Renault Kwid Facelift Review & Test Drive

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Renault Kwid Overview

With its SUV-inspired looks, touchscreen infotainment system and digital dials, the game-changing Renault Kwid successfully established that a budget hatchback need not be a basic hatchback. Renault has also done well to update the Kwid regularly but what you see here is the most comprehensive refresh yet. The Kwid’s got a new look, a refreshed cabin and more features.

As before, the Kwid is available with a 54hp, 0.8-litre petrol engine, and a 68hp, 1.0-litre petrol engine that can also be had with an AMT automatic. Do note, the engines are still in BS4-spec. BS6-compliant versions will come closer to April 2020 when the new emission norms take effect. Our test car is a Kwid 1.0-manual in top-spec Climber form.

Renault Kwid Style

Clearly at first glance, the Kwid looks like a hatchback that does not want to appeal to the no nonsense Alto car buyer. This segment works on a matter of a few tens of thousands rupees, so for those who can stretch budgets a bit, it has always been the Hyundai Eon to go to. You get the extra bit of feel-good factor with the quality of materials, features and an overall accomplished design that you don’t get with an Alto. The Kwid wants a slice of that segment.

And Renault says so in not as many words but in the design of the Kwid. It looks much like a compact SUV with a chunky grille and flared wheel arches. The headlamps and taillamps are simple yet neatly designed and the sculpted bonnet and front bumper give an impression that the Kwid is a more premium offering than cars of its class. Unique bits like the turn indicators on the front wheel arches and the variant badge on the C-pillar stand out right away.

It is a budget hatchback after all and costs saving bits are hard to miss. The wheels have just three lug nuts, much like the ones seen on the Nano, the door handles are not body coloured, the ORVMs are simple plastic clad units that have to be adjusted manually and you get vinyls for the side strips and not actual cross hatchback like body cladding. You also get one big wiper up front instead of two, which sure will leave a large patch of dirt on the windscreen in the rains.

Renault Kwid Space

The dashboard is my favourite design area; simplistic, non cluttered and therefore optimising space over all else. And space is today one of the ultimate luxuries. The dash is dominated by the chrome bezeled centre console which has the same touchscreen unit used in the Duster and Lodgy. The touchscreen provides the user to control media functions, telephony through Bluetooth and navigation. It’s surrounded on the top and bottom by the air-con vents and dials respectively. The instrument binnacle is of a digital type and displays everything needed except for a tachometer which is entirely absent. At the left of the centre console is a three stack storage area or three glove boxes stacked one above the other. This also means the Kwid will not get a passenger side airbag though a driver airbag is offered as an option.Check for Renault Kwid price in New Delhi at Tryaldrive.

Space inside a sub compact is usually at a premium but slimmer seats and a more upright H-point provide enough room. Three grown-ups will find space on that rear bench a bit of a squeeze and certainly not encouraging for long drives. Ideally use it as a 2+2 seater.

Quality overall is reasonable for the class. Don’t go expecting it to take you aback and you won’t be disappointed. Fit and finish are good but I’m not sure about consistency. The example at the global unveil had a few faults, the glovebox for instance would not shut cleanly. And now at the drive experience, the doors would not shut cleanly though when they did, it did not feel rickety like in some of the competition. Quality of plastics are also what you’d expect from I presume a sub Rs 3 lakh car, good but definitely not European. I, in fact suspect European or Brazilian models will have a touch better plastic quality.

Renault Kwid Gearbox

If you are buying a Kwid, it’s worth your money to spend extra for the larger-hearted Kwid 1.0. The 68hp, 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine is leagues better than the humdrum 54hp, 0.8-litre unit. That said, the Kwid’s 1.0 engine isn’t perfect. The engine is always audible inside the cabin at idle and gets quite loud at high revs too. Get a move on, and you will notice that the power delivery isn’t very instantaneous. At low speeds, the buildup of speed is quite slow and it lacks the strong bottom-end of the Alto K10. So, while getting around in the city, you will have to downshift to make those quick overtakes or to close in on a gap. Things are slightly better in the mid-range: this is where you can feel the progress in speed. The power dies down after 4,000rpm and it is better if you upshift at this point as the engine gets quite loud after this point. The 5-speed manual gearbox has medium length throws and, coupled with a light clutch, moving through gears isn’t very cumbersome.

