Renault Kwid Facelift First Drive Review

Renault Kwid Test Drive

Renault Kwid Overview

The Renault Kwid has gone from a radical concept that was the very first showcase of the 2014 Auto Expo, to a budget hatchback that is now one of India’s best-selling cars. The Renault Kwid is the French carmaker’s way of saying a budget car doesn’t have to be bland. This little hatchback is the first formidable rival the Maruti Alto has had in years and the Kwid continues to enjoy a great deal of popularity across India.

While its biggest selling points, initially, were the SUV-esque styling, its ride quality, and the touchscreen infotainment system, it’s now more versatile with 1.0-litre and AMT options available as well. Is it something you ought to consider buying? Let’s find out! The Renault Kwid offers a practical and feature-loaded package at prices on par with all of its rivals. Not only is it more spacious than its rivals but also offers a host of segment-first goodies.

Renault Kwid Design

On the outside except for the Easy-R badge, the Kwid AMT remains identical to the recently launched 1.0-litre version. So you get the familiar mini crossover stance, which makes it look distinctive and imposing. The large upright honeycomb grille, high bonnet and chunky headlamps further add to its SUV-like styling and the flared wheel arches with plastic cladding gives it a mini Duster look. The chequered 1.0 litre decals pasted across the doors distinguish it from the lower 800cc variants and the chunkier silver mirrors look upmarket (but you still don’t get internal adjustment).

Renault Kwid Cabin

Think of the interior updates as an attempt by Renault to polish off all the tiny rough edges. In other words, they are not extensive. That said, the brand has added quite a few noteworthy features across the variants that we totally approve of. For starters, all variants now come with emergency locking retractor (ELR) for the rear seatbelts. It allows the belt to freely extend and retract with occupant movement, yet locks the belt instantly in the event of a crash. Secondly, the AMT and RXT(O) variants also get a 12 volt charging socket and more importantly, a rear parking camera with display integrated into the existing touchscreen system. Meanwhile, the mid-level RXL now gets front power windows and remote central locking as standard.

The dash design and layout of materials has been carried over from the old car which is not a bad thing at all. Sure, you are seated in a sea of black and grey plastics but the thing is, most of the controls are hardwearing and feel solid to operate. I wish I could say the same for the air vents and the boot/fuel release which feel quite low rent. Thankfully, this AMT variant gets contrasting red inserts for the seat backrests and piano finish for the centre console which do their bit in lifting up the overall ambience.

Seat comfort up front is impressive for a car of this size, with adequate bolstering and back support. Overall you wouldn’t feel as helmed in as you would sitting in a Maruti Alto K10 or the Datsun redi-GO. Thanks to the class-leading 2422mm of wheelbase, even the nearly flat rear bench is comfortable with good amount of leg room and thigh support. However, it’s only comfortable for two adults – adding a third occupant in the rear in this narrow cabin is best avoided. For more details on Renault Kwid Visit Kmindia

Renault Kwid Engine

Petrol

0.8 SCe

The engine on the Kwid is an all new 800cc unit. Point to be noted, 50% of the total development cost of the Kwid was diverted towards the development of the engine. With such high focus towards the engine, Renault has ended up developing one of the most fuel efficient petrol engines in India! ARAI ratings stand at 25.17kmpl. In comparison, ARAI ratings for the Alto stands at 22.74kmpl and Eon at 21.1kmpl.

The 3-cylinder unit develops 54PS of power and 72Nm of torque, and is paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox only. The engine feels comfortable with a couple of people in the vehicle, but load it with passengers and some luggage – it does tend to struggle. The engine is meant to be a city slicker, so do not expect outright performance. It does just enough to take one from point A to point B without too much drama.

The sour point? Well, it isn’t the most refined motor around. Other than the inevitable three-cylinder drone, the engine fails to keep its voice down. This becomes even more apparent when you get to the upper half of the rev range. The Alto and the Eon, in comparison, are much quieter both at idle, and on the move.

