1. Death trap or best bar­gain?

It a tight inside and the safety is like a City Golf’s, but SI­BONELO MYENI rates the Kwid’s value

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

WITH re­pay­ments touted from R1 900 per month and free in­surance, we had many peo­ple ask­ing us if the Kwid is re­ally worth con­sid­er­ing as a buy, so we got one and tested it.

In­ter­est­ingly, peo­ple ini­tially found the looks of the Kwid not to their taste un­til I men­tioned the price af­ter which they said they wouldn’t mind own­ing it at all. Gen­er­ally though, com­ments were favourable but we found that the ma­roon coloured Kwids on the road looked more at­trac­tive. The raised ride height with tiny 13’ wheels give that out­door life­style look to it but the wheels are 3 studs thus mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to fit the much needed big­ger, wider wheels for that pimped look. Inside, the Kwid of­fers just enough space for 4 adults with a spa­cious, deep boot. Ac­cess to the rear is good, some­thing that bugs many of its com­pact com­peti­tors. Cabin qual­ity is as can be ex­pected at this price range and in Dy­namique spec it of­fers elec­tric front win­dows, air con­di­tion, Nav­i­ga­tion (yes… Nav­i­ga­tion), USB/Blue­tooth/Ra­dio as stan­dard. The coloured cloth seats look durable but are hard. There is no rev counter and the dig­i­tal speedo tends to be dif­fi­cult to view in day­light.

Powering the Kwid is a 1.0litre 3-cylinder en­gine cred­ited with 50kW/91Nm driv­ing the front wheels via a 5-speed man­ual (only) gear­box. These fig­ures might seem minute but take into ac­count the 1100kg weight of the whole car and it pulls quite well even with a load.

Top speed is claimed at 152km/ h and I felt it pulls strongly to­wards the speed, that’s if you can man­age cross winds.

The on board com­puter (yep, I said it right) listed our fuel fig­ures at 5.3l/100km which was ex­cel­lent even with the puny 28L tank.

The long sus­pen­sion travel doesn’t in­still con­fi­dence in cor­ners which is more a safety point tak­ing into ac­count the Kwid has no ABS. Pedal feel is good though and stop­ping dis­tances good…if you avoid lock up. It rides bumps well how­ever it is very sen­si­tive to cross winds, of­ten be­ing un­sta­ble but that’s more no­tice­able at high speeds. Drive se­dately and it’s a boon. Much has been men­tioned about the Kwid’s safety or lack of it how­ever it does come with an airbag and importantly keeps many South Africans away from the death trap taxis.

At least in the Kwid you have con­trol of your safety rather than pray­ing for dear life ev­ery time you start a jour­ney in a Quan­tum with 20 other pas­sen­gers.

Hon­estly if you look at the price of R134 900 thus equat­ing to the R1 900 pro­mo­tion price, its worth it es­pe­cially if you con­sider your abil­ity to take your kids to school (and save them be­ing packed like sar­dines in school vans), you can wake up like nor­mal hu­man be­ings in­stead of 3 am to get to work at nor­mal times.

Add to that the free­dom to go any­where at your own time… and there’s more … (nope, we not sell­ing Ver­i­mark items) … in­surance for the first 12 months is free. We are sold.

The Re­nault Kwid comes stan­dard with a 5-year or 150 000 km me­chan­i­cal war­ranty and a sixyear anti-cor­ro­sion war­ranty. Ser­vices take place at 15 000km in­ter­vals. — Imo­toon­line.co.za. Catch Si­bonelo Myeni on Ukhozi FM’s Vuka show, Thurs­day morn­ings from 7.

Much has been men­tioned about the Kwid’s safety. At least in the Kwid you have con­trol of your safety rather than pray­ing for dear life ev­ery time you start a jour­ney in a Quan­tum with 20 peo­ple.

PHOTO: QUICKPIC

For the price of a months taxi fees, the Re­nault Kwid of­fers free­dom from the tyranny of pub­lic trans­port.

Kia Pi­canto 1,0 LX R177 995

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