Just as India begins to prepare for the upcoming Festival Season – and starts to check out options for the big Diwali purchases – Renault India announced the spectacular pricing of their brand new and very promising Renault KWID and took the entire Auto Industry by a storm.
Now, the road ahead for this new car is not easy. The Renault KWID falls in the A-Segment, or the compact hatchback segment which in India, is pretty much dominated by Maruti Alto. Obviously, the competition is immense in this segment and other fringe players like Hyundai Eon are barely surviving and Maruit sells approximately 30,000 small cars per year. Yes, like I said, this segment is a tough nut to crack.
However, the KWID looks promising and Renault India is sure that the car will deliver on Indian roads and will break the domination of the Alto.
But one thing is for sure, the market dynamics is surely going to change with the new, fresh
and innovative Renault KWID. I was invited for the recent launch of this car in Goa, where I drove the car along with some of India’s leading Auto experts – and it was a great experience for me. I loved the look of the car – which, let me tell you, is far from an average A Segment car. The KWID looks sporty, sturdy and very chic.
An important thing to note here is that according to Gerard Detourbet, the man behind the Renault Logan, Duster, Lodgy and now the KWID, the global hatchback segment (irrespective of price bracket or size) is seeing a sharp decline and it is being replaced by SUVs, and it is definitely correct! KWID looks bigger than its competitors. Personally, the first look of the car was enough for me to fall in love with it.
|Fiery Red: Alto and Me *wink*
We drove the KWID for a little over a hundred kilometres in Goa, and got to test the car on almost every kind of road scenario that one can possibly find on Indian Roads – heavy traffic, narrow roads, bumpy stretches, rain, sudden curves, uphill drive – you name it.
My Review of The Renault KWID:
Renault has a history of good performance cars, internationally. Renault’s Duster is an official hit on Indian roads. KWID is Renault’s brand new – and very promising – small car, which is all set to challenge the masters of India’s Biggest Car Segment – the entry level compact hatchback. Renault KWID is all set to change the game, and it sure comes with a solid background.
Although inputs were taken from France, Japan, Korea – the KWID is predominantly a product of India. Internal equipment was developed and tested by Renault’s Korean arm, the endurance and durability tests took place in France and Japan contributed to the electronics, but 97% components are manufactured in India. The first global launch of the car happened in India, the design credits go to Renault India’s Chennai and Mumbai branches, and the body and chassis were tested completely in India as well.
|The Launch Presentation and Q&A session was informative
As far as expectations with small cars go, I assumed that space inside the car would be limited. I was pleasantly surprised to fine that on the contrary, KWID is spacious with 300
litres upright, which is more than even the i20.
The rear seat, if folded, has 1115 litres of boot volume,
which is enough for a family of four or five to carry luggage or to pack a picnic. There is ample arm and leg space in both, front and back seats. The back seats lack thigh support though.
The ground clearance of 180 mm and gives it a tall car look.
|KWID on the Goan roads, and scenic stopovers.
KWID is one good looking thing. I am sure there are many out there who would want to buy it over an Alto or an Eon, just for the smart SUV-inspired looks. Although it is an entry level, small car, the sharp creases in the hood give it a masculine look, and make it look bigger. The presence
of muscular grille makes a style statement complemented with nicely cut
headlamps. The bumper has air-dam attached with fog lamps. Like I mentioned, the overall front
look is smart and attractive.
The rear end
of the car provides a simple and sophisticated design. The bumper cladding with
spoiler and clean tail lamp gives SUV inspired look at the rear end as well.
The six customized packages available for Renault KWID, can make all the difference in the look department too! Each package
provides unique fitments, interior accessories and other variations to the
buyers. There is availability of total five colors for customers: Fiery red, Ice Cool White, Moonlight Silver, Outback bronze and Planet Grey. Out of which the Fiery red is my favourite, obviously.
Coming to indicators, they are fitted with cladding and standardized tires of
155/80 tires are wrapped on 13 inches rims. In all, the KWID looks great!
|Paparazzi and The Renault KWID!
