The Renault Kwid was showcased as a concept at the 2014 Auto Expo and launched the production car in October 2015. The Kwid carried the essence of the concept of being a super compact SUV and with its size and aggressive pricing, was positioned amongst the compact hatchbacks.
The high level of localisation makes the Kwid highly affordable. This has been built on a new CMF-A platform that has been built with high localisation. The Kwid hence, has turned out to be the highest selling car in the Renault line-up.
The Renault Kwid competes with the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and the Hyundai Eon. The Datsun Go could also be considered as a competition to this product. The newly introduced Kwid 1.0-litre will compete with Alto K10, Wagon R, Eon 1.0-litre and Chevrolet Spark.
Further to this, read Renault Kwid Road Test details by our expert.
Renault Kwid has been designed from ground up. This is a new small hatchback that competes with the heavyweight. The Kwid is a hatchback but it has a ground clearance of 180mm and then there is also the black body cladding that makes it look muscular and stylish too. The black honeycomb grille even has large headlamps that makes it look rugged. The black cladding, black mirrors and the black cladding make the profile look like a real SUV. The Kwid’s 2422m wheelbase, highest in its class, ensures a spacious cabin and a 300-litre boot.
The Renault Kwid is based on a new platform and even the interiors are all new. The design is simple with a new Renault steering wheel, digital instrument cluster that looks funky. The Kwid has a simple centre console with round AC vents and a touchscreen system with GPS. This is only the RXT variant that gets these features.
The interior space for both the rows is the best in class. The front and even the rear seat spacing is the best in its class. The boot too is the largest in this segment as it can swallow a luggage of up to 300 litres. The Renault Kwid doesn’t get a lot of safety features and this hatchback misses out on the ABS as well. The driver airbag is available only on the top of the line RXT variant.
Engine and Transmission
The Renault Kwid comes with an 800cc three-cylinder engine that produces about 54bhp of maximum and 72Nm of peak torque. This is an all new engine that has been designed for better performance and fuel efficiency. This 800cc engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission and it is a front wheel drive. Renault has also introduced the 1.0-litre SCe engine in the Kwid which produces 67bhp of power and 91Nm of torque mated to a similar five-speed manual gearbox. The Kwid is slated to get and AMT before the end of 2016.
The 799 cc Petrol - powered variant delivers a fuel economy of 23 kmpl in city and 25 kmpl on highways
For years together, we were glued to the nation’s heroic car maker Maruti Suzuki as the cars they made catered to the needs of masses. However, when it came to want more, one simply had no option but to shell out extra and upgrade to a higher segment. Now that is not the ideal solution. And here is where Renault’s little red riding hood comes into the picture.
As dreamy as it might sound, the Renault Kwid is not just a budget hatch but a macho and angry looking crossover, made to exist and scare the clichéd offerings crawling on present day roads. Feature list includes a satellite navigation system, touchscreen infotainment unit, trip computer and many more along with the claim of best in class of mileage of 25.17 kmpl. We take it around the lazy streets of Goa for our first drive report.
The excitement levels that arise by seeing budget hatchbacks is same as seeing two slices of plain bread kept on a white plate. They appear a result of design engineer’s boredom and desperation. One can’t really blame them completely especially as the brief is to make something that fulfils the basic requirements of an automobile.
The Renault Kwid, happily, doesn’t evoke any of that. Dimensionally, it belongs to its class but design wise it is not anything we have ever seen in the segment. With its SUV inspired styling and a much modern design, it will strike a quick rapport with both the vibrant young as well as the sanely matured. Not an exaggeration to say, this one also proved to be a looker as we kept answering the curious beings all over.
A dark chain linked grille holds the bold Renault logo on the front with slender clear lens headlamps to the side. To add some razzmatazz, there is chrome detailing done inside the headlamps. Move behind and you would see the muscular contours curving below the grille. The fog lamp housing also gets swanky matte surround; affixed to the bumper.
The front hood has multiple characteristic lines to make it look more appealing and the same can be felt with the steeply designed windscreen. The strong shoulder line flows from the muscular wheel arch in the front before parting way and moving up towards the C-pillar. The efforts taken to make the Kwid look distinct from other offerings can be seen with intricate detailing done on the side such as scooped door handle pockets, boxy fuel lid shape and other contour lines on the side profile.
The ORVMs are done in contrasting black and need to be manually adjusted from outside. The matte cladding running over squarish wheel arches on the front and rear doesn’t look out of sync and instead blend nicely with the overall arrangement. The tall ground clearance of 180mm makes it sound relevant to the SUV inspiration and is also a best in class feature.
The French have a way with the rear and that is for obvious reasons. On the Kwid too, it looks delicate and petite with those well rounded tail lamps and a voluptuous tail gate which definitely has a reason for its shape but looks impressive at the same time. The have made the gate tidy by limiting the labels on it, even the variant name is displayed on the rear window line. The cladding on the rear starts at a higher point and concludes the profile with the registration plate placed on the lower section and a well positioned exhaust pipe tucked underneath.
Get inside the Renault Kwid and you realise that this isn’t a normal matchbox of a cabin which might demand you to take a quick gymming session or even get your head minus from the body. The spaciousness of the cabin is the first thing that one notices followed by the rich list of options and features.
The front seats come with high quality fabrics and also offer effective lumbar support. The under thigh, though, misses on the essential cushioning but can be pardoned as the seats feel fairly comfortable. The legroom and headroom are impressive, however, the shoulder room is a tad tight, and perhaps we being on the healthier side felt it more. The rear occupants too enjoy as much comfort with decent amounts of legroom and kneeroom. It is just the flat bottom seats which will leave the occupants at a state of discomfort especially on longer routes. Importantly, it scores a lot more than its rivals as it has the longest wheelbase and is also taller and wider than the competition.
