The Renault Kwid was first launched in India in September 2015. In the past one year, the small car has done wonders for the French carmaker in terms of sales and the brand's popularity. It got bookings for 50,000 units within five weeks of its launch, and by now these have crossed the 1.25 lakh mark.
Thanks to this runaway success, the company is now looking to garner five per cent share in the Indian car market by the end of this year. And to achieve this, they plan to launch a new version of the Kwid this month. So apart from the current three-cylinder, 800cc petrol engine powered version, the latest addition will be powered by a 1.0-litre mill. This will enhance the offering for the widely accepted Kwid and also strengthen the carmaker's portfolio in India. Well, for the customers, it will be a good option for those who are on the search for a more powerful entry-level vehicle.
So how different is it from the current Kwid? To find out we spent some time behind the wheel of the new variant.
Renault has given this new trim a checkered side body decal with '1.0-litre' badge and silver coloured ORVMs. These are the only differentiating elements that set this variant apart from the standard one. Otherwise, in terms of external appearance nothing has changed. And this is a good thing as the Kwid's clever design anyway has a different charm to it. What has worked in the car’s favour is the change in the Indian buyer's preference from cars with hatchback proportions to SUVs. The Kwid is a small car with an imposing fascia, flared wheel arches and a squat stance. These are things that the car boasts of having as a first in this entry-level segment. Customers have liked these SUVish looks thus marking off one of the most important points while buying - good looks.
The Kwid’s interior has some materials that make it feel upmarket like the glossy black centre console. Then there are black and grey plastics as well which remind you of it being a budget car. But the cabin is still high on practicality with many storage options and boasts of segment-first features. For example, the digital instrument cluster displays the information clearly and the touch screen infotainment system with navigation works like a charm. The rear seat is pretty spacious and comfortable place for two adults. Then there is 300-litres of boot space! Again the best in the segment.
This brings us to the heart of the car - the new three-cylinder 1.0-litre engine. It comes mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Rated at 68bhp and 91Nm of torque, the new Kwid’s power is up from the 800’s 54bhp, 72Nm output. This 14bhp power bump with linear acceleration helps achieve triple digit speeds in a more relaxed way as compared to the 800c motor. All of this is despite the 1.0-litre Kwid being heavier than the 800cc one. The new engine is calm at lower revs, but since it’s still a three-cylinder engine, so the typical angry growl at higher revs is still there. Nonetheless, its torquey nature makes it better than the smaller capacity sibling. The clutch is light on the foot and the gears slot in well. The brakes help in stopping the car effectively, but still do feel a bit spongy on hard braking.
In the ride and handling department, the 1.0-litre Kwid feels the same as its twin. The steering still feels a bit vague and has a lot of play. On the plus side, Renault has tuned the suspension well for a comfortable ride. The 180mm ground clearance is the best in its class and helps taking rough patches with ease. But this tall height and a soft suspension set-up account for some body roll in the corners. Nonetheless, the small car stills feels stable even if it is not meant for attacking corners.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||68bhp@5500rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||91Nm@4250rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||28|
|Tyre size||155/80 R13|
|Touch screen audio system||Yes|
|Digital instrument cluster||Yes|
|Fuel efficiency - 23.01kmpl||Yes|
|180mm Ground clearance||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||1.0-litre RXT||Vxi (O)|
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||68bhp@5500rpm||67bhp@6000rpm|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||91Nm@4250rpm||90Nm@3500rpm|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||28||35|
|Tyre size||155/80 R13||155/65 R13|
This 1.0-litre version is surely going to impress the ones who loved the Kwid for its looks and features, but felt the 800cc motor didn’t have a positive impact on them. This trim will be competing with Maruti Suzuki's Alto, as it also has an 800cc in the form of the Alto 800 and a 1.0-litre engine in the Alto K10. The new Kwid will become a worthy contender if it is priced anywhere near the Alto K10’s price of Rs 3.25 lakh to Rs 4.15 lakh.
Photo Courtesy By : Sanchit Arora