New Bench­mark Set in the Small Car Seg­ment


AN­OTHER YEAR HAS FLOWN BY AND EV­ERY YEAR IT FEELS AS IF IT has gone by quicker than the pre­vi­ous year. More than 20 new cars have been launched since the 1st of De­cem­ber 2014, which are el­i­gi­ble for the ‘Car of the Year Award 2016’.

This month we have com­pared the new Maruti Suzuki Baleno with the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai i20. In the sec­ond com­par­i­son we have pit­ted the Re­nault Kwid against the best­selling car in the coun­try, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800.

Af­ter my in­jury the Baleno and Kwid are the first man­ual cars I have driven. The Baleno is a good car but does not have a sin­gle area where it stands out vis-à-vis its com­peti­tors. On the other hand, the Re­nault Kwid sets a new bench­mark in more or less all the de­part­ments com­pared to the com­pe­ti­tion. Apart from the space what really im­pressed me the most was the en­gine per­for­mance, fuel ef­fi­ciency and ride qual­ity. The flat torque curve lets you shift up to the third or fourth gears in town and when you put your foot down, the en­gine revs cleanly and the power de­liv­ery is quite strong as the revs build up. The fuel ef­fi­ciency is very good for a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated petrol en­gine. The sus­pen­sion setup is very good as it flat­tens out most of the small pot­holes. The Kwid sets a new bench­mark in ride qual­ity for the seg­ment. The only neg­a­tive for me is the three-bolt-mounted wheels.

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