We just wrapped up our drive in the new Renault Kwid 1.0 Litre in the beautiful, sea-side town of Mahabalipuram near Chennai. So here are our first impressions of the car, but before that, a quick recap is in order. The Renault Kwid 1.0 Litre is powered by a new, 999 cc, three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 68 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque. It is mated to the same 5-speed manual transmission from the standard Kwid, and Renault has promised an AMT soon. The Kwid 1.0 Litre delivers an ARAI-certified 23.01 km/l.
For more details – Renault Kwid 1.0 Litre specifications revealed; 68 PS and 23 km/l
The 1.0 Litre variant is only available with the top-end RXT grade, which means it gets all the goodies like the 7-inch touchscreen equipped MediaNAV infotainment system and the fully digital instrument cluster as standard, while a driver side airbag is still optional. Visually, the 1.0 Litre variant can be differentiated by the new graphics on the door pads, and new, two-tone, gloss grey finished ORVMs (not internally adjustable). Inside, the new variant gets new Champion Red upholstery.
So without further ado, here are the first driving impressions:
- At idle, the 1.0-litre engine’s behavior is similar to the 0.8-litre engine. Which means that it’s got that typical, three-cylinder thrum and lumpy idle, with perceptible vibrations creeping in through the controls.
- NVH levels are similar to variant with the 0.8-litre as well, with a fair amount of engine noise percolating inside the cabin, especially at higher engine speeds. However, even though you can constantly hear the engine working out, it never gets uncomfortably loud or harsh.
- Is it peppier? Well, yes and no. You see, most of the newfound punch chooses to live higher up in the power band, which means that in the city, the new Kwid derivative feels a bit out of breath (but not as much as the standard Kwid), even though the first two gear ratios are said to be subtly altered to cope up with the increased torque.
- It is out on the open road that the Kwid 1.0 Litre shows it true colors. There’s a noticeable increase in performance in the higher gears, and high-speed overtaking with oncoming traffic is slightly less unnerving than before. Now, you can reach upwards of 110 km/h in third gear, while the fifth gear allows top speeds of up to 150 km/h (both speedo indicated). Predictably, the new Kwid derivative is also a much relaxed cruiser.
- The clutch is light but sensitive, the transmission is relatively smooth, but feel through the electric power steering, just like on the standard Kwid, is a bit too light for our liking. Sure, it does make the Kwid that much more maneuverable in its natural, urban habitat at low speeds, but we’d have liked a bit more feedback.
- Just the standard Kwid, the 1.0 Litre variant rides brilliantly for its size, with the suspension getting the right balance between plush and firm. That, along with the equally brilliant straight line stability and predictable handling characteristics, gives the Kwid 1.0 Litre an on-road demeanor of a much larger car.
The Renault Kwid 1.0 Litre will be launched in India on August 22. Stay tuned for a detailed review soon!