I simply loved the interiors of the KWID. Clutter free, no fuss and best in the segment – to put it simply. The dashboard is elegant and simple with a chrome bezeled centre console which has the same touch screen unit as Renault’s Duster and the new-ish Renault Lodgy (read my Renault Lodgy Review). The seven inch touch screen display has the Renault’s popular MediaNAV system which is something I like. It’s surrounded on the top and bottom by the air-con vents and dials respectively.
|Space is well utilized in the KWID
There is a digital instrument binnacle which displays everything needed, except for a tachometer. The left side of the centre console has a three stack storage area or three glove boxes stacked one above the other. This also means the KWID will not get a passenger side air bag though a driver air bag is offered as an option. The driver’s seat is 4-Way Adjustable.
The car is spacious, like I mentioned earlier, and makes good use of this space with well placed cup/bottle holders, floor and door side console. The power assisted windows and the powerful air conditioning is something worth a mention here. The KWID is said to be a comfortable ride for 5 people, but I think that for longer drives, it will be best for just two grown-ups in the back-seat. But huge families travel in India in Alto all the time, so maybe fitting in a child won’t be too much of a hassle!
|Power Button – KWID.
Performance & Drive Experience.
My first impression of the Renault KWID when I drove it, was : Quick Response.
KWID has a 799 cc powerful engine, 3 pot BR-8, DOHC engine, which provides 5,678
Rotation Per Minute (RPM) and 72 Nm torque at 4,386 rpm. These stats are
enough for classifying the KWID as a powerful vehicle in its segment. The powerful
engine coupled with light weight – 660 kilograms, KWID can accelerate with an
Engine responses are quick and a slick transmission with a strong power band should keep the labours of driving in urban traffic to a bare minimum. Steering is ultra light, making it an easy and fun drive in city traffic and I am glad to report that parking it in tight spots will be easy breezy! Driving it on a long distance gave a feeling that it is much more stable that Alto.
going to be the next most fuel efficient car in India. Renault KWID is offering
25.17 Kmpl of mileage to its users. The NVH levels are low, and
though the engine makes audible sounds and hums while driving, it is nothing that bothered me from inside the car.
|The Renault KWID Fuel Efficiency is high
As someone who drive with a kid in the back seat, and also because I know that KWID will appeal to a lot of young girls and boys in A and B towns almost immediately – safety is something I consider first. The weight of KWID is 660kg, which makes this lighter than its competition by almost 60kg as well as the lightest car in the segment. This raises a lot of questions about safety – but Renault assures that it meets all required Indian norms and also, insist that the crash structure is strong enough to avert most incidents.
|The Renault KWID in Fiery Red
A car free attitude can be adopted after purchasing this car.
Renault provides maintenance and spares for two years or 50,000 kilometers
warranty, whichever is earlier with free 2 years roadside assistance.
Worth Special Mention
Renault has launched a Renault Kwid App that sounds like a good idea, in order to keep up with the App Addiction of the population, me included.
Also, the Kwid Virtual Showroom is something innovative very edgy – not to forget that it is a one of it’s kind feature in the India Auto Industry so far.
I am sure that KWID will definitely see a lot of interest in the Indian markets, and with the great pricing they have just announced, it can be safely said that Renault has given a good Diwali gift to India! Personally, I’ll only say that the KWID rides pretty damn well.
The car has potential to dethrone Alto, but one thing that I think Renault should do with is ABS on the top-end, and the brakes can do with a bit more bite. But overall, it’s brilliant. Take it for a test drive yourself and I am sure the KWID will surprize you, in a good way. And it definitely get tick marks for being a good bet in India’s A Segment market because let’s face it – small cars sell here.
Maruti Alto, Hyundai Eon and other will have to up their game, now that the Game Changer is here.
I am sure this Diwali will be good for Renault, and also for the Indian buyers. Stay tuned for more auto reviews and updates, and until then – #LiveForMore with Renault KWID.