- May 27, 2008
The Renault Kwid has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 2.57 - 3.53 lakhs (ex-Delhi).
What you'll like:
• Distinctive styling! Looks swell for an A-segment hatchback
• Value-for-money pricing. A lot of car for the money
• Well-packaged cabin with good space, comfy seats & lots of storage
• Huge 300 liter boot. 2nd biggest among all hatchbacks!
• 799 cc petrol has sufficient pep for the city. ARAI fuel efficiency rating is the highest for any petrol car
• Suspension offers a comfortable ride with neutral handling. 180 mm of ground clearance too
• Equipment in a budget car (driver's airbag, digital meter cluster, touchscreen ICE, navigation, full MID & more)
What you won't:
• 3-cylinder engine causes vibrations (especially when idling) & sounds unpleasant (as the revvs climb)
• Some essential features missing (internally adjustable ORVMs, retractable rear seatbelts etc.)
• Mediocre expressway competence. Best driven <100 km/h
• Renault's dealer & after-sales network is far weaker than that of Maruti or Hyundai
• 28 liter fuel tank is the smallest in the segment and its 5 meter turning radius the biggest
• No 1.0L engine variant like the Alto K10 & Eon 1.0
Given the dimensions of the vehicle, its kerb weight comes as quite a shock. At 660 kilos (top variant), the Kwid is the lightest car on sale in India.
Renault says that the Kwid has a power-to-weight ratio of 84 BHP / ton. Run a reverse calculation and we arrive at a 635 kilo kerb weight for the base variant!
That makes the Kwid the lightest car on sale in India - the Alto 800 and Nano are 60 kilos heavier!!
While we cannot comment on the safety aspect, Renault claims that the car can easily be updated to meet higher safety standards whenever they are enforced in India (meaning, as of date it doesn't meet those standards). They have designed the Kwid keeping this in mind.
We don't expect the Kwid to score big stars in an NCAP test, but to be fair, neither do the Alto or Nano.
To save weight, the engineers have gone as far as reducing the overall number of screws & bolts, and extensively using plastic components under the hood.
Cutting down on screws and bolts shaved nearly 6 kilos in the overall weight. As an example, there are only 3 bolts on each tyre instead of 4 (like the Nano). Having 3 bolts can be considered as a safety hazard and isn't even permitted in some EU countries, although Renault insists that the overall weight & performance don't warrant a 4th bolt.
The oil sump is made of plastic instead of metal. Luckily, the 180 mm of ground clearance should reduce risk of damage to the sump. The engine valve cover (not the cylinder head) is made of plastic.
Renault will be selling the Kwid in 4 variants, with the top spec RXT getting an optional driver airbag. ABS is not available on any variant. This is in line with what Maruti offers on the Alto 800.
Interestingly, cars exported to Brazil will have dual airbags and ABS! We hope the Indian Kwid gets ABS sooner rather than later. The 2 lower variants STD and RXE don’t get power steering or 2 ORVMs. The STD even loses out on an air-conditioner and a glovebox!
The RXL and RXT are the only sensible variants one can consider. Further, the RXT has a USP in this segment - a 7” touchscreen infotainment system with satellite navigation, Bluetooth, USB and AUX-IN. The head-unit is identical to the one available in the Duster and Lodgy.