The steering wheel is apt in size with sufficient amount of support for that sudden manoeuvre. It is the instrumental cluster of the Kwid wherein the gizmoness is felt for real. The digital layout displays primarily the speed in big block numbers followed by distance to empty, average fuel consumption, instantaneous mileage, average speed, tripmeter and also fuel left in the tank. If that’s not all and you need some more guidance while driving, there is a gear shift indicator too. Everything packed in that tiny cluster and then there is more.
Since we were nestled in the RxT variant, which is the top of the line option, it comes with a 7-inch touchscreen system with voice assist satellite navigation system, Bluetooth telephone connectivity and other host of entertainment options. Yes, you read that right, the Renault Kwid offers all of that. So the next time you plan to boast of the features in your premium hatch, think of the Kwid.
There are numerous smart storage options inside the cabin. On the dashboard, there is a triple zone storage option with the top zone offering 5L of space with a pocket for a litre class container in it. In fact, it came in handy to stow my DSLR camera. The exposed middle zone offers 3.4L of space while the bottom zone has 5.5L. The front central console too has pockets to keep mundane essentials. The door pockets can hold a litre class container each in addition to the space offered. What really makes a statement is the large and generous boot area, which is the best in class at 300L more than Alto 800, Alto K10, Eon, WagonR, Celerio and even the Swift and i20 Active.
The quality of trims and fit and finish plastics is very impressive especially as Renault had to run on a tight line to maintain its price. The dual tone interiors of ebony and grey look neat and paired with red inserts on fabrics look very fresh and young. The air-conditioner vents are unique in shape with solid blinds and chrome garnish. The piano black surround around the central unit looks upmarket. Leaving a great finish on all of these is nice as they are visible to the eye but more importantly run a deeper look on the console edges, door hinges, carpet area corners and you will realise that the Kwid is a well finished product made with serious levels of workmanship.
Finally to the performance of Renault Kwid, which has been a popular concern among many prospective buyers of this hatch. To begin with, the Renault Kwid is essentially a city car with an occasional potential to map highways and long routes. It gets a brand new 3-cylinder 799cc motor that makes 53 bhp and 72 Nm of torque. At idling speed, the engine is extremely silent, unlike typical triple cylinder layouts.
It is a light weight engine and the reason for that is the use of aluminium in manufacturing of the cylinder block. The design of the motor has been optimized to make sure the losses are limited and the fuel efficiency is higher. Also, helping the motor act in the best way possible is the active 5-speed manual transmission.
Firstly, the motor doesn’t feel drowsy needing frequent slaps to wake up and make those horses run. Shift it to neutral and give it a gentle rev, it shows some good level of enthusiasm. Get it moving and you realise the first gear is very tall and that is because the smaller displacement of engine shouldn’t leave you lagging behind in traffic. It is only with additional shifts and more revs, things appear to settle down.
So this is no hot hatch. Yes, it does look angry and progressive but let not that distract you from sane style of driving as the Renault Kwid is essentially a city mapper. What I particularly liked about the motor is the fact that tackling traffic and catching up with others on the road wasn’t so difficult as I’d thought it to be. The revs add on to the confidence to be pushed further with the only annoying thing of the engine noise seeping inside the cabin. Can’t really complain much about it as that’s what a smaller displacement odd-cylinder configuration does.
Must say, the shift quality is impressive for a car of this segment as we did manage to torture it with great numbers of shift to make the engine rev at its peak and there was no sign of resist from the transmission unit; a boon for the city traveller where you otherwise end up building an arm like Arnold. Post dodging the city lights, we took it on the long stretches of straight road and on that too the motor continued to surprise us with its smooth power delivery.
Even though it is the largest in dimensions compared to its rivals, driving it in narrow lanes or manoeuvring through traffic is very easy. The light steering wheel makes all of that possible. It is only on highways where you feel the need of more feedback from the steering wheel. Supporting to the act are the 155 / 80 R13 tyres sourced from JK Tyre. Unless and until you are doing city speeds, going around shopping and more of the similar, these tyres do a decent job but the moment they are made to take a hard turn, there is a great level of discomfort with high levels of understeer.
But then crawling over uneven surfaces is not much of a challenge for this red boy as the Kwid gets a ground clearance of 180mm. This paired with MacPherson strut for front suspension and rear twist beam unit keep the body completely insulated from any uneven undulations on the road. They also do a fabulous jog of completely absorbing the disturbance. The NVH levels too are something to elaborate as no matter where we drove it, the ambience noise barely seeped inside the cabin and also there wasn’t any redundant noise felt.
It is a Renault at the end of the day and this is felt with the way the Kwid handles. There is a slight roll felt around corners at high speeds but the entire setup does a great job of maintaining its straight stance. Renault rightly claims that the Kwid mimics the Duster by offering similar level of driving dynamics, which has to be its salient feature. To make sure there isn’t much of drama when it comes to bringing the vehicle to a complete halt, it gets disc brakes in front and drum on the rear. Since there is no ABS offered for now, the tiny rubbers screech to glory during abrupt braking. We wish the brakes to be tad more effective. Overall, it leaves an amazing impression and is undoubtedly the best city car to drive in its segment.
|Power in Bhp/RPM||53 / 5678|
|Torque in Nm/RPM||72 / 4386|
|Wheel base mm||2422|
|Kerb Weight in Kg||660|
|Ground clearance mm||180|
|Fuel tank capacity L||28|
|Tyres||155 / 80 R13|