Renault Kwid 1.0-Litre Review
Car Tested: 2016 Renault Kwid 1.0-Litre; Road Test No. 727
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 4.43 – 4.58 lakhs
The Renault Kwid now offers better drivability in both city and highway driving conditions
The Renault Kwid is very popular for its unique crossover inspired design and modern interior styling. However some potential buyers are not satisfied with the lack of punch from the 800cc motor. Renault has filled the void now with the 1.0-litre Kwid that comes with increased performance figures and a few cosmetic tweaks on the exteriors. We drive the more powerful Kwid in the hot and humid Chennai weather to see if this is exactly what the buyers were waiting for.
Motor Quest: The Renault Kwid is based on the CMF-A platform which is being shared with Nissan. The Kwid has achieved 98 percent localisation in India which makes it quite affordable in its segment. Renault has tweaked the bore and stroke of their current 800cc engine to increase it to 999cc for added punch. The 1.0-litre Kwid will soon get an AMT variant as well.
Exteriors – There are only two changes on the 1.0-litre Renault Kwid to differentiate it from the 800cc model. The French carmaker has added sporty body graphics on the doors having 1.0-litre stickers and there are a lot better looking full-size ORVMs finished in brushed silver. There is no badging on the tailgate or the front fenders. Apart from these minor changes, the Kwid looks exactly the same. The SUV proportions and high stance is the USP of the Kwid which really makes it stand out of the competition when it comes to styling.
Interiors – The interior of the more powerful Renault Kwid is ditto and there are no extra features on offer in this variant. However, the Kwid is already well equipped to keep the buyers happy. The layout is simple and functional but the touchscreen infotainment system is the party piece of the Kwid’s interior. You don’t get such features in the competition. You have navigation system, Bluetooth connectivity with music streaming and a lot more. Sadly, rear view mirrors still don’t get internally adjustable function. Rear passengers don’t get power windows either. What you do get is plenty of cabin space along with a huge 300-litre boot space.
Performance – The 1.0-litre Renault Kwid produces 67 BHP at 5500 RPM and 91 Nm at 4250 RPM. This basically means 14 BHP and 19 Nm more at lower RPMs when compared to the 800cc engine. The added capacity and retuned engine offers strong low end and mid-range punch. The 3-cylinder engine doesn’t feel strained now and easily picks up the pace without letting you put effort. In-gear acceleration is better now and you don’t need to shift more frequently while driving in city traffic. The 5-speed transmission still feels a bit sluggish to use but has well defined gates.
The 3-cylinder engine of the Kwid now feels more refined and responsive with the added displacement
100 km/hr comes up quickly if you upshift a tad before the redline since it doesn’t feel too responsive at the higher end of the rev band. Renault has worked on the NVH levels, which makes it less noisy and it feels more refined now. The more powerful Kwid now feels at home on the highways since you can cruise around 100 km/hr with ease at lower RPMs. The claimed fuel efficiency has gone down a bit to 23.01 km/l since there is a bigger engine under the hood.
Driving Dynamics – Renault has really mastered the ride and handling balance game in almost all of their cars. Same is the case with the Kwid. It offers extremely comfortable ride quality for a hatchback in this segment. There are no clunky noises when you hit a bad stretch of road, the suspension is well damped and there is minimal vertical movement on bumpy roads. Handling is good as well, the Kwid feels eager to corner hard but there is some body roll because of the soft setup. The steering is light and nimble for easy city driving but doesn’t weigh up much at highway speeds. There is no ABS on offer with the more powerful Kwid but the brakes are effective and don’t lock very quickly.
Safety and After Sales Service – We expected Renault to offer ABS, at least as an option for the 1.0-litre Kwid but currently it is not available. What you get in terms of safety is a driver-side airbag. The hatch scored 0 stars in the crash test results of Global NCAP, which is the same for its rivals as well. Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai are currently ahead of Renault when it comes to after sales network in India. However, the ownership cost of the Kwid is very low, which makes it an easy to maintain car with a light pocket.
Verdict – Usually buyers expect some extra goodies with a bigger engine variant but this might be a smart move from Renault to keep the pricing in check. The 1.0-litre Kwid comes with a few cosmetic tweaks to tell the fellow road users that it’s the more powerful version. The features are good enough to lure the buyers looking for a car in this segment and the Kwid is practical too. Now with a 999cc engine under the hood, the Kwid makes for a more attractive package. If you want more convenience with the 1.0-litre Kwid then wait for the AMT version launching very soon.
* Bigger ORVMs with silver finish makes it look more premium
* Sporty graphics on the doors tell you that it’s the more powerful Kwid
* Mid range is strong and 1.0-litre engine feels responsive
* Added displacement makes it a relaxed car at high speeds
* Ride and handling balance is spot on
What’s Not So Cool
* Not many changes on the exteriors
* There are no extra features on offer
* ABS still not offered, only driver-side airbag offered
Alternatives: Maruti Alto K10, Hyundai Eon 1.0
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