Renault has only one major hit in the Indian car market so far, in the form of Duster. Piggybacking on its success, the Kwid, is ready to take on other entry level cars. Needless to say that we have enough options (Alto 800, Alto K10, Eon, Nano, Go etc.) to choose from in the entry-level car segment, than we had a few years back. However, car buyers in this category had been at the mercy of car manufacturers when it came to design and there had not been any visually exciting car in this price bracket, until the Kwid arrived. Can the new K(w)id on the block disrupt the entry-level car market, and make a mark with its sheer design? It’s indeed hard to say. So let’s compare Renault Kwid Vs Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 & find out if Kwid has more compelling reasons that make it a worthy buy.
Renault Kwid Vs Alto 800 (Design and Exteriors)
Appearance and design, essentially being a very subjective thing, requires less of a statement from anyone advocating one or the other. Still, Alto 800, simply put, pales in comparison to the Kwid (that’s what we feel). In case of Alto 800, no clear design philosophy is visible, the design looks like a victim of prescribed dimensions within which the designers were allowed to create a car. Whereas in case of the Kwid, it appears that the designers had clear instructions to make the car look muscular regardless of the space it would take, and it does look muscular and smart.
Kwid does not give the impression as if it has been built to a price, which has been typical of most cars in this segment. It borrows clues from the successful Duster and embodies them well too. The Kwid is based on the new CMF-A platform which has been designed from scratch which makes it extremely flexible and it can be used as base for other cars too. Some cost cutting measures are visible on the Kwid, like three bolt wheels instead of four, single wiper system, manually adjustable ORVMs and that’s that. Alto 800 uses four bolt wheels, two wiper system for the front windscreen which does not give any distinct advantage to Maruti but Renault manage to keep the cost in check by adopting these small design variations.
The Kwid looks modern and an SUV-like crossover (which most Indian customers would favour) and is way ahead in this department from the competitor.
Looks aside, the Kwid also has better wheelbase (2422mm) and ground clearance too (180mm) in comparison to the Alto 800.
Renault Kwid Vs Alto 800 (Interiors and Features)
Kwid’s interiors break away from what has been the norm so far in this segment and come equipped with an audio system coupled with Satellite Navigation on the RXT variant. There are dual-tone interiors with piano black surround at the centre which makes it look very up-market. There are two glove boxes and other open spaces to keep the knick-knacks. The inside is practical place to be in, as you get other features (cup holders, 12v power socket, and bottle holders) that take care of the essential needs.
The steering wheel is well shaped and is one of the best in this class; other noticeable feature is the high-capacity boot (300 litres) which puts some of the cars even in the class above (Elite i20, Swift etc.) to shame. The instrument cluster is all-digital affair (another first in class) that looks cool and is informative. Chrome inserts, along with high quality plastics lend a premium feel. An overall great cabin, let down only by lack of power windows in the rear.
Maruti Alto 800 does not offer a navigation system and there’s a basic music system to keep the passengers entertained. What’s missing is the chrome inserts and piano finish which lend a sense of premiumness in the Kwid.
The boot space of 177litres is just about half of that of Kwid’s. Features like remote boot-lid opener and fuel lid opener are present on the Alto too. There’s enough space in the glove box and centre compartment to keep the knick-knacks. There are no power windows in the rear just like the Kwid. The cabin of Alto 800 is just at par with the rival.
Renault Kwid Vs Alto 800 (Engine, Mileage and Safety)
What’s impressive about the Kwid is its extremely low kerb weight (660kg), Alto 800 weighs 65kg more and is powered by an almost equal capacity engine (800cc) which is marginally less powerful (48bhp) and less torquey (69Nm) too. This enables the Kwid to deliver an impressive and class-leading mileage figure of 25.17kmpl while Alto 800 promises to offer 22.74kmpl. Engines in both of these cars is transversely mounted at the front and sends power via 5-speed manual gearbox to the front wheels.
In terms of safety, both cars are at par. There’s an option of driver side airbag, 3-point seat belts for front and rear passengers, middle passenger at the rear gets a two point belt. Other passive safety features include high mounted stop lamp and engine immobilizer. There are disc brakes at front and drum brakes at rear, while ABS is absent in both the cars even on the top variants.
The Renault Kwid wins this battle hands down, and it is not only because it is marginally better equipped, or because it offers some of the features that Alto 800 does not. The cars are infact more or less the same in terms of what they have to offer in terms of equipment and features, and it is indeed a very close battle in this department.
However, it is in the area of design and sheer visual appeal that Kwid leaves its rival in the dust and stands distinctively ahead of it. Consider the comparatively larger and impressive boot-capacity, followed by, the most fuel-efficient engine only as fringe benefits that you get with the Kwid which the rival does not offer.