Carlos Ghosn, the chairman and CEO of Renault and Nissan, called the Renault Kwid a "car for conquest" when he launched it in India in 2015. The 800cc car has since done exceptionally well, hitting the markets of Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon in the entry-level segment.
In the one-litre segment, the Alto K10 and the Eon 1 litre continued to dominate. But these will now be threatened by the new Kwid that has just been launched with a new heart, a one-litre (999cc), three-cylinder engine. The Kwid was always a bold looking vehicle; now it's got a stronger heart.
Apart from this, there are no other major changes. The interiors, exterior styling and overall dynamics have been left untouched. The 1 litre engine will only be offered in the RXT variant as an option. The remaining three variants, STD, RXE and RXL, will only have an 800cc engine. The only two additional features are the two-tone gloss grey outside rear view mirrors and the prominent speed-sport designer decals on the doors.
The engine produces a peak power of 67 hp at around 5500rpm and a peak torque of 91 Nm at 4250rpm. The Kwid 1.0 returns a fuel efficiency figure of 23.01 kmpl. The three-port engine accelerates well and the cabin is relatively quiet. The engine is mated to a five-speed transmission. Zero to 100 km per hour comes in a jiffy and the braking is also satisfactory. Since the car will be offered as an RXT variant with RXT (O) as a choice with a driver airbag, the company has scrimped on some vital features like the anti-lock braking system and co-passenger air bags. A driver side airbag, however, is being offered in the 1 litre. An automated manual transmission would have been an icing on the cake. Here, it may not be able to take on the rising popularity of the newly-launched Tata Tiago that offers loads of features in the top end.
The bold structured front grille, the c-shaped signature headlamps, body coloured bumpers, wheel arch cladding with side indicators, fog lamps, multi-spoke wheel cover and the integrated roof spoiler add to Kwid's looks.
Inside, you see a dual-tone dashboard, sporty steering wheel, premium contoured seats and foldable back seats that increase the boot space to 1,115 litres from the existing 300 litres when the back seats are upright. There is also adequate storage space.
This model comes with a touchscreen MediaNAV, USB port, Aux in port, front speakers and a 12V power socket.
RENAULT KWID 1.0 LITRE
Engine: Petrol 999cc, 3 cylinders, DOHC 4-valves per cylinder
Transmission: 5 speed + 1 reverse
Torque: 91Nm @ 4,250 rpm
Fuel efficiency: 23 kmpl
Boot volume: 300 litres / 1,115 litres when rear seats folded