There can be no question on the success of the Renault Kwid in India at this point; it certainly is a better value-for-money car in its segment, and is ridiculously popular among the Rs. 4 lakh range buyers with more than 80,000 units already sold! Thanks to the SUV-ish syling, spacious and comfortable cabin than its hatchback rivals, and not to forget the car’s segment-first 7-inch touchscreen infotainment with navigation!
And now Renault has introduced a larger 999cc engine option in the Kwid line-up, with an additional cost of Rs. 22,000 more than the regular 0.8-litre variant. With an added engine output of 14 hp (versus Kwid 0.8), is the new Kwid 1.0L worth the extra cash? Yes, I would say. Here’s how.
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Price analysis aside, let’s see what are all the new additions with the Kwid 1.0L to start with. With a decent 68 hp of power out of a 999cc 3-cylinder petrol motor, the Kwid has now got more pulling strength, is quieter at idling, and significantly smoother to drive. The 800cc Kwid lagged behind in this regard and on-road acceleration was inadequate especially on highways. Although the Kwid 1.0L doesn’t exhibit so much difference in city driving, the car gives a whole new impression when you spin the car in long stretches. The Kwid is no more restrictive in power delivery and doesn’t sound awkward when revved to the red line. Vibration and noise is comparatively less, thanks to improved sound insulation. The clutch and gear shifts are easy to operate as well. An AMT version will arrive in sometime, until then the 5-speed manual gearbox is standard across all Kwids.
Further, the Kwid 1.0L also features strengthened body shell to better meet the crash safety standards, and combined with a larger engine, the new car is 40-odd kgs heavier than the 800cc Kwid. This certainly impacts the car’s fuel efficiency rated at 23.01 kmpl (ARAI certified) – somewhere down by 2 kmpl than the 800cc car. Sturdy chassis makes steering response confident, while the well-balanced suspension setup makes high-speed stability better than its counterparts.
The company has also introduced a new RXT (O) trim in both 800cc and 1.0-litre ranges, which costs you Rs. 12,000 more than the RXT trim. You get driver-side airbag, front seat belts now get pre-tensioners and load limiters that provides enhanced safety in case of rapid deceleration. This optional safety package is highly recommended and worth the pay, although dual airbags and ABS are still missing.
Now price wise, the new Kwid 1.0L is Rs. 22,000 costlier than the 800cc variants, but is definitely worth the extra premium. You may lose out a bit on mileage, but inadequate power of the leass-powerful Kwid is rightly balanced! But the real thorny problem on your minds would be this – it expensive than the segment’s stalwart (and the new car’s direct rival) Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 by almost Rs. 17,000. Yet, the Kwid 1.0L definitely makes sense in terms for value-for-money – it is greatly improved, cabin is more practical and spacious, and is fairly comfortable to be ridden unlike the Alto K10. Moreover, the Kwid is quite appealing in design and styling compared to the dull-looking, mundane Alto hatchback.
*All prices are Ex-showroom, Delhi.