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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:28   #1
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Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

The Renault Kwid 1.0L has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 3.83 - 3.96 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• 1.0L engine makes the Kwid a true all-rounder. Priced merely 22k more than Kwid 800 RXT
• More power, more torque, better highway performance
• Distinctive styling! Looks swell for an A-segment hatchback
• Well-packaged cabin with good space, comfy seats & lots of storage
• Huge 300 liter boot. 2nd biggest among all hatchbacks!
• Suspension offers a comfortable ride with neutral handling. 180 mm of GC too
• Equipment in a budget car (driver's airbag, digital meter cluster, touchscreen ICE, navigation, full MID & more)

What you won't:

• Unlike Alto K10, no design changes to differentiate the 1.0 (except loud sticker job)
• Tyres & brakes should have been beefed up for the 1.0L variant
• Some essential features missing (internally adjustable ORVMs, retractable rear seatbelts etc.)
• 28 litre fuel tank is the smallest in the segment and its 5 meter turning radius the biggest
• Renault's dealer & after-sales network is far weaker than that of Maruti & Hyundai

The Automatic:

Link to review

Last edited by GTO : 26th June 2017 at 08:37. Reason: 1.0 is also available in the RXL variant now
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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:28   #2
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Since the Renault Kwid has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 1 litre variant. Click here to read the full road-test.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2016 at 19:31.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:29   #3
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Renault hit the bull's eye with the Kwid. Its combination of styling, VFM pricing, well-packaged cabin, 300L boot, comfy suspension and equipment levels made for a solid differentiator. In less than a year, the Kwid has garnered over 1.5 lakh bookings and will soon cross 1 lakh deliveries. That's a massive achievement for a relatively new brand entering a segment it had absolutely no experience in. The Kwid is even outselling both of Hyundai's offerings in the entry-level segment and trust me, Hyundai knows a thing or two about hatchbacks! In the current financial year, the Maruti Alto - although still the no.1 - hasn't crossed 20,000 sales in any month. Clearly, the French are taking a fair amount of customers away. Maruti says that it still has to figure out why customers are flocking to the Kwid (link to article). The car has single-handedly multiplied Renault's market-share and, along with the Redi-GO, taken the Renault-Nissan combine to no. 4 (or 5, depending on the month) in the Indian market. The distribution network is also growing and Renault says there will be 270 dealerships by the end of 2016.

The Kwid 1.0L was first seen at the Auto Expo (link to report). This strategy of offering two petrol engines - one an entry level, the other more powerful - is unique to the entry-level hatchback segment, with the Maruti Alto & Hyundai Eon too following suit. Surprisingly, we don't see hatchbacks costing thrice as much offering two petrol engine options!

Look up our Kwid 800 review and you'll note that the main disadvantage was its ordinary commuter engine. That has been largely corrected with this new motor. For starters, its power-to-weight ratio is 96 BHP / ton - that's more than the Swift & i20! While the 1.0L is essentially based on the same 799cc engine, there are a few differences which are noticeable the minute you crank her up. We also appreciate Renault keeping the 1.0L's premium real. The Kwid 0.8L was well-priced and so is the 1.0L. Considering that the price difference is merely 22,000 rupees, the 1.0L is a no-brainer really. The difference in EMI terms is less than a dinner bill at a decent restaurant. Renault might actually have killed the 0.8L with such a small price difference, if it weren't for the lesser-equipped, cheaper variants of the 0.8. Of course, it's a different matter that Renault slyly increased the price of the Kwid 800 a bit on the eve of the Kwid 1.0's launch.

Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review-renault-kwid.png

The 1.0L engine is available only in the top-end RXT variant (and its optional airbag version). That's not cool. The Alto K10 offers a wider range of variants (Hyundai Eon 1.0 doesn't however). Further, while the RXT(O) is reasonably well-equipped with keyless entry, driver's side airbag and the first-in-segment touchscreen ICE + navigation, I wish for Renault to launch a true top-end variant (named RXZ??) with dual airbags, ABS, rear wash/wipe, seat height adjustment and internally adjustable ORVMs. This would make the 1.0L appeal to a far wider audience and actually compete with the next segment (WagonR, Celerio, i10 & gang). The Kwid is certainly capable of fighting in a segment above with more features as itís already got a big cabin and this new 1.0L engine.

