Renault Kwid Hatchback First Drive & Gearbox

Renault Kwid Overview

When Renault launched the Kwid hatchback back in 2015, it truly became a game-changing product for the French carmaker in India. The car boasted of a bold SUV-like design, smart styling, and a host of segment-first features that made the Kwid an instant hit. In fact, courtesy of the Kwid, Renault India’s monthly sales were at an all-time high for almost a year.

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However, like all popular models, the Kwid too slowly started to lose its charm after a while. The carmaker tried to improve its numbers with the launch of a few special edition models like the Kwid ‘Live For More Reloaded’ edition or the ‘Superhero’ edition, but none of them proved to offer any long-lasting solution. With the car’s sales consistently dropping in the last several months, Renault finally decided to take the big step. So, behold! the 2018 Renault Kwid facelift. Yes! After almost three years, Renault has finally given the Kwid a much-deserved update and we got to spend a day with the top-end AMT variant of the car.check for car loan intrest calculator in fincarz

Renault Kwid Design & Style

Clearly at first glance, the Kwid looks like a hatchback that does not want to appeal to the no nonsense Alto car buyer. This segment works on a matter of a few tens of thousands rupees, so for those who can stretch budgets a bit, it has always been the Hyundai Eon to go to. You get the extra bit of feel-good factor with the quality of materials, features and an overall accomplished design that you don’t get with an Alto. The Kwid wants a slice of that segment.

And Renault says so in not as many words but in the design of the Kwid. It looks much like a compact SUV with a chunky grille and flared wheel arches. The headlamps and taillamps are simple yet neatly designed and the sculpted bonnet and front bumper give an impression that the Kwid is a more premium offering than cars of its class. Unique bits like the turn indicators on the front wheel arches and the variant badge on the C-pillar stand out right away.

It is a budget hatchback after all and costs saving bits are hard to miss. The wheels have just three lug nuts, much like the ones seen on the Nano, the door handles are not body coloured, the ORVMs are simple plastic clad units that have to be adjusted manually and you get vinyls for the side strips and not actual cross hatchback like body cladding. You also get one big wiper up front instead of two, which sure will leave a large patch of dirt on the windscreen in the rains. I admire the package overall though. It has a certain degree of desirability that cars like the Datsun Go can’t quite offer.

Renault Kwid Cabin & Comfort

The Kwid is a budget car and that’d usually make the cabin a compromise. However, the cost-cutting elements are minimal in the Kwid and it feels fairly well put together. The designers have made sure there have been no compromises with anything that the driver will use on a day to day basis. The quality of plastics however, will be a bit of a let down.As soon as you enter, the Kwid the first to thing to catch your eye is the 7” touchscreen infotainment system, borrowed from the Duster. The system is surrounded by a piano black bezel and a touch of chrome as a contrast to the single tone grey dash. This system gives you navigation, USB, aux and Bluetooth connectivity. This is the only car in the segment which provides an option for a factory fitted touch screen infotainment system.

The air con functions are housed below the infotainment system. The knobs get a chrome garnish and feel good to use. The air vents on either end are round with chrome inserts and the ones on the centre are rectangular with the knobs getting a bit of chrome. All can be shut independently. The low-end variant, however, doesn’t get air conditioning. Buttons for hazard lights, power windows and central locking are placed below. A clear cost saving step so that they didn’t have to put a switch each on the driver and passenger’s side. They are equally accessible by both. Below this console and ahead of the gear stick lies the cup holders and a 12v charging point. You get a small cubby between the handbrake and the gear stick. A standard affair really.

From the driver’s point of view, you get a nice little steering wheel. It’s good to hold and stylish to look at. Push the key into the ignition and you find out that the Kwid is not a one trick pony with the infotainment system. The orange illuminated instrument cluster is a class above! It gets a neat read out of the speed and a small strip that displays a host of readouts. It shows the odometer, distance to empty, a trip meter, real-time fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, distance travelled, trip fuel consumption and average speed as well. All these read outs can be alternated by pressing the reset button which is housed near the fuel read out.

The headlight and indicator stalks are easy to access from the steering wheel. It has a lane change feature. On a small tap, it blinks the indicator thrice and shuts off on its own.On the passenger side, there are two glove boxes. The one on the top gets a cut out to hold a water bottle. The glove box at the bottom is large too! Again, there is an open storage shelf between the two.The front speakers are mounted on either end of the dash. The sound quality is acceptable at best. You won’t be able to blast bass heavy music from these. Music aficionados will want to upgrade.The front seats get a triple tone red – grey – black upholstery. The headrests are fixed and not adjustable. The seats are more comfortable than the Alto and offer more space with good under thigh support.

Moving to the back, it’s clearly the winner compared to the Alto & the Eon. Tall people are more comfortable here compared to when sitting in the competition. Three abreast would fit in but would be uncomfortable. Two would be perfect at the back. The rear seats get a similar triple tone upholstery as the front. The seats lack contours and the cushion used in comfortable. Seating is fairly high which gives a good view. Check for Renault Kwid  in planetm

The 2018 Renault Kwid has brought with it some good news. The features added include a standard emergency locking retractor (ELR) for the rear seatbelts. ELR is a safety feature that not only allows the seatbelt to extend but also retract with passenger movement. It also allows seat belt locking on emergency brake application, preventing the passenger from falling forward. This is a major boon when compared to the old non-retractable seat belts, which looked messy. Additionally, since the old seatbelts would slide around, you’d have to keep pushing them back in before closing the door. Unfortunately, the rear windows still get manual rollers and they aren’t powered even in the top-spec RxT (O) variant.

