When Renault first showed the Kwid, the world stood up and took notice and we in India went crazy over this small car which looks like an SUV. Now that it has been launched let us give you a quick summary of what you can expect from this new small car. The Kwid is as new as it gets being first Alliance model to use the CMF-A platform. It is available with a petrol engine and a manual gearbox only plus you have an option of four trim levels and five colours. The Kwid competes with the Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon among others.
Powertrain and Performance
As said earlier there is no diesel on the Kwid as that will push the price up instead there is a 799cc petrol engine developing 53 bhp and 72Nm of torque. You have a 5-speed manual. Now this engine may seem small on paper but on the road thanks to the fact that the Kwid only weighs 669 kgs, it offers more than adequate performance. There is torque coming in early which is important as there is more than enough bottom-end punch meaning you are not always using the gearbox at low speeds in the city. In fact it is best to give the Kwid small throttle inputs as there is not much fun at the top-end with engine getting a bit strained but that said it is the most refined three cylinder we have seen and not much noise gets in the cabin.
Also the Kwid is very easy to drive with its small dimensions and light steering making it a boon for our ever congested roads. The gearbox while being a bit on the notchy side, scores well for lightness and ease of use. Renault kept the weight of the Kwid as low as possible and that is because that has many benefits. For example in efficiency the Kwid has an official figure of 25.17 kmpl making it the most efficient petrol car on sale today. In handling also the Kwid feels light and body roll is well controlled plus high speed stability is very good with the only issue being that ABS should have been offered. Just like the Duster, ride quality is very good.
Build and Styling
The majority of the people flocking to the Renault showrooms no doubt want to buy the Kwid for its looks alone. The Kwid looks like a much bigger and much more expensive car that what it actually is. That is the genius of the design which combines SUV styling details with the body of a hatch. So you have 180mm ground clearance, upright SUV stance and cladding along with superbly designed headlamps. It is only when you look at soft looking rear that you realize it is a hatch.
With the flexible new platform, Renault has made the Kwid more spacious than some of the other cars at this price point. The class best 2422mm liberates lots of space with good amount of legroom and headroom inside. It also has good amount of storage space and the boot at 300 litres is also class best (extendable to 1115 litres). Just like the exterior the interior is very well designed and looks more expensive though there is some cost cutting if you look closely. Still the main highlight is the 7 inch touchscreen Media Nav system with Bluetooth, navigation, USB, AUX-IN, SDVC, iPhone and iPod. There is also a cool digital instrument cluster. As said earlier there are some cost cutting signs like the placement of the front power window switches in the centre, no rear power windows or steering adjust.
When you have competition like Maruti and Hyundai you have to think outside the box and that is exactly what Renault has done with their Kwid. It does the small car stuff well like being very efficient and easy to drive but adds in space, looks and a level of dynamic finesse and desirability not found in its rivals. Our advice is to buy the top-end variant which has many of the desirable features. So no doubt that the Kwid offers excellent value and it could very well be a game changer.