The new Renault’s KWID has arrived on the shores of SA. It comes in two derivatives in the entry level AB segment, and can be classified as a compact SUV hatchback, if that makes sense. Renault have tried to capitilize on SA’s love affair with SUV’s, and the raised platform has advantages and disadvantages of course.
The 180mm ground clearance will please many motorists that prefer a raised viewpoint, as well as those that like doing a little dirt-road driving over weekends. However at a weight of approx 950kg, the KWID is light, and in heavy winds such as what we experienced in Durban, it can get blown around a bit.
The huge advantage that the KWID has however, is a very keen price point, for a car that offers a fair amount of standard features, and generous space in the cabin as well. It also has boot space of 300L which will fit a bag or two.
The KWID is styled in a way that should appeal to a younger market , as it looks quite capable and mildly aggressive in stance. The signature diamond grille, coupled with the C shaped headlights, with the black cladded and flared wheel arches, side door inserts, and rising back end, all contribute to its good looks. The rear has a black clad bumper and the small spoiler lend itself to the SUV look.
The interior is spacious for this category of segment, and the rear seats also give a fair amount of leg room. The height adjustable front seats are generously sized offering superior comfort while the electric power steering and one-touch lane change indicator make driving a breeze.
Electric front windows add to driver and front passenger convenience while the powerful air-conditioning with heater ensures driving pleasure irrespective of the weather. All controls are easy to reach from both driver and passenger sides.
The piano black dash facia is attractive, and all controls are easy to find and close at hand. Standard equipment in the Dynamique only include, include a MediaNav® navigation/multi-media system complete with large 7” (18cm) touchscreen display, radio and Bluetooth® connectivity to keep drivers up to date with all that they need.
Both KWID derivatives come with a new 999cc engine that Renault has named Smart Control efficiency, which is coupled with a 5- speed manual gearbox. Based on a windy day that we drove, at times the engine felt a bit under powered, at max output of 50kw @ 5500 rpm and 91 nm of torque at 4250 rpm, but driving it back to King Shaka airport on the highway from Mtunzini, it performed well.
The KWID seemed to drop fuel fairly rapidly, but it has a 28 L tank, and the claimed fuel consumption is creditable 4.71 litres/100 km.
The KWID achieved a one star Euro N-Cap safety rating, which is far lower than other models in the Renault range. It has a driver airbag, so no passenger airbag. And no ABS braking in the entry derivative.
The KWID comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals. Optional service plans are available.
Pricing is keen, and should get the attention of motorists in a tough and competitive market.
– NEW Renault KWID Expression 1.0-litre SCe R 119 900
– NEW Renault KWID Dynamique 1.0-litre SCe R 129 900
The KWID is a good addition to Renaults range, whom have been very aggressive in launching models again this year. It will be interesting to drive it at altitude, and see how it performs.
I found it comfortable and fairly spacious, and though it got blown around a bit at launch, it either settled in less wind, or I got more used to the light feel, so I enjoyed the drive in the latter part of the day