The French carmaker’s ambitious attempt at tackling the low-price, high volume base of the market that’s dominated by Maruti.
Published on Sep 10, 2015 12:57:00 PM
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What is it?
It’s Renault’s take on the budget hatchback, and quite a unique one at that. It’s because of the way it looks – like an SUV. Sure, the Hyundai Eon was the car to first prove that budget cars didn’t need to look boring, but the Renault Kwid, with its chunky, crossover-like stance, takes that idea to the next level. Renault rightly says SUVs are the flavour of the moment worldwide, and since this is a global model, an SUV look assures its appeal in most markets. The company doesn’t outright call it an SUV or a crossover though, and though its reason for this is that the design ‘speaks for itself’, we suspect it’s really because people have certain expectations of an SUV – like size, space and toughness – that a budget car just can’t be expected to deliver. Fair enough.
Either way, the look is just right, with thick cladding, a rugged grille, nicely detailed headlamps, neat looking tail-lamps, chunky fog lamp enclosures and a square shape overall. The 180mm of ground clearance give it the requisite stance, and though the 155/80 tyres and 13-inch wheels seem weedy on paper, they don’t look too bad on the car. It really does look like a shrunken version of its bigger stablemate, the Duster.
Still, this is ultimately a budget car, and this can be identified by clever bits of cost cutting like the exposed tow hook at the front, the three-nut wheels and their plastic covers, the single wiper, and the manual-adjust exterior mirrors. Less impressive however is a lightness to the build you feel in the way the doors and boot shut. In fact, at just 660kg, the Kwid is even light for its size and class, and about 50-60kg lighter than rivals like the Alto and Eon.
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Which compact city EV would you buy on a Rs 12 lakh budget?
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