The budget hatchback segment has not seen too many models off late. Although the Maruti Alto was the segment leader, the Hyundai Eon quickly displaced the Japanese auto giant from the top spot. With the Eon’s rampant success, no manufacturer has dared to enter this price bracket for quite some time now. French automaker Renault has finally decided to step up and take on the South Korean manufacturer.
The KWID is Renault’s answer to the hugely successful Eon. How well does it fare against the Hyundai Eon? We find out.
The Hyundai Eon was one of the earliest models in the South Korean manufacturer’s range to don the Fluidic Design philosophy. As we have mentioned time and and time again, Hyundai’s latest design language is one of the best in the auto industry. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna and i20, Hyundai gained an immense fan following here in India and soon displaced Maruti Suzuki from some segments of the market.
The Eon is a quite the eyeball grabber with its aggressively styled headlights, sharp angles and bright color options. With the Eon, Hyundai proved that great design need not come with an exorbitant price tag. However, the Eon has been around for quite sometime and its charm has slowly started to wear off.
Renault proposed an interesting twist to the formula for an entry level hatchback with the KWID. With the SUV and crossover fever showing no signs of subsiding any time soon, Renault has taken the advantage to bring out an SUV crossover in the budget segment of the market. The KWID’s high ground clearance, heavy duty plastic cladding, flared wheel arches and muscular lines infuses the little French hatch with a bit of SUV DNA. A refreshingly different approach to a segment populated by orthodox body structures.
Winner: Renault KWID
The interiors of the Hyundai Eon is absolutely stunning. However, the beautiful interiors come at a cost. Although the Eon offers quality, it compromises on space. Tall passengers may feel slightly uncomfortable at the back and the fixed headrests may not be to everyone’s liking.
Hyundai set an all new benchmark in terms of design and quality with the Eon’s interiors. Although Maruti Suzuki did introduce a minor facelift of the Alto to compete with the South Korean hatch, it failed to garner the same level of praise as its competitor. Renault understands that good interiors are important and managed to provide the KWID with an impressive cabin. Although not as radical as the Eon’s interiors, the KWID’s cabin is a mature blend of minimalism and style. The sporty three spoke steering wheel, quirky air vent design and the fully-digitized instrument cluster add to the charm of the car. The KWID also features an infotainment system that comes with a 7 inch screen. A first for this segment.
Winner: Renault KWID
Hyundai offers three engine options for the Eon. The LPG and 800 cc engine provide the same power output of 55 hp at 5500 RPM and peak torque of 75 Nm at 4000 RPM while the more powerful 1.0 l variant churns out 68 hp @ 6200 RPM and 94 Nm of torque at 3500 RPM. All engines are mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox.
Renault has not released any details about the KWID’s engine specs. However, if rumors are to be believed then the budget hatch will house an three cylinder 800 cc engine that produces around 57 hp and 90 Nm of torque.
Although Renault is yet to fully release the KWID’s drivetrain details, it is unlikely that the manufacturer will introduce a 1.0 l engine in the hatchback’s lineup.
Winner: Hyundai Eon
The Hyundai Eon proved what could be of budget hatchbacks. The South Korean car maker may have been the first to introduce premium features in this segment however, Renault has taken it one step further with its KWID hatch. Offering more creature comforts than any other car in its range and the interesting design makes the Renault KWID a guaranteed winner.