What's also uncool is that the Kwid 1.0 looks identical to the Kwid 0.8. There should definitely have been some differentiating factors. See how well Maruti distinguishes the Alto K10 from the Alto 800. The newbie surely has a thing or two to learn from the master on positioning different versions. Even if Renault wanted to take shortcuts, how about 1.0-only body colours & alloy wheels?

On a related note, Renault should think out of the box and launch the sexy Kwid versions it displayed at the Auto Expo (link to report). We can guarantee that there are people who'd pay for such variants. Even if the numbers are small, they'll add value to 'brand Kwid':

The Kwidís shockingly low kerb weight was much talked about....and not in a good way. As we saw, the car fared dismally in the Global NCAP tests with a 0 star rating (just like its competitors, we might add). Moreover, Renault received a lot of flak for trying to pass the overlap tests by strengthening just one side of the cabin (link to post). Why? Because NCAP only tests the driver's side!! After the first round of NCAP tests, Renault sent different Kwid variants with varying structural changes for independent testing. From May 2016 onwards, it has been reported that an updated Kwid entered production with some structural improvements. In the spec sheet, I noticed that Renault has stopped mentioning the kerb weight, so thereís no way of knowing whether the new Kwids are heavier or not. The Kwid 1.0 itself weighs 699 kilos. That's 39 kilos higher than the 2015 Kwid 800's kerb weight of 660 (top variant). The engine update surely won't weigh 39 kilos - fat chance - so there's something else that's gone into the 2016 Kwid. I was curious about this and asked around. An 'insider' said that Renault is now rolling out Kwids with structural enhancements. Good for new owners, not so for those who bought the older Kwid.

The Kwid 1.0 will be offered with an AMT (Automatic) in the future. For now, Renault probably doesn't want to bite off more than it can chew. Take a look at the Kwid AMT and its sweet gear selector at this link.

So, what's new on the outside?

2 visible changes, when viewed from the side:

The Kwid 800 wears a matte black sticker on the doors that resembles body cladding (link to image). The 1.0 gets a funkier chequered-flag version. It's loud - some will like it, others might find it cheesy. This is the only place where you'll find the 1.0 badging:

New dual-tone ORVM design is so much better than the ugly ol' one (link to image). Sadly, the ORVMs are still not internally adjustable, and you need to roll down the glass to adjust them with your hand. This, in a car with a touchscreen!! Why Renault couldnít spend 200 bucks more to add the internal adjustment knob is beyond me. One of those features that is cheap, yet immensely useful:

They offer good visibility. These new ORVMs now have the mirror inside an outer silver + black plastic housing. Yep, it folds both ways, so no worry from bikers damaging it. New ORVM will make its way to the Kwid 800 too, but only on the top spec RXT:

Badging on the rear window line denotes the variant:

Last edited by GTO : 5th September 2016 at 10:16. Reason: Updating stats sheet
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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:29   #4
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So, what's new on the inside?

Interiors are nearly identical to the Kwid 800. Now gets 'Pro-Sense' seatbelts at the front (pretensioners with load limiters):

Instrument cluster remains the same. See that unlit 'foot on brake pedal' symbol (below the RHS turn indicator)? It'll be used in the AMT:

The keen observers amongst you will notice that a water bottle no longer fits in the upper glovebox like before (link to image). The cavity to store the bottle has been deleted:

Last edited by GTO : 3rd September 2016 at 19:35.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:29   #5
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Driving the Kwid 1.0L

Engine bay is almost identical to the 0.8L (cover now gets grooves). The block underneath is what has been bored out to increase the capacity by 200cc. ARAI rating is 23.01 km/l (Kwid 800 = 25.17 km/l):

1.0 gets a heavy duty thermocol cover here (Kwid 800 didn't). Insulation?

