They say great things come in small packages, Renault said we call it Kwid, about a year ago. Now the French moniker is back with a same-sized package, but only greater!
The new Renault Kwid 1.0 is a more powerful version of the 800 cc Kwid that doesn’t replace the latter. Priced at INR 3.82 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi), the only variant of the Kwid 1.0 packs a little more features than just a larger engine. Here is the first drive review of the Renault Kwid 1.0.
The new Kwid is based on the same platform and wears the same body panels and trims. There are two exterior changes compared to the smaller model though, one is the gloss silver-grey outside rear view mirror caps and the other is the Speed-sport full-size designer graphics on both the lower-sides of the car. It may be expected that the new version would have a ‘1.0’ badging on the hatch-door, but the only mentioning of the 1-litre engine is on the side-body decals. With that the road presence of the Renault Kwid 1.0 is augmented and it serves as a hint to passersby who may wonder how this small-car zips-off so swiftly.
There is no obvious change in the dimensions of the Kwid 1.0 compared to the 0.8, as the overall length remains 3,679 mm, width 1,579 mm, height 1,478 mm, wheelbase 2,422 mm, ground clearance 180 mm and boot volume 300 litres. The kerb weight would no doubt be slightly higher, but the figure has not been disclosed. It would be around 680 kg.
Once you’re inside, the only thing that would give you the feeling that you may not be driving the usual Kwid is the throttle, as you would feel an enormous boost in performance (in comparison). At rest you may not be able to figure out which version it is if you didn’t notice the exterior differences before ingress. In other words the cabin, features and decors are the same as the top-end RXT variant of the standard Renault Kwid.
This includes the dual-tone dashboard, fully digital instrument cluster with a chrome contour, piano black trim on the steering wheel, same on the centre console with chrome surrounds, large front seats with integrated headrests and Champion Red upholstery, front power windows, lower and upper glove compartments, onboard trip computer, cabin lighting with timer and fade-out, touchscreen MediaNAV system with Bluetooth and roof mic, two front speakers, remote key-fob, central locking, and rear parcel tray.
The Kwid 1.0 also gets an optional version that adds a leather wrap insert on the steering wheel, driver-side Airbag and ‘high safety Pro-Sense front seatbelt’.
Engine & Transmission
The all-new 1.0 SCe engine on the Renault Kwid has a displacement of 999 cc and has a three-cylinder configuration with 12 valves in total. It produces a maximum power of 68 PS at 5,500 rpm and a peak torque of 91 Nm at 4,250 rpm. This is a bonus of 14 PS and 19 Nm compared to the 800 cc Kwid, which is quite significant for a car of its weight and size. The difference in acceleration and top speed in each gear can be felt so naturally that anybody who wants a little more push from the car would feel compelled to choose the 1.0 over the 0.8.
The larger engine also seems more refined and quieter during the ride, except for the subtle whining note you may notice while driving in a silent cabin. The overall driving experience is arguably better in the Kwid 1.0 as the new engine feels more matured in the engineering standpoint.
The five-speed manual transmission is similar to that on the smaller Kwid, and it feels just as comfortable to operate. The smooth movement and distinct feeling while slotting in each gear demands appreciation for the transmission system.
The fuel economy of the Renault Kwid 1.0 as per ARAI certification is 23.01 kmpl which is a difference of around 2 kmpl compared to the Kwid 0.8’s 25.17 kmpl rating. This is as expected of the larger engine, but in our brief test drive between Chennai and Mamallapuram (city and highway combined) we got 13.1 kmpl.
Overall, the 1.0-litre engine is very well worthy of the INR 22,000 extra investment considering the peppiness and effortlessness it adds to your daily commute.
Ride, Handling & Braking
If you ignore the engine sound creeping into the cabin, the experience riding in a Renault Kwid 1.0 would be highly satisfying considering its budget, as the suspension does not pass loud thuds from the undulations on the road nor does it cause sudden jumps from the high bumps on the lane. Even on untamed, animal-made surfaces the car rides smoother than you may expect. The high ground clearance of 180 mm adds to the reasons why your drive would be peaceful.
Handling may not be the best aspect of the Renault Kwid be it the 1.0 version due to its not-so-sticky tyres and comfort-tuned suspension, but it does inspire confidence while driving at triple-digit speeds. During regular commute inside city the car handles very well. The only drawback we would like to stress upon is the steering response. The Electronic Power Steering is adequately light at low speeds and weighs well at high speeds, but it lacks the expected amount of self-centering ability be it during full U-turns or while giving mild input to switch a lane on a highway.
Braking on the all-drum Kwid is not very bite-y but certainly gets the car stopped at a decent distance. For a car that is meant for commuting the level of braking offered in the Kwid is rather adequate.
Variants & Colours
The Renault Kwid 1.0 will be available only in two variants – the top-end RXT version at a price of INR 3.82 lakhs, and the optional variant – RXT (O) at a price of INR 3.95 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Both will be available in all five colours the standard Kwid is offered in, including Planet Grey, Outback Bronze, Moonlight Silver, Ice Cool White, and Fiery Red.
The Renault Kwid 1.0 is definitely a model to consider not just while choosing between the two versions of the French hatchback, but also while deciding on a car in the INR 3-4 lakh segment. The Kwid 1.0 is a well-rounded package given its catchy looks, generous space, good features, enough power and a massive boot. Some basic features are surprisingly still lacking in the Kwid like adjustment knobs for the outside rear view mirrors and a roof-mounted handle for the front passenger. Nevertheless the Kwid 1.0 stands out to be a great value for money proposition.