I find it really difficult to really take a liking to little cars. After all, they are small, usually poorly specced and have limited boot space. Fortunately, the Kwid only has one of those problems and that it is a cute little car.
When I heard that Renault was planning on bringing the Kwid to SA, I was excited. Why? Because motoring for the younger generation should be accessible and affordable. It’s difficult shopping for a vehicle in the 100- 150k range because there is just so many and each manufacturer wants to get you in the driving seat, so they can upsell you to something bigger at a later stage, that is how business works.
The Kwid is one of those cars that I think offer immense value for money when you consider 1, the price, 2, the specification list and 3, the warranty and current promo offer on the vehicle, but I’ll get into that a little later.
The Kwid is powered by a 999cc 50kw 3 cylinder engine, which by 3 cylinder standards is relatively mediocre in its peak power. But that does not really tell the real story. The Kwid only weighs 680kg and when you combine that with 50kw, suddenly the power to weight, really makes sense. The Kwid fuel economy figures are claimed at around 4l/100km on the open road and its achievable to a point. It’s really just a psychological game of how long you can keep it at 90kph. I can’t and in return, I averaged 18km/l with a lead foot. This means the 28l fuel tank should see 500km to nearly empty in real world driving conditions.
What makes the Kwid stand out from the rest; is its urban SUV type styling. I like to think of it as a mini Duster and it sort of looks like it too, especially from the front, where the honeycomb grill, hits you dead on. The Kwid looks very good from the front; It’s the side and the rear of the car where I lose a bit of interest, but I guess its personal preference. The interior is filled with hard scruff proof type plastics that should give some durability over its lifespan. Driver and passenger electric windows are standard, but the rears are manually windable.
The 155/80/13 inch tires and the 180mm ground clearance makes this pretend little crossover actually pretty fun off the paved roads. The suspension is plush and it actually drives pretty well all things considered. Finally, there will now be a rental car that actually has sufficient ground clearance to take you anywhere in SA without problems. The 300l boot space is also very impressive, considering the vehicle’s overall dimensions.
On the safety side, you have one driver airbag, front seat belts with pretentioners and while the Kwid does lack ABS, I never felt that the front disk and rear drum setup was inadequate.
Our Dynamique model on test had the additional 7inch multimedia system with USB, Bluetooth, and GPS. That feature alone is almost unheard of in this segment. While the Kwid only has 2 speakers, I’ve heard worse sounding stereo’s in this segment with cars that have double the amount.
The Kwid is really a no frills no fuss car that does not pretend to be anything other than value for money. It also comes standard with a 5 year 150 000km warranty and currently Renault South Africa is also offering free insurance for a year through one of their partners.
For more info, check out Renault.co.za