The plastic sump continues in the 1.0L. Even though itís strengthened, this was the only thing on my mind while driving the Kwid over some rocky areas:

This 1 litre 12v DOHC 3-cylinder motor isn't all new. Itís based on the Kwid 800's engine, but bored out by 200cc. This basically means that the block is new, along with the internals. We're told that Renault has made changes to the engine mounts, driveshaft, clutch etc. A little more damping has been thrown in to improve NVH levels.

Power figures increase from the 0.8L's 53 BHP to 67, while torque is up from 72 Nm to 91. Importantly, both are now developed at lower rpm levels. Power-to-weight has jumped to 96 BHP/ton which is the highest in the segment, thanks to the Kwid's kerb weight! In comparison, the Alto K10 & Eon 1.0's power-to-weight ratios are 91 BHP/ton & 86 BHP/ton.

Fire the motor up and immediately, you know something's different. There are lesser vibrations at startup and the idle feels smoother than in the Kwid 800 (it's still not 4-cylinder smooth though). The first thing I did was turn the air-con on - this had made the Kwid 800's entire body vibrate at idle. Thankfully, that has been fixed in the Kwid 1.0 and even with the air-con running, vibrations are lesser (although they are still there).

Engage first, pop the clutch and you'll feel a marked improvement in the way that the Kwid 1.0 drives. Firstly, the clutch is much more progressive to engage. There's a strange rubbery feeling on the foot when you release the clutch, yet the action itself is more linear than in the 0.8L. You won't stall it as easily as the 0.8L. The accelerator also isn't as sensitive as the 0.8L's; this reduces jerks and results in smoother overall power delivery. I drove in Chennai traffic and was far more comfortable in the 1.0L. It's just easier to drive in the city with the additional torque, and my not having to pay careful attention in modulating the throttle (to avoid jerks). Plus, I didn't have to shift down to 1st as often.

The difference in the low end isn't as noticeable, but the midrange is a lot more punchy. You can easily keep up with traffic and even avoid downshifts when climbing up flyovers. The 1.0L allows you to drive in a relaxed manner. There's no need to work the engine & gearbox hard. The higher seating of the Kwid, healthy all-round visibility (you can see the entire bonnet from the driverís seat) and the superior 1.0L motor make the Kwid a fantastic city car. When the AMT comes, it'll be the perfect urban commuter.

On the open east coast road (towards Mahabalipuram) is where the Kwid 1.0L shows its true potential. The 1.0L feels like a different car vs the older 0.8L. It was completely at home cruising down that 4-laned highway. Sustaining triple digits is easier and the engine doesnít feel stressed out at all. In comparison, the Kwid 800 at triple digits is too busy. Overtaking trucks in the 1.0 is easier as well. You donít even need to downshift from 5th gear when slowing down to 70-80 km/h; thereís lesser downshifts needed if you lose momentum & need to get back up to speed. You'll especially notice the improvement with passengers & luggage onboard (weight bogged the Kwid 800 down).

You'll hear a happy chirp from the tyres when shifting aggressively from 1st to 2nd gear. Second gear sees 77 km/h before the rev limiter kicks in - this is exactly the same as the 0.8L. The 1.0L gets there faster & feels much better at high rpms. Yes, it still has that typical 3-cylinder thrum and is far from 'smooth', but the engine is less restrained and more free revving in nature. I was pleasantly surprised at how we were comfortably cruising at 120 km/h down the ECR. NVH levels are lower as the engine felt relaxed (Kwid 800 would be stressed maintaining these speeds). In the 0.8L, progress after 100 km/h is slow - the 1.0L crosses into triple digits easier. That said, performance after 120 km/h starts tapering off. Just as well since the Kwid feels best below that speed. Also remember that the car is a lightweight entry-level hatchback with poor safety ratings. Keep the speedo needle in check on the expressway.

The gears are easy to slot with medium-length throws. There is a hint of a rubbery feeling, yet it is sure-slotting and you wonít miss a shift. Remember how the Kwid 800's shifter moved back & forth with throttle inputs? That has reduced significantly in the Kwid 1.0. You can still feel it, but it doesn't visibly move.

