At the 2014
Auto Expo in Delhi, in the midst of supercars and F1 cars, the crowd, the
media, the photographers, the general public, everyone had their eyes glued to
the Renault stands. At the show, Renault had a grey, bright yellow and black
SUV like concept on display. It was called the KWID concept. The doors opened
upwards like a McLaren, the boot was like a drawer and the interior had two
seating rows with the steering in the centre.
they will put it into production and of course we knew it wouldn’t look
anything like the concept. But we had no idea what it was really meant for until
earlier this year. In May 2015, Renault unveiled the final production version
of the Kwid and said it will be the first SUV styled small car in the world.
Renault also said that the Kwid will be priced around Rs. 3-4 lakh and that
will put it right into the firing line of the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800/K10 and
the Hyundai Eon.
of such standards, we took the Kwid for a spin on Goan roads to get our first
touch and feel and to give our first impressions of the car.
McPherson Strut with
lower transverse link
Twist Beam with coil
Front Wheel Drive
engineers and designers have been able to style it brilliantly. The plastic
cladding panels around the square wheel arches, the rear bumper and the front
splitter along with the overall shape of the car give a very dynamic SUV look
to it. The design department should get an A+. The Kwid could pass off as a very
seem really simple with a fixed steering wheel which can be a bit of a pickle
for some users to get a comfortable driving position when you also take the
driver’s seat not having height adjustability into consideration. But the
seating position is rather comfortable for an average sized Indian. Renault has
also packed the cabin with loads of features like a touch screen infotainment
system with Bluetooth, USB and Satellite Navigation which works brilliantly. We
didn’t find any problems trying to figure out the system and the touch screen
worked fine. The interior is also lined with a piano black finish panel on the
dash board around the touch screen. On the passenger side, you get 3 glove boxes,
1 above, one in the middle and a conventional one underneath in addition to the
other storage compartments around the cabin like the doors and along the centre
console which makes a total of 24 litres of storage space right there in the
cabin. The seats offer relative comfort and in the rear there is ample headroom
and reasonable leg room. But it will be a fight for anyone above 6 feet to be
At the heart
of the Kwid is an 800cc 3 cylinder lightweight petrol engine as a result of
Renault’s Frugal engineering solutions. With use of many plastic parts in the
engine bay, for example the oil pan, Renault has also reduced the weight by
optimising the parts including the nuts bolts and screws and has saved around 7
kilos on that alone. The engine produces 53bhp and 72Nm of torque.
The engine is
mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. To drive the Kwid is sufficiently smooth and
has decent amount of power. Though the transmission is slightly chunky, but I
guess the more you drive it, it will get used to it and feel natural and open
up. The electric power steering is very light and feels good to drive with. But
overtaking can be a bit tiring as you have to be extremely alert while driving
due to the limited amount of power at disposal. As a city car, you can’t ask
At the price
of what Renualt plans to offer the Kwid, and with best in class features like
180mm ground clearance, 5 colour options, 4 trim levels with driver airbag in
the top RXT variant with a 7 inch touch screen infotainment system as standard.
Renault also offers around 60 customisable options from interior chrome,
exterior chrome accents, with 25 decal options all available at launch. The
Kwid is a great bargain. Though it is confirmed that the Kiwd will never see an
EV or even a Diesel engine, if Renault decided to bolt in the 1.2L petrol from
the cousin Datsun Go, the Kwid will be a steal. The new
Kwid on the block is bound to excite Indian motorists.
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