Renault has recently introduced its entry-level called the Kwid to the market. It competes in the most competitive end of the automotive market that happens to be the smallest car segment also called the A-segment. It is basically a small hatchback with “SUV like” looks.
Here is some interesting info I came across: The Kwid was developed with inputs from France, Japan, Korea and predominantly India. Internal equipment was developed and tested by Renault’s Korean arm. Endurance and durability was tested in France. Japan contributed to the electronics. India however brought a bulk of the development since the car was to be first launched globally in India. The design came from Renault’s studios in Chennai and Mumbai, whereas the body and chassis were also tested in India. Sourcing of components and overall assembly and final testing was also all conducted in India. So in a sense this truly is a global car.
The Renault Kwid has a stance which is second to none in this segment. However don’t be fooled by all the superlatives indicating its SUV-like persona. This is quite simply a large hatchback with a raised suspension.
There are 2 trim levels available, the Expression and Dynamique.
Standard kit across the range includes electric power steering, air conditioning, electric front windows, height-adjustable front seats and a digital instrument cluster. The Dynamique version includes a MediaNav multimedia system with an 18cm colour touchscreen display and Bluetooth connectivity set in a in a piano black centre console with chrome surround.
The boot space is also not bad for a vehicle in this class, it comes in at around 300 litres.
Both the Expression and Dynamique models come with a 999cc, naturally aspirated 3-cilynder petrol engine, good for 50kW and 91Nm. It is only available in a 5-speed manual. Would have been nice to have an auto option.
There are however several attention grabbing elements, headlamps are big bold units and are coupled to the indicators which are housed in the same casing. The large Renault lozenge sits in the centre of the bonnet and has the two-piece chain link grille as its background. The bonnet has a power bulge to it. The sides also look sculpted with muscular haunches and protective plastic cladding on the wheel arches giving it an aggressive personality.
Renault SA quotes its fuel consumption to be 4.71l/100km, I do expect the little motor to suffer at altitude so expect a higher figure here at the reef.
Breaking through this segment isn’t easy, volumes may be high but value low and at the end of the day what customers are looking for, more than anything else, is overall ownership value. That is a terribly hard thing to come by where pricing at all stages is highly critical.
Included is Renault’s standard five-year or 150 000km warranty. Service intervals are 15 000km and a service plan is available as an extra-cost option.
Datsun Go; Kia Picanto; Suzuki Celerio; Hyundai i10; Chery QQ3; Tata Indica
My pick would be the Kia Picanto, purely because the Kia in my view is the most refined of the lot and its residual value is also very good.
Images sourced from: NetCarShow.com