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.