Renault KWID Preview

"Renault Kwid"

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.

"Renault Kwid"
Image Source: http://www.autocarindia.com

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:

Engine:

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.

Exteriors:

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.

"Renault Kwid"
Image Source: http://www.autocarindia.com

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.

"Renault Kwid"
Image Source: http://www.autocarindia.com

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.

Interiors:

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.

"Renault Kwid 2015"
Image Source: www.autocarindia.com

 

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.

Bottom line:

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.

"Renault Kwid"
Image Source: www.cardekho.com

 

Face Off: Renault KWID vs Hyundai Eon

Front view of the Renault KWID

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.

Design:

Hyundai Eon:

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.

front of the Hyundai Eon
Front View of the Eon Hatchback from Hyundai

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 KWID:

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.

Front view of the Renault KWID
Front view of the Renault KWID

Winner: Renault KWID

 

Interior:

Hyundai Eon:

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.

Interiors of the Hyundai Eon
The interiors continue the implementation of the Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy

Renault KWID:

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

Engine:

Hyundai Eon:

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.

rear hyundai eon in white
The Hyundai Eon is powered by an 800 cc three cylinder petrol engine

Renault KWID:

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.

renault kwid rear view
The KWID is also powered by an 800 cc engine however, Renault’s three cylinder petrol mill is expected to produce slightly more power

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

 

Verdict:

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.