Renault’s little crossover Kwid is like a pumped hatchback
I “KWID” you not, this new Renault is a serious budget beater on wheels, I mean, just look at what you get for under R120 000!
Renault Mzansi’s new entry level car, the Kwid, will make serious dents in competitors’ sales targets, especially with the one-year free insurance.
Renault calls it an “SUV-inspired hatchback”, but I would lean more towards a budget, entry-level hatch positioned below the standard Sandero rather than Stepway.
Nevertheless, the Kwid, said Renault, “overturns established entry segment design cues, thanks to its robust, stylish exterior and a modern and welcoming interior equipped with generous cabin space as well as features and fitments normally unattainable in its class”.
Black cladding on the wheel arches hints at that SUV-like design feature, aided by the high ground clearance.
The rear is bi-polar in that lighter colours do not suit it well, while the darker red suits it to a tee.
Inside, it is typical Renault design, with chunky threespoke steering, funky upholstery, a digital instrument cluster, piano-black finish centre fascia and a segment first’s seven-inch touch-screen with navigation/Bluetooth connectivity, multimedia USB radioaux system (standard on Dynamique).
A long wheelbase allows for adequate interior space plus good rear legroom. The boot space is a rather tight 300 litres.
Air conditioning, remote central locking, power steering and front electric windows come standard.
Powering the 1,1 ton Kwid is a new one-litre, three-cylinder Smart Control efficiency engine with a five-speed manual gearbox.
Peak power is quoted at 50 kW and 90 Nm at 4 250 rpm, but still with a claimed 4,71 l/100 km.
The fuel tank holds 28 litres. Because of its low weight, the engine doesn’t struggle to ensure the Kwid keeps up with traffic.
The Kwid scored a rather unattractive one-star safety rating. However, at R1,9 k instalments, plus free insurance, you have to choose to either use the “death trap/negative five-star taxis” or the Kwid, which does come standard with an air bag and ABS.
On the road, it drives well and handles bad roads surprisingly well, as the launch route covered KwaZulu-Natal’s back routes, which meant plenty of potholes and speed humps. Wind noise is okay, but as with any small car, strong cross winds do make themselves felt on occasions.
The tiny wheels won’t win any F1 race but it’s a safe-handling car, which bodes well for its intended buyers.
As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the new Kwid Dynamique and Expression derivatives come standard with a fiveyear/150 000 km mechanical warranty, 24-hour roadside assistance and a six-year anticorrosion warranty.
Services take place 15 000 km intervals.
Optional service plans are also available. Buyers also get free insurance from Zurich Insurers, which covers the first year at no cost to the buyer, which is a deal clincher if you ask me. at
The new Renault Kwid is aptly named, for it offers a whole lot of value, starting at some R120 k.
Expression 1.0-litre SCe R119 900 Dynamique 1.0-litre SCe R129 900. • Catch Sibonelo Myeni talking wheels every Thursday morning on Ukhozi FM or find more on imotoonline.co.za. The new XC90 comes with a brilliant sound system, as is to be expected from an SUV competing in the R1,5 million price range.