2016 Renault Kwid 1.0 Review, Test Drive

    The popular Kwid gets a new engine. But does it improve the way the budget hatchback drives?

    Published on Aug 19, 2016 01:00:00 PM


    Make : Renault
    Model : Kwid

    What is it?

    The Duster may be the car that brought the right attention to Renault, but the Kwid is the model that catapulted the French carmaker into the big league. Less than a year since launch, and the Kwid has sold over 80,000 units, and has allowed Renault to nudge its way into the monthly list of the ten top-selling carmakers in India. Things that worked in the Kwid’s favour included its SUV-inspired looks, spacious cabin, practicality, class-leading equipment and value. But if there was one area where the Kwid could be better, it was in the engine department. The Kwid’s three-cylinder, 0.8-litre engine, though efficient, was always let-down by a jerky low-speed power delivery. Also, with just 54hp on tap, performance wasn’t exceptional in any way.

    And that’s where the Kwid 1.0 steps in. It comes with a larger three-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine that makes 68hp and is targeted at buyers who want a degree of performance from their budget hatchbacks. So, just as the standard Kwid competes with the Maruti Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon, the Kwid 1.0 will vie for the same buyers interested in an Alto K10 or Eon 1.0. The Kwid 1.0 will be available only in the top-spec RxT trim with a driver-side airbag available as an optional extra.

    Visually, there isn’t all that much that distinguishes the two versions of the Kwid. The chunky basic design is the same but the 1.0’s silver housings for the outside rear-view mirrors add to the look although there’s still no internal adjust for them There’s also a chequered strip on the sides, perhaps to announce this is the ‘racier’ version of the Kwid, but it looks overdone to our eyes. As with the standard Kwid, buyers will have the option to personalise their cars with a whole host of accessories available at the dealer level. 

    What is it like on the inside?

    The cabin is unchanged from the Kwid 0.8-litre which is no bad thing. It’s a practical space with twin gloveboxes and large door pockets, and it looks contemporary too thanks to the central touchscreen and digital speedometer – the latter two being features that really distinguish the Kwid from its peers. Overall quality is par for the course though still down on the Eon for fit and finish. The single-piece front seats are flat but comfy enough and there’s reasonable room in the back for two average-sized adults too. What continues to impress is the Kwid’s 300-litre boot. It’s genuinely accommodating and there’s more luggage space than what you get in many larger hatchbacks.

    As mentioned earlier, the Kwid 1.0 is available with the option of a driver-side airbag. In addition, it also gets what Renault calls ‘Pro-Sense’ front seat belts that are fitted with pre-tensioners and load limiters; firsts for this class of car.

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