The first hatchback ever to sport SUV like styling and carry it well was none other than the Renault Kwid. It challenged the likes of the Alto, the Eon and other small entry-level hatchbacks and with the combination of its looks and pricing, decimated them all. In four years it’s become the most popular and sought after small car, especially for those on the most restricted of budgets. However, since it’s been in the market for half a decade, a redesign has been long due. The manufacturer, as if on cue, has made sure that the new Kwid Facelift is presented just at the right time to keep the interest alive. Needless to say that it has been given a fresh dose of swagger, at least in the styling department.
The new Renault KWID is sure to leave a pleasant feeling in onlookers and admirers with striking modern exteriors that enhance the SUV like appearance and impressively re-done interiors that make it an easy choice among its competition.
Styling and Design
The front facia gets a brand new makeover, which includes a new grille, that seamlessly flows into horizontal daytime running lamps on either side – creating the impression of being one single unit. The horizontal headlamps come with black inserts and are placed just below the LED ones. The Climber variant gets a larger black housing with orange highlights. The car also gets a large central air dam with underbody cladding. The profile is identical to the first model, with the large wheel cladded arches and its mostly the details and characteristic features that have changed. The Climber variant gets all-new muscular fourteen-inch multi-spoke wheels in volcano grey, along with a 184 mm ground clearance, 4 mm higher than its previous version. The car also gets new tail-lamps with first-in-class C-shaped LED light guides, and a minor revision to the bumper with some more cladding and vertical reflectors.
They only thing that the interior retains is the object layout. The colours have been darkened, and the new Kwid gets crossway fabric upholstery with a red outline that adds to the fresh, sporty appeal. The Climber range gets the same as before orange highlights marking the model difference between it and the stock. The new car also gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a redesigned instrument cluster, black piano details on the central console and “Kwid” lettering embedded right above the glove box on the dashboard. Seats are well styled with complete body-hugging shape and better lumbar support. The overall passenger comfort has considerably improved in a lot of aspects considering that the interior has gotten a complete makeover. Keeping in mind all the elements that would define a new age small car and the passenger space within, Renault has pushed the bar for entry-level hatchback manufacturers and gently suggested they do the same if they are to remain a part of the game.
The boot space is the same at two hundred and seventy-nine litres since the body shell and structure have not been changed. The rear folding seats can help expand the storage to six hundred and twenty litres. The infotainment setup also gets a significant upgrade starting with the screen size is increased to eight inches and is equipped with android auto, apple car play, video playback options and voice recognition. The new model also comes with fast charging USB ports with power outputs of 2.4 A in the front and 12V at the rear, respectively.
The previous update to the car included minor new additions like parking cameras, proximity sensors etc. which are included in the facelifted version as well.
Engine, Transmission and Safety
The powertrain remains the same at 799cc and 1000cc petrol-driven units, and the standard five-speed manual and automated AMT units respectively. The smaller engine is tuned to churn out 53 bhp at 5678 rpm and a peak torque of seventy-two newton-metres 4386 rpm. The bigger variant produces 67 bhp at 5500 rpm and a peak torque of 91 Nm at 4250 rpm. The engines are still only BSIV compliant although the company plans to make the VI shift sometime next year just before the April deadline.
The new car gets all the safety essentials like the Anti-lock braking system with an Electronic Brakeforce distribution, compulsory driver airbag with the passenger component as optional, seat belt reminders, speed alerts etc. to meet and greet the upcoming regulations. The body shell and structure are, however quite fragile and you do not want to engage in reckless driving in this one.
Country CEO and Managing Director Renault India, Mr Venkatram Mamillapalle quoted that the innovative DNA of the SUV inspired Kwid has been a real game-changer, and volume driver for the Company in India and the car has been their best performer ever since it hit the market four years ago.
If asked for our opinion, we would say that the Kwid has shaken up the small car market and continues to do so with being ahead of the competition in every parameter. At the price that it comes and the segment that it represents, the Kwid is no doubt the most fearsome challenger and a hatch to be reckoned with.