In September 2015, the Renault Kwid made its debut in India. In terms of sales and brand recognition, the compact car has done wonders for the French automaker in the last year. Within five weeks after its inception, it had received orders for 50,000 units, which have now surpassed 1.25 lakh.
As a result of its meteoric rise, the firm is now aiming for a 5% share of the Indian automobile market by the end of the year. To that end, they intend to release a new version of the Kwid this month. So, in addition to the current three-cylinder, 800cc petrol engine, the new model will be driven by a 1.0-litre mill. This will improve the Kwid’s offering while also strengthening the carmaker’s range in India. Customers, on the other hand, will find it to be a suitable alternative if they are looking for a more powerful entry-level vehicle.
So, how does it compare to the contemporary Kwid? We spent some time behind the wheel of the latest variation to find out.
Renault has added a checkered side body decal with a ‘1.0-litre’ emblem and silver ORVMs to this new variant. These are the sole features that distinguish this variation from the ordinary one. Aside from that, nothing has changed in terms of appearance. And that’s a good thing, because the Kwid’s innovative design has its own charm. The shift in Indian buyers’ preferences from hatchback to SUV dimensions has helped the car. The Kwid is a compact automobile with a bold front end, flared wheel arches, and a low stance. These are features that the car claims to be the first to offer in this entry-level segment. Customers have praised these SUV-like looks, highlighting one of the most crucial factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle: attractive looks.
The interior of the Kwid contains several materials that make it feel more upscale, such as the glossy black centre console. Then there are the black and grey plastics, which remind you that this is a budget vehicle. However, the cabin retains a high level of functionality, with several storage options and segment-first innovations. The digital instrument cluster, for example, clearly shows information, and the touch screen infotainment system with navigation functions flawlessly. For two adults, the rear seat is quite large and comfy. Then there’s the boot space, which is 300 litres! The finest in the category yet again.
Driven by Results
This leads us to the heart of the vehicle: the new 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine. It’s paired with a five-speed manual transmission. The new Kwid’s power output has increased from the 800’s 54bhp and 72Nm to 68bhp and 91Nm. In comparison to the 800c motor, this 14bhp power boost with linear acceleration helps achieve triple digit speeds in a more calm manner. Despite the fact that the 1.0-litre Kwid is heavier than the 800cc one, it achieves all of this. The new engine is quiet at low revs, but because it’s still a three-cylinder, the customary angry growl can be heard at higher revs. Nonetheless, because of its torquey nature, it outperforms its smaller capacity sister. The clutch is easy to operate, and the gears are perfectly aligned. The brakes do a good job of stopping the car, however they are a little mushy when braking hard.
The 1.0-litre Kwid has the same ride and handling characteristics as its sibling. The steering is still a little shaky and has a lot of play in it. On the plus side, Renault’s suspension has been fine-tuned for a smooth ride. The 180mm ground clearance is the best in its class, making it easy to navigate tough terrain. However, due to its towering height and soft suspension, there is some body roll in the corners. Despite this, the compact car seems sturdy, even if it isn’t designed to assault turns.
This 1.0-litre variant will undoubtedly impress those who admired the Kwid’s looks and features but believed the 800cc engine didn’t provide enough power. This trim will compete with Maruti Suzuki’s Alto, which features an 800cc engine in the form of the Alto 800 and a 1.0-litre engine in the shape of the Alto K10. If the new Kwid is priced anywhere near the Alto K10’s pricing range of Rs 3.25 lakh to Rs 4.15 lakh, it will be a serious rival.