Renault has unveiled it’s compact car called the ‘Kwid’. The Kwid shares its name with the concept Renault showcased at the Auto Expo back in 2014. While the Kwid concept was loud and in your face, this little Renault is rather subtle in comparison. Renault hinted at pricing this compact car between 3 to 4 lakh rupees. This pricing would make it the cheapest Renault on offer, in India. Renault aims to launch the vehicle during the festival season, around September or November 2015. Renault has been very bullish in the Indian market - opening 157 new outlets across the country in 2015. They aim to open 280 outlets across the country by next year. The Kwid remains an India-only offering for now, but may be exported to neighboring countries in the future. Renault calls the Kwid, it’s ‘Conquest Car’. What’s all the fuss about? Read on.
The Kwid is an all new vehicle based on Renault’s CMF-A platform where CMF stands for Common Module Family.The compact car does look like a hatchback on stilts. Upfront, the Kwid sports a distinctive grille finished in black, with a large Renault logo. The styling follows a very rugged theme, as is evident by flared wheel arches, bulges on the front bumper and greyish black cladding around the lower edges of the bumpers and skirts. The face also bears a set of large circular foglamps, which sit snugly inside a recessed cavity. The side profile is conventional, no snazzy or swooping character lines on this one. However, it does sport black side mouldings which complement the black cladding very well.
The side turn indicators sit, rather unconventionally on the cladding on the quarter panel. The rear features a very large hatch-door with Kwid badging bang in the middle, just below the Renault badge. The tail-lamps look sharp and cut into the hatch-door a little. A high-mount stop lamp is present. There’s a generous dose of black cladding on the rear too, breaking the bulk of the beefed up bumper. Unlike the Lodgy which had dollops of chrome everywhere, it is key to note that the Kwid is almost devoid of chrome. It looks rugged and purposeful, not blingy and over the top. Moreover, Both the front and rear overhangs are extremely short. The Kwid is 3.68m long and 1.58m wide and sports an impressive 180mm of ground clearance.
The Kwid is designed to be a 5-seater and is reasonably spacious for its size. Both the front and rear seats get integrated headrests. Renault claims best in class knee room and boot space. The interior features a lot of cubby holes around the cabin. For example, there’s a little shelf above the glovebox, a couple of cup holders near the gear level and pockets on the doors to store stuff.
The centre console is finished in Piano Black and houses a 7 inch screen which serves as the infotainment system and satellite navigation, both of which are a first at the given price range. The centre console also features buttons for the emergency lights, the power windows and central locking. The Kwid also sports a Digital Instrument Cluster, a segment first.
While the Kwid concept was powered by the 1.5 dCi diesel engine, Renault hints at using an 800cc petrol motor tuned for efficiency. The French manufacturer claims the Kwid shall top the mileage charts once launched. This petrol motor will be mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. The possibility of an AMT cannot be ruled out. The Kwid sits on 155 section, 13 inch wheels. On the safety front, the Kwid shall offer airbags as an option. Whether the Renault features ABS, remains to be seen.
Renault has confirmed that there won’t be any more cross badging on cars, like the Nissan Micra was badged as the Renault Pulse. Nissan shall launch a car based on the same platform sometime next year but it will be a different car altogether. What remains to be seen is how the Nissan will be priced vis-a-vis the Renault.
The Kwid is the only car in the country that boasts of 98% localisation. Developed exclusively for developing markets such as India, the Kwid could be the next big (or let’s say small) thing for Renault!