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 3.97 lakhs for the manual transmission variant and INR 4.35 lakh for the AMT variant (ex-showroom, Delhi), here is the first drive review of the Renault Kwid 1.0 liter with manual as well as AMT transmission.
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 MT and AMT 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’.
For the new AMT variant of Kwid, you will notice that the conventional gear lever is missing. Instead of this, there is now a circular knob placed on the center dash. In order to operate the car, all you need to do is rotate this circular knob.
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 liter.
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.
Speaking about the AMT gearbox, it is by much better than any other gearbox on offer in the segment. The AMT gearbox of Kwid is quite responsive and understands your driving mood very easily. For instance, if you are cruising, and suddenly need to accelerate, all you need to do is floor the accelerator pedal and the gearbox will downshift without much delay and give you that much acceleration almost instantly.
The fuel economy of the Renault Kwid 1.0 MT 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 (city and highway combined) we got 13.1 kmpl.
Speaking about the Kwid AMT, this machine delivers a claimed mileage of 24.04 kmpl. During our test drive we managed to get an impressive 16.2 kmpl. This is more than 3 kmpl better than what we squeezed out of our manual transmission variant of Kwid.
Overall, the 1.0-litre engine is very well worthy of the INR 25,000 extra for the Kwid MT and INR 55,000 extra for the AMT variant, 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.
It is worth mentioning here is that the Kwid AMT does not come with creep function nor does it get hill hold assist. You will have to master the art of using hand brake and accelerator when stuck on a drive uphill. But overall, the Kwid AMT is a winner in every sense.
Variants & Colours
The Renault Kwid 1.0 MT and AMT will be available only in two variants – the top-end RXT version at a price of INR 3.97 lakhs, and the optional variant – RXT (O) at a price of INR 4.10 lakhs, while the AMT variant is offered at a premium of INR 30,000 on the said variants (ex-showroom, Delhi). Both variants are 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 MT and AMT variants are 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 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 MT and AMT stands out to be a great value for money proposition.