Note: This is not a drive review of the Renault Kwid.
Following its global premiere in India on May 20, the Renault Kwid is one of the company's most highly anticipated model that will compete against sub-compact hatchbacks with a competitive price tag between INR 3-4 Lakhs.
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Talking about the exterior, it gets a crossover-esque styling that should attract most buyers looking to not spend a fortune for hatchback-based crossovers. It measures 3.68 meters long, 1.58 meters and has a high ground clearance of 180 mm, which is a segment first. Up front, it gets a bold dual-slat black plastic grille housing the Renault Lozenge, a simple pair of headlamps, and a sculpted front bumper.
To keep prices as competitive as possible, Renault had to cut costs by equipping the Kwid with only a single windshield wiper, limited ORVM adjustment, and thin 155/08 R13 tyres with 3 wheel nuts.
The black plastic cladding, high waist line and high ground clearance improve its rugged appeal. The butch looks of the front isn't seen at the back, where it sports rounded taillamps and black plastic bumper.
Inside, the Renault Kwid features a simple design that is hardly exciting. The interior has a dull grey single-tone theme on the dash, door panels and steering wheel, and gets a black plastic center console. Apparently, the dummy round element underneath the HVAC controls will, reportedly, house a rotary gear selector for the AMT unit, which is expected to arrive in 6-8 months.
The highlights of the interior are the digital instrument cluster and Renault's 7-inch MEDIANAV display with USB and AUX ports, which is another segment-first. Other equipments include power windows for front occupants, and a door lock/unlock button. Renault has also focused on storage space, and it comes with a generous glove box, a good number of cup holders and cubby holes.
The Renault Kwid is based on the low cost CMF-A architecture, which will soon underpin future Renault and Nissan entry-level models. It is powered by an all-new 800 cc three-cylinder petrol engine developed specifically for the Renault Kwid, which is paired to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Renault promises that the fuel efficiency will be “among the best in India”. Also on the cards is a more-powerful 1.0-liter petrol engine option and an AMT. A diesel option has been ruled out indefinitely.
The Renault Kwid combines many aspects that have grown in demand among prospective Indian customers, such as rugged crossover looks, high ground clearance, a well-kitted interior and a highly fuel efficient engine. Although it will be a tough task to topple the current segment leader, the Maruti Alto, the Renault Kwid, on paper, has the mettle to take the Renault brand to the masses.