Renault KWID 1.0-litre: First Drive Report

Renault India seem to be learning fairly quickly, first it was the Duster and now with the KWID, their product strategy seems to be working pretty well given that this small car in question has earned itself a lot of praise and therefore has been delivering on sales numbers month on month.  But what the customer and audience were really looking forward to was the introduction of a bigger capacity engine. This point was taken up by the French automaker and as a result we now have a higher capacity, 3 cylinder petrol engine making its way into the model line-up.

Renault KWID 1.0-litre: First Drive Report

Renault KWID 1.0-litre – Exterior 
High-time one would say. Seeing its acceptability, the game plan looks to occupy a decent share in the 1.0-litre category given that the KWID has already established itself in the 0.8-litre segment. So having said that, design wise there isn’t much of a distinction between the lesser capacity variant and this particular one in question.  In fact as per Renault there are only two minor updates in regards to the exterior design one of which are slightly bigger side view mirrors and decals on either sides indicating towards the variant. Frankly saying, if not us then there is bound to be this question coming from the end user as to why there are no added features leave alone a badge mentioning variant name. Silver touch in the form of side view mirrors does add character to the overall design.

Renault KWID 1.0-litre: First Drive Report

Renault KWID 1.0-litre – Interiors 
Step inside and the story is no different to what the exteriors have been. There is no change at all in fact when questioned the guys are Renault answered that is there a need of more. Which is true, Renault KWID in the segment is the only vehicle to offer an attractive cabin right from a sporty instrument to a touch-screen infotainment system to dual tone fabric seats. Speaking about the in-built music system, its navigation system is cumbersome to use, this is true as feeding in a destination does take time and certain co-ordinates just refuse to be feed into the right box. When compared with segment leader Maruti Alto 800, the cabin feels way better and up-market. On that note, another compelling factor out here is that the seats are really comfortable, be it the front or rear row their cushioning is great and so is the back support which does not give that odd back pain every once in a while.

Renault KWID 1.0-litre: First Drive Report

Renault KWID 1.0-litre – Engine and Performance
Now to the all-important change, the KWID features 1.0-litre a 3 cylinder, 999cc petrol engine. This gasoline pod delivers 67bhp of power out and 91Nm of torque. What this means is that Renault seems to have recalibrated the engine by increasing the bore and stroke to give this kind of a performance. Talking about which, the engine feels refined and acceleration is linear. The manufacturer also seems to have worked on the NVH levels as the 0.8-litre did have an issue of engine noise however in the KWID 1.0-litre this issue has been sorted. We first drove the car in the city and realized that the new engine is very capable to handle traffic conditions in fact there is no lag lower down rev band. On the highway it does reasonably alright, do not expect it to add spice as soon as it reaches triple digits but still it is capable. Though the negative side to it is that at high speed this vehicle does tend to be unstable. Braking hard in this scenario is something that one should checkout before setting out to touch triple digits.

Renault KWID 1.0-litre: First Drive Report

Propelling front two wheels is a 5-speed manual gearbox. On couple of occasions, the gear stick did seem a bit sloppy as it did not slot in the correct gear but otherwise the swifts are fairly smooth. With an outlook towards performance, Renault says that KWID is relatively fuel efficient and the idea behind the mileage figure of 23.01kmpl (ARAI Certified) is to give the user best of both worlds. Equipped with better insulation, the ride quality is very good as this small muscular looking hatch soaks in all potholes and broken stretches of tarmac with utter ease. It’s ground clearance of 180mm further helps the cause. While handling is pretty good and it makes one feel always in control. 

Renault KWID 1.0-litre – Verdict
Looking back at what the 0.8-litre was the New Renault KWID 1.0-litre is definitely a step in the right direction. Major difference being the introduction of a new petrol engine followed by a few enhancements; like the 1.0-litre tagged decals and silver side view mirrors on the outside. This latest offering will give customers a wider choice with certain level of refinement. Having said this, what needs to be seen is its exact pricing and whether or not it will give Maruti Alto K10 a run for it money. Until then, happy driving!