When Renault teased its upcoming compact SUV code named HBC, we thought we’d have our first of it at the Auto Expo 2020. What else could they have meant by ‘get the full picture’ line in the teaser!
Anyways, HBC is missing from Auto Expo 2020 and yet is apparently not that far from being launched. It even has a name, or a rumoured name, Renault Kinger.
What exactly is it, regardless of the name?
Renault HBC is sub 4-meter compact SUV that will battle against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Ford EcoSport, Hyundai Venue and the upcoming Kia Sonet.
So, should you bother with it?
Well, yes. The HBC or Kinger or whatever it is eventually called is likely to have one a big trump card up its sleeve: Price. With Kwid and subsequently Triber, Renault has shown that it can deliver compelling offerings at lower-than-Maruti prices.
In case of HBC, Renault is likely to raid the Triber parts bin, to keep costs low. Under the hood, the new sub 4-meter SUV might employ a new 1.0L, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that will debut on the Triber MPV in not too distant a future. A larger, more powerful 1.3L turbo petrol motor too could be offered on the higher trims. While the engines may not be very powerful, Renault has a way of tuning them that makes them pleasant city drivers with their linear power delivery.
Renault also normally does a good job of suspension set up making the ride quite nice. So we would expect the same with HBC. The latest spy shots suggest the Renault HBC will carry a familiar grille, headlamps and fog lamp assembly at the front end that will be more upright than that of Triber. The side profile appears to be similar to Triber but with higher ground clearance and more prominent wheel arches to bolster its SUV credentials. As is the case with most Renault cars, expect it to be quite the looker.
In short, HBC could take the opposite tack to Hyundai Venue and target buyers at the lower end of the price bracket with a spacious, decent-to-drive and comfy sub 4 meter offering. Renault will be able to price it very affordably given the fact that it’ll dig into the parts bin of the CMF-A platform – a low cost platform meant specifically for emerging markets. But why is it missing from Auto Expo 2020? Anyone!