The dynamics are unchanged. The Kwid continues to offer very good ride quality and feels confident on the highway. The suspension is on the softer side, so there is body roll, yet the behaviour is quite sorted for a family hatchback. At no point in time on the ECR did we feel uncomfortable maintaining 100+ km/h. Thanks to the 180 mm of ground clearance, we ventured towards some narrow trails on a beaten path and the Kwid cleared them all without touching anywhere. On the downside, the steering is vague and lacks feedback. It doesnít weigh up enough at high speed either.

The stock 155 patch tyres are too thin for the 1.0. We would recommend an upgrade to fatter rubber.

I found the brakes to be a little unpredictable at low speed and ended up having to vary the brake force to stop on time. After a few minutes, I got used to it and didnít face any issues. Overall braking is as expected in an economy hatchback (read = nothing to write home about). The brakes are more suited to an easy driving style. Hard braking will result in the front wheels locking up. We wish Renault had provided ABS & beefed up the brakes for the 1.0 engine.

Disclaimer: Renault invited Team-BHP for the Kwid test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 19:47   #6
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing, Vid6639!

Rating thread 5 stars. Just the way that a new engine should be reviewed .
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Old 3rd September 2016, 20:01   #7
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Great review, rating it 5 stars.

I still don't get why one has to open the windows to adjust their ORVMs. Goddamnit.

How much is the price going to go up by when internally adjustable ORVMs are designed and put as standard features?

I would like to see the AMT in quickly. The Alto's sales numbers may go further south when the AMT version is launched.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 20:19   #8
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Excellent review. Rating it 5 stars. How I wish I had waited for the 1.0 L model. I got to test drive it day before yesterday when I visited Renault Nagaon for an ECU upgrade and fixing body noise. Feels peppier but nothing much special. On a side note, I wonder whether we can bore our engines also and increase the capacity
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Old 3rd September 2016, 20:22   #9
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

As usual great review

However I would like to point out that in the comparison sheet the dimensions of Tata Tiago are incorrect. The official brochure of Tiago shows dimensions to be L x W x H = 3746mm X 1647mm X 1535mm and the wheel base to be 2400 mm.

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Old 3rd September 2016, 20:26   #10
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Wow! I was waiting for this review. I sincerely hoped for 14 inch wheels though.

Thank you! I might get my Kwid 1.0 in a week or so. I am super excited and happy for opting for the better engine.

Last edited by GTO : 5th September 2016 at 16:44. Reason: Typo
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Old 3rd September 2016, 21:36   #11
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

That oil sump looks like it is the first point of contact of a large speed hump or is the photo angle misleading?

If so, that just asking for trouble.
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Old 3rd September 2016, 23:50   #12
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Originally Posted by wadewilson View Post
Excellent review. Rating it 5 stars. How I wish I had waited for the 1.0 L model. I got to test drive it day before yesterday when I visited Renault Nagaon for an ECU upgrade and fixing body noise. Feels peppier but nothing much special. On a side note, I wonder whether we can bore our engines also and increase the capacity
Yes it is possible to bore the engine these days, you may plan to do this experiment after the end of warranty period. There are specialized workshops who can do this for you.

The outcome would result in better performance with compromised fuel economy because the compression ratio is likely to reduce / engine will run a bit richer

You can certainly extract additional 10-15 bhp from this engine by doing so. Just make sure that a real expert plays with your engine.

All the best !

Last edited by i74js : 3rd September 2016 at 23:52.
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Old 4th September 2016, 00:16   #13
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Sadly, the ORVMs are still not internally adjustable, and you need to roll down the glass to adjust them with your hand.
I have to do the same thing in my 8 lakh rupee Honda Amaze EX variant!
Also,what Renault should do is offer some new funky colours for the 1.0L variant rather than stickers.
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Old 4th September 2016, 01:59   #14
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Excellent & crisp 5* review of the baby Duster's larger heart!

