The cat is out of the bag; after grabbing eye balls for its looks, Renault’s Kwid is out in the arena to fight with the best selling or rather the highest selling cars in India. Belonging to the budget division that lures first time buyers, competition is intense in A segment despite limited options. In the past, there have been new entrants that created a stir with their unorthodox contemporary looks and spacious cabins usually not seen in this segment, but eventually failed to harm Alto’s gigantic demand. Yet another new model that has dared to defy segment leader Maruti Alto is Renault’s ‘big’ small car, ‘Kwid’. Fetching headlines for quite some time now, Kwid has got most of the boxes ticked to stand tall against highest selling mini hatchback, Alto. From its larger stance to the modish design, Kwid has certainly turned heads leaving people give a second thought to the new kid on the block. But looks can be deceptive, so do not just go by the outer appeal, there is a lot more on the inside and under the bonnet that elevates Kwid as a viable vehicle.
‘Looks’ like it is here to rule:
When a car falls in the right shape with apt styling, it usually becomes an easy spot for buyers. Fortunately for Kwid, it is one of the pros that could give it an easy start in A segment. Measuring 3,679mm long, 1,579mm high and 1,471mm wide, Kwid is a huge hatchback that overpowers its competitions in terms of dimensions. The robust stance may let you contemplate if it is a mini hatchback or a hatchback based crossover. Radiator grille in the front is an all black grille with no chrome accents, just the Renault badge. Head lights are big, bumpers are painted in body colour and fog lights in front feature squarish housing. The side view is enchanting too, no chrome work there as well but body cladding, square wheel arches, prominent shoulder line and well proportioned wheels balance the looks. Rear is styled tastefully; the sculpted design, dapper tail lights, integrated sporty rear spoiler and black bumper add a sporty flavour to the rear profile.
Well equipped lavish cabin:
The 2,422 mm wheelbase means sumptuous cabin room for passengers seated in front and rear, although the rear seat is placed low causing uncomfortable thigh support, moreover there isn’t ample space for third adult at the back. Chrome bits are visible on the centre console and AC knobs. Dashboard gets a contemporary design and dual tone colour scheme, quality of plastic, fit and finish do not look compromised but there are some let down knick knacks. Seats are covered in fabric upholstery and a dark colour theme embraces the cabin. Interestingly, Renault has incorporated some of the clever features in the cabin that are usually absent in budget cars like media pack which comprises of stereo with radio, Bluetooth, USB port, MP3 player, 2 speakers and a 12V socket. The range topping trim features an additional navigation system and infotainment system. Storage space is generous, front doors feature door bins with bottle holders, floor console gets cup holder and a cubbyhole. The company is offering 60 accessories for personalization, which mean you can have a bespoke interiors.
The all new gasoline engine:
Renault has developed a new engine for Kwid, the low displacement petrol engine has a capacity of under 1.0 under, to be precise it displaces 799cc. The all aluminium, three cylinder motor is tuned to pull off peak power of 54 PS at 5,678 RPM along with towering torque of 74 Nm at 4,386 RPM. Built of aluminium, the petrol mill has been taken from the BR engine family of Renault. For now, Renault has mated a conventional five-speed manual gearbox to the 799cc powertrain, but rumours suggest that an automated manual transmission could also be offered in future.
India’s most economic petrol car:
Having understood the Indian market well, Renault has worked meticulously on achieving high mileage numbers for it’s A segment hatchback. When you are rivalling a Maruti, mileage has to be in place to pose a strong threat to the best selling mini hatchback. The claimed fuel economy yielded by 799cc petrol engine is 25.17 kmpl which also makes it the most fuel efficient petrol powered car across segments in India.
Low price and low ownership:
A jaw-dropping starting price of Rs 2.56 lakh is a great move by the French auto maker, as we go further in the line-up the one upper trim, RXE is priced at Rs 2.88 lakh, RXE (O) on the other hand is available for Rs 2.94 lakh, RXL is tagged at Rs 3.11 lakh, RXT is up for grabs at Rs 3.44 lakh and the top-spec RXT (O) is priced a Rs 3.53 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). At this price Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon and Datsun Go are certainly going to feel the heat. In fact the company has claimed that Kwid will have relatively lesser around 19% lower cost of ownership which adds another feather to its cap.
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