Bud­get-beater

Re­nault’s lit­tle cross­over Kwid is like a pumped hatch­back

The Witness - Wheels - - HIGH RIDERS - SIBONELO MYENI

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

PHOTO: RE­NAULT

The new Re­nault Kwid is aptly named, for it of­fers a whole lot of value, start­ing at some R120 k.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

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.

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