French automotive giant Renault has been a prominent player globally. With the launch of cars varying across various segments, the company has shown a keen interest towards the budget car market. That apart, the SUV segment has seen an incredible up rise in India. Taking such a lucrative opportunity in hand, Renault in collaboration with its partner Nissan is working on the new style statement for budget conscious buyers. Renault has unveiled a hatchback-based crossover called the KWID.
Named after the concept car that it unveiled at the 2014 Auto Expo, the KWID, is a five-seater crossover underpinned by the French automaker’s CMFA platform and will be produced at their Chennai factory with 98 per cent localization. This vehicle looks the right amount of quirky and has inbred eccentricity. Set to launch in September 2015, Renault’s compact car, the Kwid, made its global debut in India on August 20, 2015 at the 2014 Delhi Motor Show. This sub-4meter car is allegedly the smallest crossover in the company’s portfolio. Though the vehicle will fall in the price bracket of Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon, the Kwid will create a new mini crossover segment in India; and it will be lot more spacious and feature-rich than aforementioned rivals. Looking for something exciting in this article? the company is planning to launch it at a starting price of Rs. 3 lakh, while the top-end model will go up to Rs. 4 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Interestingly, this compact SUV may be offered with both a 4-door and 2-door configuration.
In the meantime, here is a review on the KWID:
Under the KWID’s hood will be an all-new 800cc, 3-cylinder petrol unit that has been developed by Renault-Nissan alliance. The engine should produce around 50bhp and 90Nm of torque. Mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, this car is likely to debut an AMT from the Renault-Nissan stable. There will be no diesel model but a 1.0-litre model with higher power figures will arrive six months later. It is also possible that there may be a CNG model but this will only materialize based on demand.
Measuring 3680mm in length and 1580mm in width, the Kwid will be the most spacious vehicle in its league. It will also have the segment-leading ground clearance of 180mm, which is, in fact, more than several crossovers/SUVs in India. The car does have a very futuristic and perky off-road lifestyle SUV look. This vehicle has lines similar to that of the Datsun GO but now gets body cladding, flared wheel arches and a forward leaning stance giving it a muscular appearance. It is the first car in the Indian market to debut the French automaker’s honeycomb grille and new headlight design. It gets an aggressive front bumper design that extends outwards and in the top spec variants houses the fog lamps.
The side profile reveals the heavily flared wheel arches and forward leaning stance. The windscreen sharply rakes towards the rear. There is plastic cladding at the base of the doors, which are the color of the wheel arches and basically serve the purpose of rub rails.
At the rear, the glass section is small and slopes forward while there is a sharp lip on the middle of the boot door. The plastic cladding sits right below the boot door and houses the number plate. Overall, its design shouldn’t come off as a disappointment.
The KWID shares same interior from the Pulse which is basically the layout of the Nissan Micra. However, while the layout is the same, the feature list will have many first in segment items. It gets a fully digital instrumental cluster, Media-NAV infotainment system, front power windows and AC. While the instrument cluster, power windows and AC are expected to be standard across all variants, we believe that the Media-NAV infotainment system will only be offered in the top-spec variants. Other key features are piano black centre console with a chrome-surround, plastic cladding on sides, etc.
Price and competition:
The KWID is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh and will compete with the Chevrolet Spark, Tata Nano, Datsun Go and the Hyundai Eon. It will be launched during the festive season and most likely with an introductory price.
The KWID is certainly an exciting deal that is too hard to miss out. The only possible challenge for Renault is to increase the sales and ensure that the service of the KWID is taken care of. Players like Maruti, Tata and Hyundai have stronger presence in terms of service. Let’s wait and watch if Renault’s Budget car strategy would really monetize or will the competitors put the car at shame.