One really has to appreciate the sheer courage of Renault & their CEO, Monsieur Carlos Ghosn! Most manufacturers have shied away from locking horns with Maruti Suzuki on their ferociously protected home turf of entry-level cars. Tata did try an interesting strategy of sneaking in below the 800/Alto/Alto800 with the Nano, but couldn't succeed. Hyundai, with their Eon, tried to sneak in just above by offering a bit more premium entry-level experience, and could only taste limited success (lower than what they would've liked, surely). It took a relative newcomer like Renault (the name is still incorrectly pronounced as Renolt or Renalt by many) to demonstrate the way it should be done - not by trying to slot in below or just above, but by taking Maruti Suzuki head-on at their own game! And how!

Renault's little K(w)id has already left the Eon way behind on the sales charts, has just crossed the 10,000 units-a-month hurdle, and is surely destined for much bigger sales achievements in the future. The 15,000 units-a-month mark should be the next target. If the Kwid crosses the 15k/month sales mark, then it would have a very realistic shot at becoming India's best selling car. And parent Renault would be looking at a potential podium position, which would be a mind-boggling feat for a company that started selling cars in India just 5 years ago (not counting their earlier foray through a now-defunct JV).

The Kwid is that kind of car. And it's only getting better! The 68 PS 1.0 litre 12-valve twin-cam I3 motor is just what the doctor ordered for this baby Duster. A stonking power-to-weight ratio of 97 PS/tonne, improved refinement levels, class-leading ride quality & road manners, 180 mm of GC, spacious cabin & humongous boot actually make this little K(w)id good enough to compete in a class above its own!

Which brings us to the negatives. While Renault have done well to improve the Kwid's structural strength (will have to wait for G-NCAP to confirm the same) and provide first-in-class seat belt pre-tensioners & load limiters, I wonder what prevented them from going further down the safety path?!?

A driver airbag should have been made standard and the space provided for the second glove box should have housed an optional passenger airbag instead. Those fixed rear seatbelts are an utter disgrace! And ABS - why was it not provided as an option?

I think a tyre upgrade would do wonders to the Kwid 1.0 - one does not even need to change the stock steel rims if they are at least 4.5" in width (could existing owners confirm the Kwid's rim width, please?) Quality, grippy 175/70 R13 tyres (like Michelin Energy XM2 or Bridgestone Turanza AR20) should complement the 68 PS 1.0 SCe twin-cam motor beautifully, add a bit of weight to the steering, and reduce the occasions on which the absence of ABS is felt (while losing a negligible 1.5 mm of ground clearance).

All said & done, the Kwid 1.0 is the best all-round package in this class, a fantastic buy for the price, and would be my clear choice if I'm going to buy a car in this segment!

Last edited by RSR : 4th September 2016 at 02:07.
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Old 4th September 2016, 07:08   #15
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Re: Renault Kwid 1.0L : Official Review

Yes. I liked the review a lot. Well written. Very factual.

Now the car. I wandered into Silk Board Renault not far from my home, with my Dad last evening.
Saw the 1 Litre KWID - price on road is 5.08Lacs. Ready availability.
Book, pay, walk.

Saying this, I like almost everything about the vehicle. Its looks, performance possibilities, overall size, seating position and comfort inside and all the bells and whistles that they have chosen to give the consumer at this price.

The few things that I would have liked very much to have in this car are;

1. Minimum 2 Airbags ( I just can't understand this Indian mentality of One Optional Driver Airbag)
2. ABS for sure.
3. A Centre Storage console cum armrest for both front passengers to be able to use.
4. Fatter Tyres for sure, on 14 inch alloy wheels.
5. AMT Transmission option would have been really the icing on the cake for this car.

Otherwise this vehicle is absolutely just lovely and perfect for anyone as a little city/ town runabout. Its small, its "French", its cute, just like a Baby Duster and with this 1 litre engine it is perfectly capable too.

For sure this is an instant hit. And I think Renault has proven their intent of seriousness about the Indian market.

To take on the Big Mommas of the Indian car industry, Maruti and Hyundai at their own game, is a little like David going after Goliath. And so be it! All Hail the UnderDog!
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