Moving to the back, you have to access the boot by using the knob under the front seat or by the key. The boot space is HUGE! The 300-litre boot is one of the best, not only in its entry-level segment but a few segments above it as well. If this doesn’t fill your appetite for space, the rear seats fall absolutely flat giving all the space you will ever need.

Renault Kwid Engine & Gearbox

Renault has built an all-new engine for the Kwid from ground up. This 799cc motor from the BR family of Renault engines makes 54PS@5,678rpm and 74Nm@4,386rpm. This petrol engine has a dual overhead cam architecture with a 4-valve per cylinder valve train. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission, also all new. Plastic has been used extensively in the engine, of course not in the critical components. However components like the oil sump and intake manifold are plastic parts which help in reducing weight. Renault hasn’t disclosed acceleration performance figures but fuel efficiency is claimed to be a class leading 25.17kmpl.

Critical question though is whether the engine will feel adequate as a workhorse. Inner city running will be a breeze, the transmission ratios are nicely matched to the torque curve of this engine and it revs easily and never felt stretched to the limit. Thanks to the overall kerb weight, which stands at just 660 kilos, the engine never really breaks into a sweat. However load it up and I suspect this engine is going to work very hard indeed. A full test will reveal whether it can handle heavy duty tasks or not. That said a majority of you who use the car largely alone or with just a passenger or two at most, and rarely for a long drive out of town, will find this a perfectly adequate car to drive.

Engine refinement too is quite impressive, there isn’t first of all the cold engine rattle that sub litre class engines are prone to when fired up. Second the noise insulation is tightly controlled so you don’t really hear the engine clatter inside the cabin as a disturbance once on the move.Engine responses too are quick and a slick transmission with a strong power band should keep the labours of driving in urban traffic to a bare minimum. The advantage here is that 80 per cent of torque is available from as low as 1,200rpm, so you feel the surge instantly.

In the future Renault will get down an automatic variant as well. They have been studying the AMT (automated manual) and it should come in the near future. Don’t however expect a larger more powerful engine, unless the market dynamics demand it. European nations and other countries will get stronger engines, but given the Indian market’s penchant for fuel efficiency, the 799cc engine will be par for the course.

Renault Kwid Driving Dynamics

A lesson Renault has learnt with the Duster is that a rugged high ground clearance car will find its takers here and with the Kwid, the carmaker delivers just that. Riding high at 180mm, the Kwid has the highest ground clearance in its class. And considering it’s a short wheelbase, this will be more than enough to go over just about every large speed breaker the country has in store for it. The high ground clearance also gives excellent visibility out of the driver’s seat making it a very easy car to drive around town. What impressed us right away is the ride quality of this tiny hatchback. The Kwid uses MacPherson struts up front and twist beam suspension at the rear and the setup is tuned to perfection for our roads. Large undulations are evened out impressively and broken roads don’t throw you about inside the car like most hatchbacks in this segment do. For more price details on Renault Kwid Check Autozhop.

The nice chunky steering and the driving position are spot on. You sit at a good height and there is no offset pedal nonsense or steering on your chest sort of feeling that budget cars tend to have. The Kwid has considerable roll but not of the scary kind. You know you can keep it together when you are hustling this Renault baby, and in fact it is good fun to chuck around corners, much like the Alto. Just 660kg of mass to stop does ease pressure off the tiny disc brakes up front and the drums in the rear. The brakes could do with a bit more play though and the 155 section tyres with a bit more bite. When weight is on your side however, you can get away with a little less grip. Renault should however have an ABS equipped variant in the lineup too, which is not on offer as of now.

Renault Kwid Safety & Security

The Renault Kwid’s safety kit has improved in 2018, but still leaves a lot to be desired. The Kwid gets a driver side airbag on the top-end RxT (O) variant but a passenger airbag isn’t available even as an option. Additionally, anti-lock brakes (ABS) are still a glaring miss from the safety package. What has improved in the 2018 Kwid is the addition of a rear camera and 3-point ELR seatbelts for two rear seat occupants. The middle passenger still gets a lap belt. Overall, Renault will have to do better with the Kwid in this department if it wants to see more reassuring crash test results.

Renault Kwid Price in Kolkata

Renault Kwid On-Road Price in Kolkata ranges from 3,12,371 to 5,30,491 for variants Kwid STD and Kwid RXT 1.0 O Superhero Edition AMT respectively. Renault Kwid is available in 17 variants and 5 colours. Below are details of Renault Kwid variants price in Kolkata. Check for Kwid price in Kolkata at Carzprice.

Renault Kwid Summing Up

Renault has done an impressive job with the Kwid no doubt. However don’t swallow all the drivel that’s bound to be marketed. Try it out for yourself and I’m certain you’d be surprised. This hatchback has great potential to provide good value to its owner. It has several areas of strength like its exterior styling, a strong power train, good ride quality, confident and secure dynamics, decent feature set and a host of options that are unmatched in the segment. Will this car, positioned in the sub compact segment, work out to be a healthy business model for Renault? Only time will tell. I’d place a bet on it, albeit a small one!

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