Renault Kwid AMT Review
Car Tested: 2017 Renault Kwid AMT; Road Test No. 759
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 5.53 lakhs
The Kwid now becomes more convenient with the AMT gearbox mated to the 1.0-litre engine
Renault recently introduced the more powerful 1.0-litre engined Kwid that offers peppy city performance and impressive highway performance as well. Now the French carmaker is offering an AMT transmission with the Kwid that makes it a more convenient small car for city driving. We test the latest Easy-R version of the Kwid to see how ‘easier’ it is to drive than its manual counterpart.
Motor Quest: Renault developed and designed the Kwid specially for the Indian car market giving the entry-level car heavy localisation to keep the price aggressive. They introduced it with an 800ccc engine in 2015 that grabbed the MotorBeam Car Of The Year award as well. After showcasing the Kwid 1.0-litre and Easy-R variants at the Auto Expo, Renault has launched the new versions in the second half of 2016.
Exteriors – The Renault Kwid AMT is based on the range topping 1.0-litre version and looks exactly the same apart from the Easy-R badging on the boot. The styling changes over the regular 800cc model include new ORVMs design with brushed silver finishing and new body graphics with 1.0-litre branding. The Kwid is a very attractive car for the segment it belongs to, thanks to the crossover proportions. The styling is one of the major reasons for its success in the Indian market.
Interiors – The interiors of the Kwid Easy-R are ditto as well. However, the rotary dial for the AMT gearbox is placed on the dashboard below the AC controls. Instead of the conventional gear lever position, Renault is offering some storage space for your phone or some knick knacks. Though the rotary knob position is convenient to operate, some uninformed users might mistake it as one of the AC control knobs. However, the transmission doesn’t respond to the rotary inputs without pressing the brakes. If you do that, the instrument cluster shows up a warning to press the brake. The features remain the same including the touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, digital speedometer, keyless entry, etc. The Kwid offers a spacious cabin with a sizeable boot of 300-litres capacity.
Performance – Powering the Renault Kwid AMT is a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol motor that produces 67 BHP at 5500 RPM and 91 Nm at 4250 RPM. This engine feels refined and much more lively than the 800cc unit. It offers a strong mid-range along with a tractable top-end. The AMT gearbox is very well calibrated to this engine and offers sharp throttle response as soon as you hit the gas. Yes, there is that typical AMT pause between gearshifts but immediate throttle response makes it up for the lag between shifts.
The AMT gearbox offers smooth shifts, is fairly responsive to the throttle inputs
The first two gears will give you head knock between shifts but it smoothens up as you climb up the gears. Part throttle input offers smooth and early shifts, pin the pedal down and it takes a short pause to downshift and then redlines each gear until full throttle is applied. 0-100 km/hr takes 17.26 seconds as per our VBOX tests. You need to plan your overtakes accordingly. Sadly, unlike other AMT cars, the Kwid doesn’t offer manual mode. There is no creep function in the Kwid AMT, so it rolls back on slopes and you need to throttle it out and if the slope is too steep, you need to apply the handbrake technique.
Driving Dynamics – The Kwid is a light and nimble car to drive. It feels eager to take the corners hard and also provides good feedback from the steering wheel. The tyres though lack grip and tend to screech a lot when pushed hard. The ride quality is simply fantastic and best in the segment. The Kwid just glides over bumps and potholes without any fuss and transfers very few thuds and shudders inside the cabin. There is no ABS on offer in any of the Kwid’s variants and braking is just average, specially with these low grip tyres.
Safety and After Sales Service – In terms of safety, the Kwid is sparsely equipped. Even the range topper doesn’t come with ABS as an option. However, Renault provides driver-side airbag on the top variant. Renault is rapidly increasing their foothold in the Indian market and is expanding their network pan India thanks to the popularity of the Kwid. This small car is light on pocket to maintain and since it is heavily localised, the parts are also very affordable. The Kwid comes with a 2 years/50,000 kms warranty and free roadside assistance for 2 years.
Verdict – With the gradual release of new Kwid variants, Renault has upped their game in the small car segment. The 800cc Kwid is a desirable hatch with SUV styling, the 1.0-litre version offers strong performance that matches the appearance of the Kwid while the AMT version now makes it a super convenient package for the first time car buyers. The AMT gearbox works very well and the Kwid Easy-R makes perfect sense to buy amongst its rivals.
* The much needed AMT version now makes the Kwid more desirable
* Easy to use AMT dial makes it very convenient and frees up space
* The AMT shift quality is much better than the rivals, smooth and relatively quick
* The 1.0-litre engine is well mated to the AMT gearbox
* Ride and handling balance is mature and makes it a fun to drive car
What’s Not So Cool
* No manual mode on offer with this AMT unlike rivals
* There is no creep function, rolls back on slopes
* No ABS being offered, only driver-side airbag
Alternatives: Maruti Alto K10 AMT
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