Renault Kwid Climber 1.0 AMT
The Kwid Climber 1.0 L with the AMT gearbox is the Kwid taken to its logical conclusion. The sportiest, most powerful, and most expensive iteration of the compact hatch, we see what it brings to the table
The most expensive compact hatch from Renault served with an AMT
The Renault Kwid has been a popular little hatch ever since it arrived in the market a few years back. Its eye-catching styling has been a hit with the masses and its sorted dynamics have received the critics’ seal of approval. The variant I’m testing is the new top-of-the-line evolution of this model. It gets the bigger one-litre engine and the AMT gearbox in this guise and a few extra bits and bobs besides. It gets a special moniker, too. This one is called the Kwid Climber and the chaps at Renault design aren’t holding back in letting you know that this is, in fact, its name.
You can see the word “Climber” etched on the car’s fenders and rear windscreen in bold letters because a little badging round the back would be too subtle and the Climber is anything but subtle. The loud orange mirrors, eye-catching Electric Blue paint job, and chunky new wheel design all scream “look at me” and while that’s not for everyone, I for one quite enjoyed the attention. The Climber also gets roof-rails with a splash of orange on them, protective cladding on the sides, a blacked-out grille, and what Renault call a “front terrain protector” also flecked in orange — all bespoke additions exclusive to this variant.
The interior also gets some exclusivity, with a new seat-cover design and generous splashes of orange adorning the inside. The front row headrests get Climber insignia and orange piping, there’s an orange band running along the car’s shoulder, and even the air-con vents and dash get a few orange surrounds. The steering carries the “Climber” moniker (in orange, of course). Even the floor mats are piped in orange, because why not? It isn’t all just “orangification” in the Climber, though, because it also gets a few additional features that only the RX(O) variant gets. Namely, a reverse camera, a driver’s side airbag, and a 12V socket in the rear over and above the one in the front. Mechanically, the Climber is identical to the 1.0 AMT. It gets the same 999-cc three-cylinder producing 68 PS at 5,500 rpm and 91 Nm at 4,250 rpm. It is mated to a five-speed AMT and the same suspension set-up, and an identical disc/ drum brake configuration. While the power on tap is adequate, it isn’t by any means spectacular, with the Climber getting from 0 to 100 km/h in 18.48 seconds as per our test results. The Kwid has always been sound dynamically, though, and it handles just as well as
before, demonstrating composure and a certain level of sure-footedness even at high speeds and around corners. In the city the light steering allows you to nip around the turns easily and the sorted suspension does a good job of absorbing the bumps and breaks. When it comes to shedding speed, the Kwid impresses with its imperturbability. The numbers for braking are not above ordinary, though — 100-0 km/h takes 3.8 seconds and requires 52.49 m.
We also conducted a fuel efficiency run as part of the test proceedings and, unsurprisingly, the Kwid Climber did fairly well in the economy stakes. We managed to eke out 14 km/l in the city and 20 km/l on the highway, which is quite impressive considering we had an AMT to contend with as well. With a 28-litre fuel-tank and an overall fuel efficiency figure of 15.5 km/l, you won’t need to make those frequent trips to fill up.
As a package, the Climber is attractive, if a little flamboyant, and builds on an already impressive platform from Renault. We had taken the standard onelitre AMT to mighty Khardung La a couple of years ago and without any hitches, so we can attest to the robustness of this little hatch and, priced at Rs 4.63 lakh, it isn’t too heavy on the pocket either. If bling is your thing and budgetary concerns are prominent in your life, but you still need a capable set of wheels for everyday city commutes and the occasional long haul, the Climber should definitely be a contender in your shortlist.
As a package, the Climber is attractive, if a little flamboyant, and builds on an already impressive platform from Renault
Gear select dial is quintessential to the Kwid
The Climber gets a reverse camera, helpful in tight parking situations
An armrest for the rear passengers makes things more comfy
Power socket in the second row means everyone can charge their smartphones