When it arrived back in 2015, the Renault Kwid wowed budget hatchback buyers with its SUV-inspired styling – high ground clearance, body cladding all around and an overall butch design are all elements that seem to be quite desirable to the Indian car buyer.
Maruti Suzuki’s now gotten in on the action too with its new S-Presso, which launched on September 30 priced at Rs 3.69-4.91 lakh.
Almost as if in answer, the French brand brought out an updated Kwid just a day after. Priced between Rs 2.83-4.84 lakh, the new Renault Kwid retains its SUV-esque design and is (objectively) a better looker now, thanks to its new split-headlight setup, new grille, and a fresh rear-end.
Although the Kwid and S-Presso are budget hatchbacks, both brands have added a significant degree of equipment to make them attractive buys. While they are almost equals in terms of power (we’re talking about the Kwid 1.0 here and not the 0.8-litre model) and size, how well do their respective top-spec variants compare on features? We put them together, on paper, to find out:
|S-Presso vs Kwid: Safety kit|
|Airbags||2||1 (passenger airbag paid option)|
|ABS with EBD||Yes||Yes|
|Rear parking sensors||Yes||Yes|
|Rear parking camera||No||Yes|
|Keyless entry and remote central locking||Yes||Yes|
Both cars here meet the safety norms that came into effect in July 2019 (which made one airbag, rear parking sensors, a seat-belt reminder for the driver and front passenger, and a speed warning mandatory), along with crash-test norms (that came into effect on October 1) and pedestrian safety norms (that will kick-in from October next year).
In terms of kit, the top-spec S-Presso gets two airbags as standard (lower variants have just one), while the Kwid 1.0 gets a passenger-side airbag as an optional extra. However, the Maruti does miss out on a reverse camera, which is available on the range-topping Kwid.
|S-Presso vs Kwid: Exterior features|
|Wheels||14-inch steel wheels with covers||14-inch steel wheels with covers|
|Roof rails||No||Yes (Climber only)|
There is no getting away from the fact that both models here are budget hatchbacks that take inspiration from SUVs to look more muscular; but the Kwid facelift does a better job of it – especially the Kwid Climber variant, which features 14-inch wheels with black covers and faux skid plates at the front and rear. The standard Kwid and S-Presso get 14-inch steel wheels with silver wheel covers, though the former gets LED DRLs on all variants.
|S-Presso vs Kwid: Interior features|
|Android Auto/Apple CarPlay||Yes/Yes||Yes/Yes|
|Steering-mounted audio controls||Yes||No|
|Digital instrument cluster||Yes||Yes|
|Rear parcel tray||Yes||Yes|
|12V power socket||Front||Front and rear|
On the inside, the range-topping versions of the ‘micro-SUVs’ feature touchscreen infotainment systems, though Renault’s is a slightly larger unit. While the Maruti one-ups the Kwid by getting steering-mounted audio controls, the Renault is available with a charging socket for the rear passengers too. While it is an optional extra, the Kwid does come with rear power windows as well. Additionally, the Kwid Climber gets a rear-centre armrest.
|S-Presso vs Kwid: Prices (ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Manual||Rs 3.69-4.48 lakh||Rs 4.33-4.54 lakh|
|AMT||Rs 4.68-4.91 lakh||Rs 4.63-4.84 lakh|
It seems like Maruti has prepared the S-Presso to match up well to the Renault Kwid, though the latter does edge-out the former on a number of metrics. Maruti Suzuki has maintained its penchant for aggressive pricing, but for now, the Kwid undercuts the S-Presso by a small margin – and still comes with more features.
Do note that Renault will introduce BS6-compliant versions of its 0.8-litre and 1.0-litre petrol engines before the April 2020 deadline, which will take the Kwid’s prices up by a decent amount; while the S-Presso was launched with a BS6 motor.
For now, the Renault Kwid facelift does seem like a better buy than the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso, purely on the basis of its prices and features. Time (along with a proper on-road comparison) will tell if the difference in prices and features influences their standings on the Indian sales charts.