Renault has to be called the 'comeback of the year' because, with two crucial products, it has bounced back in the cut-throat Indian market like nobody else has. The Triber is doing well and now the Kwid has received its biggest update as well.
The Kwid has been Renault's cash cow for the past few years and it is the only car to give the likes of the Alto a close fight. Now with the newer model, Renault has updated the styling and features list to make it more value-for-money than even before.
So, the question is, should you consider the new Kwid over a Maruti? Our exclusive review of the 1.0 AMT automatic tells all.
How does it look?
This is not one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it kind of facelifts and Renault has done enough to make it stand out. The Kwid always had SUV-like styling, but the new front end ramps up its aggression quotient considerably.
The front end has been completely overhauled and it adheres to the latest trend of a separated LED DRL/headlamp set-up which is standard throughout the range.The DRLs are at the top while the headlamps are at the bottom part.
The bumper, too, has been tweaked and the grille neatly flows in with the Renault logo. The Climber version is even more striking with its added colour details and rugged elements, but even in this standard form, it looks much more aggressive from the front now. The rear also is not as bland as before as it gets a much more detailed new rear bumper and the tail-lamps now have LED elements.
Even the stance is better due to bigger wheels and the ground clearance too has been increased.
Interiors and features?
Here an even bigger update can be seen as at first glance the Kwid interiors look to be much more expensive that they actually are. There is a bigger 8-inch touchscreen and a new look steering wheel, as well as a much better looking part-digital instrument cluster.
The 8-inch touchscreen looks big and is very easy to use with excellent graphics. Elsewhere, some minor tweaks, such as the re-arranging of the AMT control selector and a bigger glove-box, are apparent. The detailing is good and it is a nice-looking cabin overall.
Even the equipment levels now are very good with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, rear parking sensors, alloys, rear arm-rest in place. The new Kwid’s rear camera is actually better than the ones on much more expensive cars.
A passenger airbag is optional (as are rear power windows) while the driver airbag is standard, along with other mandatory safety equipment.
While the equipment levels are indeed impressive at first sight, the quality on closer inspection leaves a bit to be desired as there are some cheap plastics and hard surfaces which detract from the cabin ambience.
How is it to drive?
Forget the 800 cc Kwid. The one to buy is the 1.0 version with its added power and refinement. The 1.0 makes 68 bhp and 91 Nm which means it gives a decent performance in the city. It's quick and light on its feet with the engine feeling peppy as an urban runabout.
However, ask more and pushing it only results in the engine being quite audible at high revs. The Kwid is not a highway car and it's best kept in the mid-revs range, but we must say that that the car felt very stable at high speeds with none of the nervousness that you might associate with small vehicles.
Thus, while in the city the light steering aids its ease of use, its biggest USP is the AMT. We would advise on getting the AMT over the manual as it not only brings convenience, but also better mileage (22 kmpl plus).
To drive, the AMT is less jerky and the ‘pause’ that you associate with these types of automatic gearboxes is thankfully absent.
Put it in 'D' and it feels like a proper automatic at low speeds. It is only when you push it that the gearbox feels a bit sluggish, but otherwise, for city use, this AMT is amongst the best now.
Should you buy?
The version that you see here is Rs 4.6-lakh (ex-showroom) and that’s the Kwid we would like to buy. While we wished this update to bring a BS6 compliant engine (with more power and slightly better interiors), there is no doubt that the equipment levels along with the new styling make this one a decent buy. As a good looking automatic city car, the Kwid AMT is one of the top choices overall.