1.0 SCe

The 1.0-litre motor is available in the top-spec RXT and RXT (O) variants only, and shares its architecture with the 0.8-litre unit. Renault has increased the bore and stroke of the smaller engine to achieve the bigger displacement, and strengthened the drive shaft to account for the added power. The added 14PS of power doesn’t make itself apparent right away. However, you do feel that the Kwid feels much more composed and relaxed as it gathers pace. Expectedly, highway performance is much better and the engine doesn’t feel strained doing triple digit speeds. But, it isn’t too different from its 0.8-litre in terms of noise, vibration and harshness. It is equally vocal, and sounds gruff when driven hard.

Where the 0.8-litre engine keeps you wanting for a bit more grunt every now and then, the 1.0 feels just right. 0-100kmph takes 13.90 seconds, which is far from impressive, but on par with commuter hatchbacks from segments above like the Ford Freestyle petrol and Maruti Suzuki Swift diesel. This, in no small part, can be credited to the Kwid’s light weight. This engine complements the Kwid’s city characteristics much better, and is our pick of the lot. Additionally, while this engine is more powerful than the 0.8SCe, it’s still plenty efficient, delivering a tested mileage of 20kmpl in the city and 23.02kmpl on the highway.

1.0 SCe AMT

To take on the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AGS, Renault introduced the AMT variant of the Kwid. The two-pedal version costs Rs 30,000 over its manual counterpart. For the convenience it offers, the Kwid ‘Easy-R’ does justify the extra price.

The AMT is among the best we’ve driven in the budget segment, and shift shocks are minimal. The gearbox picks up throttle inputs reasonably well and makes progress swiftly. Back when it was launched, this transmission did not offer the much needed creep function. However, the 2018 Renault Kwid does get it, with Renault labelling it “Traffic Assist”. Simply put, this feature (which was available with the Datsun redi-go AMT) makes the car creep forward at crawl speeds, without constantly pressing the accelerator while making progress in bumper-to-bumper traffic. That said, there’s still no manual mode to help the driver take control of gear changes when needed. We wouldn’t call this a major miss, since the gearbox figures out the right gear almost every single time (albeit with a slight lag), so you wouldn’t really miss it on a day-to-day basis. Apply car loan for Renault Kwid.

However, there is a stark difference in outright performance compared to the Kwid 1.0-litre manual. 0-100kmph, for example, takes 17.44 seconds; a full 3.5 seconds slower than the Kwid MT. This gap is more heavily pronounced in our fuel-efficiency tests, where the Kwid AMT delivered 16.28kmpl in the city and 19.09kmpl on the highway. Approximately 4kmpl less in both cases.

Renault Kwid Riding

In terms of handling, the Kwid retains its light steering feel (good for puttering around town) but there is more body roll than what’s expected and the steering itself is devoid of feel. However, when it comes to tackling bad roads, the little Renault is hard to fault. The long travel suspension that otherwise makes the Kwid lean into the corners allows it to maintain composure over pothole-riddled roads. Sure, the ride quality is slightly bouncy under full load, it is still impressive overall and like the Duster, the Kwid tackles bad roads with relative ease, especially for a car of this size.

Renault Kwid Safety

The Kwid gets a driver side airbag as standard but a passenger airbag isn’t available even as an option. Other standard safety equipment on offer include ABS, driver and co-passenger seatbelt alert and 3-point ELR seatbelts for two rear seat occupants. The middle passenger still gets a lap belt. The Renault Kwid is also offered with a rear parking camera, the only one in the group.

Renault Kwid Price in Mumbai

Renault Kwid On Road Price is 3,29,145/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,75,999/- in Mumbai. Renault Kwid comes in 5 colours, namely Fiery Red,Moonlight Silver,Planet Grey,Electric blue,Ice Cool White. Renault Kwid comes with FWD with 799 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 53 bhp@5678 rpm and Peak Torque 72 Nm@4400 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 16.8 seconds . Renault Kwid comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .View offers on Renault Kwid at Autozhop.

Renault Kwid Verdict

The AMT ‘box has made the Kwid a great urban tool and for a person who has never experienced a dual clutch or a torque converter before. This basic ‘auto’ gearbox is quite good thanks to its smooth shifting nature. It does have some shortcomings like the lack of a manual mode and a creep function, but on the whole, the AMT has become our choice in the Kwid line-up. It just makes the Kwid a more rounded package. With an expected price hike of around Rs 30,000 and with no penalty as far as fuel economy is concerned, the Easy-R variant is the one to go for if you are looking at buying the Kwid.

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