Why is Renault Kwid the talk of the town? How important is the Kwid for Renault India? And what change does this new car bring in the entry-level hatchback segment, which is the domain of Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai?
Kwid made headlines at the 2014 Auto Expo with its radical design. The model showcased looked like a buggy with compact dimensions, short overhangs, high ground clearance and oversized wheels.
In May 2015, Renault-Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn unveiled the production spec Kwid. The production-spec Kwid had a more practical design. Higher ground clearance and side cladding gave the car a crossover stance, making it the first compact crossover in the entry-level hatchback segment.
A flood of spy shots and scoop news on Kwid have surfaced ahead of the launch, which is expected in a few days. Lets take a look at the features.
Built on Renault-Nissan's new CMF-A modular platform, the Kwid is expected to be powered by a 800cc three-cylinder petrol mill that develops 57bhp power. The transmission in Kwid is expected to be taken care of by either a five-speed gearbox or AMT. The model promises to deliver best fuel efficiency and has 180mm of ground clearance.
The car will feature the segment's first touchscreen Media Nav navigation system with a seven-inch display. Additionally, it will have a digital instrument console, alloy wheels, chrome door handles, chrome-touched tail lights and roof rails.
As a sub–four meter vehicle, the Kwid will get excise duty cut from the Government. It is likely to be priced in the range of Rs 3 lakh to 4 lakh.
Maruti Suzuki is the leader of the segment. Its entry-level small car, Alto, sold 2,64,492 units in 2014-15 retaining its first place for the tenth year in a row. That is the reason why Renault is not just launching another car but the first entry-level compact crossover of the country. Its high ground clearance is expected to be pretty practical in the country's challenging terrain. Going by the trend of India's interest in SUVs, the Kwid is expected to shake up the segment.
According to sales reports, Renault leads the table of the slow selling cars of financial year 2014-15 with three of their cars - Fluence, Scala and Pulse - in top ten. It is clear that the Duster is the sole bread and butter model for Renault India. With the launch of Kwid, Renault is trying to repeat its Duster-like success and thereby a huge leap in sales.