Bookings for the Renault Kwid, the latest hatchback sensation in town, are now “officially” open. The Kwid has reached Renault dealer stockyards around the country even as preparations for the car’s national launch are on. Now that the media drives have concluded, we have a raft of information about the Kwid, information that’ll let us pit the latest Renault hatchback against well entrenched competition, read the Maruti Alto 800 and the Hyundai Eon 800. So, how does the Renault’s latest car for India stack up against competition? We’re just getting there.
Now, looks are a very personal prerogative, and you’ll either love or hate a car’s design. In case of the Kwid, most people have been taken by the car’s butch stance, which comes as a breath of fresh air amid the dowdy looking Alto 800 and the overstyled Hyundai Eon.
The Kwid is more of a SUV than a hatchback when it comes to looks, and at least from what the buzz suggests, it seems to be working for this Renault.
The Kwid is decidedly larger than both the Alto 800 and the Eon. The car measures in 3,693 mm in length, 1,579 mm in width, 1,478 mm in height and features a 2,423 mm wheelbase. In contrast, the Alto 800’s numbers amount to (3,395 x 1,490 x 1,475 x 2,360) mm, and that of the Eon amount to (3,495 x 1,550 x 1,500 x 2,380) mm respectively. Clearly, the Renault is the larger car.
In terms of space, the 2,423 mm wheelbase of the Kwid give it class leading legroom. The Renault hatchback also features more shoulder room than its competition. The boot, at 300 liters, is quite capacious too. When it comes to space, Renault really has it covered with the Kwid.
In terms of features, the Kwid offers fully digital instrumentation, touch screen infotainment interface, plenty of storage bits and a driver airbag on the top model. Apart from the digital instrument console and the touch screen infotainment interface, the Kwid isn’t really better than the competition as far as features go.
180 mm is the measure of the Renault Kwid’s ground clearance, and this ride height should give the car enough to surmount most urban obstacles such as potholes and speed breakers. The Alto 800 offers 160 mm while the Eon does better with 170 mm.
The Kwid is the lightest among the trio, weighing in at just 660 kilograms. The Alto 800 tips scales at 695 Kgs while the Eon is 715 kilograms heavy. The light weight of the Kwid means that the 54 Bhp and 72 Nm outputs of its 800cc petrol engine can be maximized as far as acceleration goes. If not faster than the Alto 800 and the Eon, the Kwid promises to be at least on par with the rest of the competition.
At an ARAI rated 25.17 Kmpl, the Kwid is by far the most fuel efficient car in this trio. The Alto 800 manages 22.74 Kmpl while the Eon’s mileage is rated at 21.1 Kmpl.
All variants of the Kwid are expected to be priced in the 3-4 lakh rupee price bracket. Now, the Alto 800 is priced between 2.53 and 3.44 lakh rupees, while the Eon is priced between 3.11 and 4.1 lakh rupees. The Renault small car is likely to sit somewhere in between the Alto 800 and Eon in terms of pricing.
Maruti Suzuki absolutely kills it here, with the industry leading dealership reach and an outstanding after sales service network. Hyundai is second best but still has one of the best networks in the country. Renault is quite far behind in this area, and the automaker will have to pull a cat out of its bag, especially in semi-urban and rural areas of the country, where Maruti and Hyundai are very strong.
After sales reputation
It’s disadvantage Kwid here. Renault’s after sales service has been rated as so-so by most Duster buyers and the French automakers will have to pull up its socks on this front. It’s one thing to build a great car, and another to ensure that it runs in ship shape for years. Maruti continues to have the best after sales service in the country, closely followed by Hyundai.