The Renault Kwid has been launched, and the dust has settled. The car is a game changer for Renault, one that could bring in the big volumes. A global car developed for emerging markets, the Kwid has a lot going for it. Based on the CMF-A platform, the Kwid comes as a breath of fresh air, both in terms of design as well as features on offer. The pricing has been very good, and there are a large number of variants too. Today, we seek balance, and with that, we’ll take a look at 5 good bits, and 5 not-so-good bits about the latest French car in town.
Pass on the good bits, please…
Segment best mileage
The first question that one usually has to answer while pulling up at the traffic lights in a new car in India is about mileage. Average kya hai? If you’re sitting in the Kwid, you’ll be pleased as punch, for the car delivers 25.17 Kmpl. Now, that’s the segment best mileage numbers, better than the Nano-Alto-Eon. And good mileage sells cars by the truckloads in India.
Also see – Renault Kwid – Variants explained
The Kwid is larger than the Alto and the Eon. While the larger dimensions give it a better street presence, they alsy translate into more room on the inside. With the best-in-class wheelbase and bootspace, the Kwid offers plenty of space for both people and their luggage.
A fully digital instrument cluster that looks funky, headrests for four passengers, a touchscreen infotainment system that also offers navigation, Bluetooth stereo and phone connect, and plenty of cubby holes for storage are some of the features of the Kwid that aren’t offered by its competitors.
Lightest in class
The Kwid is the lightest car ever built in India. Yes, the base variant of this car weighs about 630 kilograms, making it lighter than even the now-discontinued Maruti 800. The Tata Nano was and is heavier, and so is the Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. The light weight means better mileage and better pick up.
The Kwid looks gorgeous, in a butch way. Its styling mimics an SUV, and buyers may opt for this car just for the butch styling. The 180 mm ground clearance is another aspect that nudges the Kwid into micro-crossover territory. So, the car does have the go to match the show.
Now, let’s hear the not-so-good bits too
Maruti has already sold 50,000 units of the AMT equipped Alto and Celerio, and Renault hasn’t gone the whole hog yet. Though the AMT option will be added to the Kwid later, this feature’s unavailability means that buyers seeking “convenience on a tight budget” will be forced to opt for the Nano or the Alto.
The Kwid will essentially be used as a city car by most buyers, which means that affordable and low polluting fuels such as CNG and LPG makes eminent sense. However, Renault has shied away from offering these fuel options for now. Result? Advantage Maruti, Hyundai and Tata Motors.
Renault’s after sales quality and reach
After sales service isn’t Renault’s strong suit yet. You can make the best car in the world. But that’s nothing as long as you don’t have a well oiled after sales network that ensures that the cars are kept running in ship shape. Renault has a long way to go before it can match after sales of a Maruti or a Hyundai. And this is a big factor that drives first time car buyers towards Maruti and Hyundai. Try finding a Renault service center in the hinterland.
Also see – Kwid vs Alto vs Eon
Renault’s showroom reach
Enthused by the sharp “introductory” pricing, lots of people across India want to buy the Kwid. But they can’t as the car isn’t very accessible. Renault’s showroom reach is limited to urban areas, in a country where more than 70 % of the population is concentrated in semi-urban and rural areas. Prospective Kwid buyers from the hinterland need to travel quite a bit before they can see the car in a Renault showroom. That’s not good for sales.
Many Renault dealers are reportedly making booking amounts non-refundable, and forcing customers to buy insurance from them. Also, there’s no clarity on the booking process, with no docket numbers being issued to people who have booked their Kwids. This could result in a lot of oily practices that car dealers are known for, discouraging genuine customers, and forcing them to look at a Maruti or Hyundai.