Has the 4mm increase in ride height and the shift to wider 165/70 R14 tyres made a difference to the driving experience? Not a major difference, but yes, it has. The Kwid has lost some of its pliancy at low speeds, and there is a bit more movement over bad roads. The suspension handles potholes well, but isn’t very silent and you can hear it working over a bad patch of road. As before, though, the Kwid feels quite planted and surefooted at high speeds for what is a bantam-weight car. Stability is decent and the wider tyres also give more confidence in the corners. A sore point is the steering – while light and easy to use at low city speeds, it lacks self-centering and does not weigh-up sufficiently at high speeds either. A point worth noting is that as a result of bigger and wider tyres, and added weight, the claimed fuel efficiency figures have dropped significantly across all the engine and gearbox options. The 0.8L has a claimed fuel efficiency of 22.30kpl (2.87kpl less) while the 1.0-litre engine has a claimed fuel efficiency of 21.70kpl (MT) and 22.50kpl (AMT), which is a drop of 1.34kpl and 1.54kpl, respectively.To know more info on Renault Kwid check Wwrdheritage

Renault Kwid Riding

The new Renault Kwid weighs in at just 660kg, making it lighter than its competition by a good 60kg as well as the lightest car in the segment. This raises a lot of questions about safety and Renault claims that it meets all required Indian norms. That’s a pretty shallow claim considering Indian safety norms are as good as being non-existent or absolutely irrelevant. An airbag can be optioned but only for the driver’s side, since the passenger side dashboard area is occupied by the stack of glove boxes. There isn’t any ABS available either.

However Gerard Detourbet insists that the crash structure is strong enough to avert most incidents. And thanks to its modular structure, as the norms get more stringent, the Kwid can be improved to meet those requirements.The suspension uses MacPherson struts at the front with a lower transverse link to reduce body roll. At the rear a twist beam with coil springs serves the Kwid. Ride quality is impressive with a taut character making its presence felt. I’d equate it to a few degrees lesser than the Duster, which is a class leader, but with similar levels of confidence and security. And though we did not get up to much speed on the inroads of Goa, I don’t doubt the compact engine.

Renault Kwid Safety Features

The Kwid comes with front power windows, central locking and air conditioning. In addition, the top end Kwid gets the Touchscreen system offered in the Duster and Lodgy. It is a big feature for a car of this class and the few buyers who want to splurge a bit for their budget hatchback, will love this Touchscreen system. It comes with Bluetooth telephony and navigation in addition to the usual radio, and USB connectivity. The maps aren’t as accurate as google maps, but other navigation systems too suffer from google levels of quality. The audio system comes with two speakers up front, and for the two lower variants below the top end RXT variant you see in these pictures, there’s a single DIN stereo with radio and MP3. To keep entry level prices down, the base variant is bare bones basic while the RXE variant that sits above the base version gets the music system as an optional feature. What we don’t like is that the Kwid comes with one airbag that is also on the options list, even on the top end variant.

Renault Kwid Cost in New Delhi

Renault Kwid On Road Price is 3,29,145/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,75,999/- in New Delhi. 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 .

Renault Kwid Final Thought

The Renault Kwid facelift has been launched at a price of Rs 2.83 lakh to Rs 4.92 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) which makes it a great value buy. Do note, prices will increase once the BS6 versions come in the near future.In all, the enhanced look and equipment have made the Renault Kwid more appealing than ever before. Question is, is it still the best budget hatchback to buy? To know the answer, read how the updated Kwid fares against the new Maruti Suzuki S-Presso.

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