Renault India today launched more powerful 1.0-litre variant of Kwid hatchback in India at Rs 3.82 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). This more powerful variant will available only in RxT (O) trim with standard safety feature of the driver side airbag. Talking about other safety aspects, company has also provide a seat belt pre-tensioner and load limiter which is very first feature in this segment. The car is powered by 1.0-litre, 3 cylinder petrol Motors capable of putting out 68 PS and 91 Nm of Max Power and max torque respectively. The power is generalized to the front Wheels of the car via 5-speed manual transmission and for now, no automated manual transmission is on the offer. Externally there are very little cute that differentiate this more powerful variant from its regular version. The only differentiated factors include silver wing mirror and chequered body Graphics on the lower part of door panels. Internally The cabin remains similar to the tops pack of standard 800cc variant with of course addition of airbag and seat belts with pre-tensioner and load limiter.
The Duster helped Renault build a brand identity in the Indian market. The company could not do very well with Scala, Pulse and even a pragmatically devised Lodgy did not catch the fancy of buyers. To get into the raging budget hatchback segment, Renault launched the Kwid in October 2015.
Inspired by the funky concept that was displayed at Auto Expo 2014, Kwid has been designed specifically for India. It is the brainchild of Gérard Detourbet who conceptualised Lodgy, Duster and Logan. According to Gérard, Renault had been bringing European cars to India and then tuned them for driving conditions here but Kwid has been Indian-ised from the word go. Taking a cue from Maruti and Hyundai, its makers have focused on the elements of styling, space and affordability.
Renault Kwid is pitched against Maruti Alto 800, Alto K10, Hyundai Eon, Tata Nano and (Kwid’s own cousin) Datsun Go. The 0.8 litre petrol engine that powers it churns out 53 bhp at 5678 rpm and torque of 7.34 kgm. It is coupled with 5 speed manual gearbox.
The SUV design hints, large dimensions and raised stance of Kwid make us wonder if it is actually contending with the A segment hatchbacks. It looks like a hatch-turned crossover such as i20 Active and Etios Cross.
With a squarish front this car gets muscular looks that belie its actual dimensions. The Renault logo on the black grille cuts into the bonnet line and looks cool. Front grille design has also been carried on to the air dam. C shaped chrome accents in the headlamp clusters catch attention.
Kwid has a length of 3679 mm making it longer than Alto 800 (3395 mm) and even the Celerio (3600 mm). It is also wider than its immediate competitors and then there’s a design trick – although it’s merely 3 mm taller than Alto (and 22 mm shorter than Hyundai Eon), the SUV stance underscored by raised ground clearance and wheel arches cladding make it look like a taller vehicle than it actually is. The bonnet too is not steeply raked and this further adds to the muscular design. Against the fluidic design philosophy of Hyundai, the Kwid gets European design language for a distinct identity.
The wheelbase of this car is 2422 mm and the ‘black plastic cladding’ that the doors seem to have are in fact just vinyl decals. Ingress and egress are easy due to raised stance. The grey themed cabin has an elegant dashboard with piano black centre console. It houses a 7 inch infotainment system with AC vents and controls. Quality of materials is acceptable for the segment.
Seats have a mix of dark grey, light grey and red. The contoured front seats are comfortable to be in. There is no height adjustment feature but the sitting position is high so visibility will not be a problem. Steering wheel cannot be adjusted for tilt or reach but it is nice to hold and has thumb contours too.
Kwid has plenty of cubby holes for keeping knick-knacks. The upper glove box is sculpted to take in a one litre bottle as also few other items.
The rear seat is flat with no contours and cushioning is soft. Headroom is adequate. As in other cars of the segment, the rear seat of Kwid is also best suited for 2 people even though its width is more than Alto 800 and Eon. There are seat belts but they are not-retractable which makes them impractical to use. Rear doors don’t have pockets. And there is no wiper /washer on the rear windscreen – cost cutting typical to the market fragment.
A pleasant surprise is the boot capacity of Kwid. There is 300 litres of volume and this is not only bigger than its immediate competitors but also the Swift that is in an upper segment. The rear seats can fold down fully to create a room of 1115 litres - space good enough to comfortably accommodate your luggage and your furry friend for a getaway. The ARAI fuel efficiency is 25.17 km/litre and that too makes it good for such trips.
Renault Kwid has four variants – STD, RXE, RXL, and RXT. Driver airbag has not been provided in any of these and is optional in top end RXT. For safety, the top end version also has engine immobiliser and fog lights.
There are five colour options - Ice Cool White, Moonlight Silver, Planet Grey, Fiery Red, and Outback Bronze.
A competitively priced hatch, Kwid will cost you between Rs. 2.62 lakhs and 3.67 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi).
If you are looking for a car with small engine that has adequate pep for commuting in city, good fuel economy and a distinctive design then Kwid can be a good choice. And it does not cost much to own this stylish hatch.