Renault Kwid has been another very successful model for Renault India after Duster. With over 1.5 lakh booking, Kwid waiting period is in the range of 3-5 months. Priced between 3.3 to 4.5 lakhs (on road, Chennai), Kwid tries to win over customers who would have otherwise bought a Nano or an Alto. Kwid is cheap for sure, but is it any good?
Kwid comes only in petrol with a 3 pot 800 cc engine which can reportedly touch a top speed of 100 to 110 kmph. Cost cutting is evident all over the car- Turn indicators are embedded inside mud guard, so that body metal doesn’t have to be cut, wheels get only 3 bolts like Nano, not four as in most other cars, Door is extremely simple with power windows moved to centre console, instrument cluster is a cheap LCD and so on. All these are fine because eventually one can own the car for dirt cheap amount, which is the primary USP of Renault Kwid hatch.
Kwid’s top end variant gets a bit of chrome and with lots of claddings looks masculine from outside. Cheaper variants look relatively plain. With 180 mm ground clearance and a boxy appeal, Kwid is made to look like a mini SUV while in reality it is a super small hatch. From any angle, Kwid is pretty impressive for a small car.
Bare minimum and highly stripped down, unless you are looking at the most expensive RXT variant which gets some goodies taken for granted in current day cars. Kwid is a budget car, so don’t expect premium interiors. It is not bad, just fine in quality and appeal.
Kwid is a small car with smaller engine, so keep your expectations right. If you are used to driving a more powerful car, getting behind the wheels of Kwid will make you feel like you are riding a Splendor after using Pulsar for years. But then, if your expectations are minimal- that you just need a simple car to take you around at moderate speed and comfort, then Kwid will work just fine for you. There is no AMT option. Kwid gets 5 gear manual (few rivals limit to 4 gears only) Its controls feel little frugal, central display is cheap LCD with bare minimum information, top end variant comes with front power windows, touch screen and so on. Top speed is slated at 110 kmph. If the car is loaded with 4-5 people then highway drive or uphill drive will need constant downshift, so keep that in mind. Kwid is very easy to manoeuvre in congested areas, thus pretty convenient in crowded streets.
Safety: Nothing much in this department. Top end variant gets Airbag as optional. Rest of the variants get nothing. Not a very safe car for highway usage.
The Price: In one word, it is cheap. Kwid’s on road price in Chennai varies between 3.3 lakhs to 4.5 lakhs, a price point at which is starting range for most hatchbacks. Renault’s next option, Pulse is 2 lakh rupees more expensive.
Did you notice that Kwid was featured in recent Hindi movie, Ki & Ka?
Should I buy one?
Kwid seems to make a better choice than Nano in terms of performance and practicality. But it is still under powered and doesn’t give a real car experience. If you are looking for a second car in the family for occasional use by a family member, then Kwid can be a good choice. If you buy it as the primary family car, on highways or while carrying 5 people or while driving uphill, you will realize the limitations of small engine and wish you had bought a more powerful car. Hyundai ion, Maruti Alto are other alternatives, which seem to be marginally better in similar price range. If you can afford to spend a lakh or two more, new Tata Tiago will be a better choice-Tiago is more powerful, has more features and is great value for money at its present pricing. Tata’s dealer network and after sales service is much better compared to Renault. Mahindra KUV100, reviewed earlier on this site is also a decent option and Datsun Redi-go is a new entrant in this segment. Make an informed decision.