Renault Kwid: Could this be the best entry-level hatchback for bad roads

Renault seems to have a winner in its hands in the form of the upcoming Kwid hatchback. It boasts crossover styling in a small package, will come decently equipped (that Media-Nav system is the strong point), and with a whopping 98 per cent localisation, it gets a very competitive price somewhere between Rs 3-4 lakhs. Set to be launched sometime later this year, the Kwid, unlike most entry-level hatchbacks, has a great presence on the road, as can be seen in the recent spy video posted below. But can it do justice to its SUV-like styling by proving to be a good mode of transport over bad roads? We take a look at how strong its chances are.

Dimensions

Renault Kwid
At 3.68m in length, 1.58m in width, the Renault Kwid is longer and wider than both Hyundai Eon and Maruti Suzuki Alto 800. The 180mm ground clearance is larger than Alto’s 160mm. The company is yet to announce the specifications, but from the pictures, the Kwid appears to be running on 13-inch wheels, which isn’t too small a size, either.

It remains to be seen how Renault India tunes the car’s suspension. An overly soft setup will ruin highway driving while a very stiff suspension will reduce its ability to tackle bad roads. Short overhangs (both at front and rear) reduce its chances of scraping the front or rear bumper when negotiating potholes or large speed breakers.

Crossover styling

Renault Kwid rear
Based on Renault-Nissan CMF-A platform, the Kwid boasts some interesting design elements that not just distinguish itself from others, but add a lot of visual appeal, too. On the outside, there’s a two-tone treatment thank to a prominent plastic cladding running across the lower part of the body (sides and bumpers). It will save the body paint from stone chips and makes the body work less susceptible of damage.

In the aesthetics department, the Dacia-like front grille, wide headlamps, and the use of concave and convex surfaces add to the distinct styling. If the Duster’s anything to go by, the interior should age well, too – although it’s too soon to say anything yet.

Road presence
Here’s the video that we talked about in the first paragraph:

Look at the vehicle and the state transport bus that’s in front. While there’s some distance between the two, the Kwid appears to be substantially tall (for a car in its segment), though the company hasn’t revealed its height yet. The styling adds to the road presence, which is a vital criterion for a lot of buyers these days.

Renault Kwid interior
The car will be offered with a three cylinder 800cc petrol engine, which will be mated to a 5-speed gearbox. A large digital display will be present in place of the instrument panel, while the infotainment unit (Media-Nav, as Renault calls it) will offer a 7-inch touchscreen, with USB, Aux, and Bluetooth connectivity features.

Also read: Top 3 cars under Rs 10 lakhs made to tackle bad roads in India