India is a country which holds promise for a lot of international car manufacturers. In fact there are studies which show that by the year 2025, India will becoming the third largest car market in the world and this projection has lead a lot of car manufacturers to come here.
But manufacturers need to ideate and then come out with solutions for the segment they are targeting. Renault did its share of research and brought the Duster compact SUV to India. The result was obvious. People took a liking to the car and there were a bunch of cars that came that way – the EcoSport, Terrano and now the Hyundai Creta.
Renault is taking another stab at bringing in something new and fresh to the Indian market and this time it is the Kwid. A small car which looks like a baby Duster will be launched in India in October but having driven it already we know what the car is all about. Unlike the Duster, the Kwid will be launched in the hotly contested small car segment and it already has a few rivals from bigwigs in the market like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. So how does the Kwid fare when pitted against its rivals?
The Kwid will take on the likes of the Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and if you look at the overall dimensions of both these cars the Kwid has a lot of things going its way. It’s longer and broader than both the Eon and the Alto 800 and it scores in the department of wheelbase too. Where the Kwid boasts of 2422mm of it, the Eon manages only 2380mm while the Alto 800 comes in third place with 2360mm.
There is a reason why it is called the baby Duster and it’s because of its SUVish styling and stance. The Kwid has a ground clearance of 180mm while the Alto 800 manages 160mm and the Eon comes with 170mm. Given that the Kwid is longer than both its rivals, Renault has managed to give it a boot space of 300 litres which is comparable to that of the Toyota Innova. The Alto 800 gets only 177 litres of space at the back while the Eon is second in line with 217 litres.
Renault India has managed to put in a lot of features in the Kwid too and the top-end RXT variant will get a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system, with four speakers along with radio, CD, USB, Aux and Bluetooth compatibility. There is also an all-digital dashboard and will come with power steering, front power windows, air conditioning and central locking. There’s also keyless entry and a navigation system on offer.
Compare these features to the top-of-the-line trim from Maruti and well, there are a lot of areas where it falls short. There is equipment like power steering, front power windows, air conditioning and central locking on offer and there is also a basic two-speaker audio system with radio, USB and Aux compatibility. The Alto 800 is also offered with a driver airbag as a paid option.
The Eon Sportz variant comes with airbags as standard equipment and too gets a basic two-speaker audio system with radio, USB and Aux compatibility. Hyundai offers the Eon with a tilt adjustable steering wheel.
The Kwid, then, ticks all the boxes on paper but it will all go down to pricing. Renault has said that the Kwid will be launched in the Rs. 3-4 lakh bracket and if the company sticks to its word, it is certain that there will be a big battle on our hands. It’s only downside compared to the Maruti Alto is the relatively limited dealership network of Renault. While the French car maker has 253 showrooms across India, Maruti has around 1,500. This problem is exaggerated further because Renault feels that the rural market holds a lot of potential for the Kwid.
Here’s a quick look at how the car fairs when compared to its rivals.