inside the cabin with the windows rolled up, the sound levels are not disturbing. 
              Kwid Petrol Engine
Kwid has been fabricated for city driveability. The accelerator response is instant. As you release the clutch from standstill, a light dab on the A pedal takes the Kwid ahead smoothly. You need to be gentle with the throttle input as the pedal seems disconnected initially. 
 
It will take some practice to get used to the feel because you will often end up pressing the accelerator hard and the car will move ahead a little too excitedly. 
 
For intercity driveability, you can upshift early and continue to stay in a high gear. Even at 20 km/hr you can use the third gear and this hatch goes around like an automatic. It will also let you commute at 50 km/hr in 5th gear sans any vibrations. While there is no tachometer, the practical gearshift indicator prompts you to upshift and downshift through an up/down arrow on the small MID screen. This is useful for new drivers. 
 
Accelerating to 80-90 km/hr is easy and the hatch does not feel underpowered up to the speed of 90 km/hr. After this, power begins to taper off. The highest limit for second gear is 77 km/hr. Because of the light construction and slim tyres, there can be wheel spin on aggressive upshifting to second gear. 
 
This small engine is suited for intercity driving and s you can’t really expect much on the highways.  The power band is low and engine does not have much to offer for the higher rpm range. You may have to frequently shift between the 2nd and 3rd gears on roads with inclines and declines. The 5th gear is tall and meant for fuel efficient driving. It is prudent to drive the Kwid in a relaxed style on the highway. The AC usage affects engine power strongly when you have a 0.8 litre unit. 
 
Clutch is light to use and has a long travel range than what is expected in a small hatch. You can slot in the gears 
 
smoothly and they have medium-length throws. There is some rubbery feel but you will not miss the shift. A good thing is that the gear lever stick does not jiggle at idling. 
 
In terms of NVH, it’s the vibrations at idling that do need corrections. On the go the refinement levels are fine and then gain at high revs there is 3 cylinder thrum and some harshness. The motor actually sounds unpleasant here. There is wind noise above 80 km/hr from the A pillar zone but is not very prominent. Road noise is quite curtailed for a budget hatchback and this is mainly due to insulation in the wheel wells.
 
Ride and Handling 
 
The ride quality of Duster set a benchmark in its segment and Renault has made Kwid too admirable in this regard. There is a marked soft edge to the ride and the suspension flattens out the undulations with a hushed thud. It is only the bigger potholes that result in unpleasant bumpy ride if you do not slow down for them. On the whole, this hatch is good to drive on poor roads at city driving speeds. But being a small car that it is, it cannot be expected to show the same manners at higher speeds. With that smaller wheelbase and lightweight construction, it does not feel planted on the highways and there is uncomfortable vertical movement on bumpy roads. So it is wise to stick to a sedate driving style. So is the case with other contenders in this category. 
              Kwid Uncluttered Lines Dashboard
Kwid comes out as a balanced car with regards to handling too. As the suspension is jacked up and on the softer side, there is some body roll but it is not disturbing. If you throw it into corners, this car does not give up its line and keeps a grip on the road. If you keep in sensible speed limits, the Kwid will please you with its fun to drive quality. The grip levels are satisfactory even with those 155/80 R13 tyres. The on-road behaviour is better than the Alto. With a tyre upgrade to 165 or even 175, the results will be even better.  
 
Steering is light at low speeds and taking U turns is simple. This trait coupled with low-end driveability and taller seating position makes Kwid an amazing city car. The problem only starts if you pick up higher speeds as the steering does not weigh up sufficiently to give you the confidence. The EPS is light and vague. Therefore you will have to make continuous corrections to stay in line while going at speed on highways. 
 
There is 180 mm of ground clearance and so the Kwid does not scrape its underbelly on poor roads and speed breakers. 
 
No variant gets ABS and this is disappointing norm of the segment. We wish at least the top trim RXT (O) was equipped with ABS. Braking action is a standard fare. It stops in a straight line without any fuss. Once again, brakes are suited to sedate driving style and hard braking can result in the front wheels getting locked up. 
 
Renault Kwid will come in five colours - Fiery Red, Ice Cool White, Moonlight Silver, Outback Bronze and Planet Grey.
 
Fuel Economy 
 
Kwid’s small engine has been tuned for maximum fuel economy. The ARAI rating is 25.17 km/litre and this leaves Nano (23.6 km/litre), Alto 800 (22.74 km/litre) and Eon (21.1 km/litre) behind. Thanks to its light kerb weight the Kwid is expected to deliver consistent good mileage. 
 
Verdict 
 
Priced between Rs 2.57 lakhs - for Kwid STD- and 3.53 lakhs -for Kwid RXT Driver Airbag Option - (prices ex-showroom Delhi), Kwid has all the qualities desired in the entry level budget car segment. Its competence can also eat into the sales of Datsun Go which has not yet found many buyers. Despite having a separate economy brand, Renault (the premium marque) launched a low budget car under its own name. It is nevertheless a value for money product but the top thing that the company will need to work upon is its dealer and after-sales service network – as this is far behind Maruti and Hyundai. 
 
Comfort:  3.5/5
 
Refinement: 3/5
 
Safety: 3.5/5 
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 3.5/5
 
Value for Money: 4/5
 

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