Renault is one manufacturer that had its own share of ups and downs in India. Faced with dropping sales, the French automakers introduced the Duster in the country in 2012, which changed their fortunes completely. The compact SUV, as we all know went on to be a huge success here, bringing in sales by the thousands each month. Continuing the good form, the manufacturer has now decided to experiment with India’s most moving yet uninteresting automotive space- the entry level hatchback segment.
Meet the Renault Kwid, based on the CMF-A (Common Module Family-Affordable) platform developed jointly by Nissan and Renault, this aggressive hatchback will be pitted against the Maruti Alto and the Hyundai Eon in the segment. The car has made global debut in Chennai and is expected to be priced between 3-4 lakhs. The 98% localisation is the most for any car in India.
The 2015 Renault Kwid is definitely one of the most interesting cars confirmed for the entry level hatchback space. The first pictures we got of the car were studio pictures released officially by Renault, and we were all bowled over by how good the car looked. But once we got hold of the live pictures, the uninteresting bits began to become more evident. So we carefully analyzed the car and this our initial verdict.
Renault Kwid Exterior
The Renault Kwid is designed unlike any car in the segment and is undoubtedly most beautiful at the front. The front seems to be inspired from the Duster and is sleek and aggressive. Prominant black grills are provided between two interestingly shaped headlamps, at the center of which imposing Renault badge can be seen. Lower body cladding is used through out the length of the car and looks good at the front but not so much at the side and rear. The foglamps are placed beautifully in black housing, and complements nicely the overall design of the car. Cost cutting measures like single wipers can be seen.
The sides are definitely not the most attractive feature of the car and cost cutting measures are most evident here. The ORVM’s and the door handles are not body coloured, and the 13” wheels (with 3 lug nuts) seems small considering the overall proportion of the car. We are not too excited by the excessive use of cladding on the wheel arches either.
Coming to the the rear, the taillights with integrated indicators are really beautiful and the body coloured tailgate spoiler shown in the pictures will be part of the the standard equipment.
Renault Kwid Interior and Features
The interior of the Renault Kwid is kept modern yet minimalistic, and what immediately catches our attention is the 7-inch LG touchscreen infotainment system with sat-nav, that should be provided on the top trim. The dashboard is piano black and gets circular air-con vents, which looks good with premium chrome lining. The instrument console is fully digital, which isn’t really for everyone’s taste, but goes well with the overall modern design. The storage and leg space seems to be on par or even better than other cars in the segment. At 300 liters, the boot space is closer to some of the premium hatchbacks.
Cost cutting measures like centrally placed power window switches, cheap plastic, absence of tachometer and some others are still present.
Renault Kwid Engine and Specification.
The Renault Kwid comes with an 800cc, 3 cylinder mill, however the output figures are not yet confirmed. 5 speed manual and AMT transmissions should be provided.
Overall we are impressed by how well Renault has managed to build up the car. They have used their experience to improve and has now come up with a game changer of sorts. The Renault Kwid will be a welcome change in the otherwise bland segment. Expect launch by Diwali this year.