Let's start with some clarifications. This review is based on the 2015 Kwid, petrol model, RXL (medium version).
First of all the car looks stunning. The SUV like feel in a small car is like a breath of fresh air in this price segment. You can look at this car from any angle, and you would never once feel that you are looking at an entry-level compact car. Its sharp edges in the front and the curve at the back give it a masculine look. The interiors are great too. The RXT version has got a touchscreen multimedia system with Bluetooth connectivity, which you won't find in any other car at this price point. The plastic feels adequate and the steering wheel with power steering is smooth.
It has got a digital speedometer, which provides all the information you need to keep your drive economical and smooth. The seats are comfortable and the legroom at the back is best in its segment. The height of the car makes it comfortable for tall people to get in and out. The boot space of 300 litres is largest at this price point.
Once you get past all of these things and start to concentrate, then you find some cost cuttings that Renault has done to keep the price down. There is a single wiper on the windshield. Only driver side door can be opened using a key (which can be a problem if the car does not have remote locking). There is no handle above the front passenger side door. There are three nuts used to hold the tires instead of standard four. But this all is nitpicking as compared to other things that Renault has added to this car.
When I first thought about buying it, I was somewhat doubtful of the quality of driving experience that the car will provide.
The car has been tested to provide the mileage of around 25 kmpl, which is great for Indian consumers, but on the other hand, it also suggests that the engine has been tuned to provide more quantity of driving than the quality.
But then I test drove the car, and all my doubts were put to rest. The drive is as smooth as any other cars in its segment. When you drive Kwid, you feel a certain confidence in your drive, due to the high ground clearance, that you do not feel in any other small car in this segment. The 800 cc, 3 - cylinder engine is as quiet and as devoid of jitters as it can get which surely keeps the drive quality comparable to some cars with a higher price tag. The 5-speed gearbox feels good in the hand and transitioning is smooth.
But still, the driving isn't perfect. It struggles to get to high speeds. The engine though quieter than the competition produces a muffled buzzing sound while driving. There is no overlapping speed range between the gears. You have to constantly adjust your gears to keep the drive smooth. There is a lag of around 3-5 seconds between the pressing of the accelerator and when the car actually accelerates.
To sum up this review, the Kwid is a great car for the masses. It is economical and looks stunning, which is want people in India want. On top of that, the driving experience is good and Renault has thrown in some extra features which make this car stand out from other competitors. I would certainly recommend it to any person who is looking for a car in an entry level segment.
In 2016, Renault has also launched the 1.0 L version of the Kwid, which ,from what I have heard, addresses most of the shortcomings that come with the 800 cc engine.
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