Renault’s next entrant in the Indian market, the Kwid, will be launched in an extremely competitive and crowded sub-4-lakh entry-level hatchback segment.
When revealed, it was quite evident that Renault had upped the ante with the Kwid’s design. Although, the Kwid will compete with entry-level hatchbacks, it is designed to look more like a crossover. Seeing the overwhelming interest the Indian audience has shown towards small SUVs and standard hatches with increased “height”, Renault seems to have struck the right chord with this design. It also gets a 180mm ground clearance, which is a segment-first.
One look at the Kwid’s front and it's not difficult to miss the family look. The Kwid’s front bumpers and a high two-crease bonnet adds to its strong 'baby Duster' looks. This is further enhanced by its high waistline and ground clearance. Renault’s signature grille gets a matte-finish and blends nicely with the protruding bumpers. The Kwid gets a pair of simple-looking headlamps with black inserts. The front air-dam's design is similar to the grille.
On the sides, the Renault Kwid gets prominent cladding on its wheel arches. It also gets a protruding wheel arch at the rear, like the Duster, along with a kink on its shoulder line. This adds to its muscular look when viewed from the rear three-quarter. However, look closely and you will notice where Renault has exercised cost-cutting techniques. There's only a single wiper, the mirrors seem to have limited adjustment, the wheels have only three lug nuts, the door handles look old-fashioned and it features thin 155/08 R13 tyres.
When viewed from the rear, the Kwid does bear a few similarities to a hatchback. There is no tailgate-mounted spare wheel here. The rear styling is simple, but it gets muscular bumpers with adequate cladding on them for that crossover look.
Moving on to the interiors, the Renault Kwid gets a dull grey single-tone theme on the dash, door panels and the steering wheel. It gets two circular chrome-ringed AC vents on each corner and rectangular units at the centre. The Kwid gets an all-digital dashboard with a large readout for cruising speed at the centre, flanked by the fuel gauge on the right and other warning indicators on the left. It gets a neat 6-inch touchscreen infotainment system for the top RXT trim along with USB and aux-in ports. This could be a first-in-class feature. It does get a prominent gloss-black finish around the screen, and the HVAC controls' knobs sit below the screen. The controls have a prominent knurled finish along with a chrome border which gives it an upmarket look and feel. Below these controls are the buttons for the hazard lamp, and power windows for the front and door lock/unlock. There’s a dummy round switch seen on the side of these buttons. This will be the lever for the AMT-gearbox that will debut later. This means, the Kwid AMT will not get a standard gear lever and gearshifts will be managed via this round switch. This also means, that the Kwid AMT will not get manual-shifting option.
There is a good amount of cubby holes for storing knick-knacks, a deep glovebox and door pockets good enough to hold small bottles. It also features a single 12V socket near the gear lever.
The Renault Kwid’s steering wheel gets ridges for a better grip and has a wide horn button for ease of use. Overall, the Kwid’s dash focuses more on function than form. The Kwid features single-piece front seats with a mix of light and dark grey and orange shades which does help in breaking the grey monotony of the interiors.
The Renault Kwid is built on an all-new architecture, dubbed CMF-A. This platform is highly flexible and will be seen doing duty on Nissan and Renault vehicles of various sizes. On the whole, the Kwid’s cabin looks airy and spacious, especially at the back, thanks to a not-so-sharply rising rear window-line. The Kwid is also expected to get class leading boot space in the region of 300 litres.
The engine powering the Kwid will be an 800cc three-cylinder petrol motor which is expected to offer good power and fuel efficiency. There’s also a more powerful 1.0-litre engine that will join the line-up, but at a later stage. An important piece of news is that the Renault Kwid will also come with an automated manual gearbox in the future. Renault says it will source up to 98 percent of the car from India and the facility will also build other variants on this platform for export. Renault will launch the Kwid in the Indian market close to Diwali this year.