If you thought the Sandero was cheap then you ain’t seen nothing yet. For today Renault has gone and launched the Kwid – a bargain basement hatchback-come-SUV designed to take on the likes of the godawful Datsun GO. These are the five most important things you need to know about it.
1: It’s cheap
Built in India the Renault Kwid has a price-tag that will trick your mind into thinking that it’s 2006 all over again. I mean the poverty-spec Expression model weighs in at only R119 900! Amazing. Although we think you’d be stupid to not rustle up the extra R10 000 needed to garage the better equipped Dynamique.
2: It’s slow
To keep costs down the Kwid has been paired with the same engine doing duty in the Sandero – just without the turbocharger. Which means that the now normally-aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol motor muscles out a modest 50kW at 5 500rpm and 91Nm at 4 250rpm. The last time I saw outputs like this was when my mom bought a Toyota Tazz back in 1996. So, as to be expected, it’s never going to set the asphalt on fire. The upshot, however, should be thrifty fuel consumption. Renault claims 4.7l/100km. Although ‘claimed’ figures are usually a load of BS so this remains to be seen – we’ll have to drive it.
3: It has almost as much ground clearance as a Nissan Qashqai
A Nissan Qashqai rides 182-millimeters above the ground. The Renault Kwid rides 180-millimetres above the ground – the same as the Nissan Juke. Although thanks to those ridiculously small 13-inch wheels (another throwback to the 1990s) and enormous wheel arches this seems a lot higher. Whatever. 180-millimeters is a fair old gap, one that will help the Kwid go down most roads and, more importantly, clamber through most Johannesburg potholes.
4: Um, it’s not going to be very safe in an accident
Like the Datsun GO and so many other made-in-India budget cars the Renault Kwid literally crashed and burnt in its Global NCAP evaluation. From what I can find on their website the Kwid was awarded zero adult occupant stars and two two child occupant stars (see chart above). This is pretty bloody dire if you ask me. What’s equally dire is that the Kwid does not come with ABS brakes or any other active safety features for that matter. Only the driver gets an airbag. So the morally of the story here then is don’t crash – or get crashed into.
5: It does come with some pretty cool features for the price
Well provided you get the R129 900 Dynamique model that is. The extra capital outlay buys you a seven-inch Touchscreen navigation system with USB, AUX-in and Bluetooth audio streaming – previously unheard of in this bare-bones segment. Both Kwid variants also come with electric front windows, air-conditioning and a digital instrument display as standard. Ditto remote central locking. – Thomas Falkiner