Renault has just released a new “limited-edition” Kwid Xtreme: basically a standard Kwid jazzed-up with decals and mud flaps and roof rails and 14-inch alloy wheels. And guess what? It’s still crap. And a great big steaming pile of the stuff at that.
I drove a standard Kwid last year and was amazed at how a manufacturer like Renault can, in this day and age, still build something so diabolically bad. And then sell it – or even choose to.
From general fit and finish to the way it took on a wandering life of its own when you eclipsed 120km/h, the Renault Kwid instantly tied with its sister, the Datsun GO, at the worst production car I had driven in my nearly-10-year career at a motoring journalist. Still does.
It’s dangerously unsafe too. Even when equipped with a driver airbag the Kwid still manages to score ZERO STARS for adult occupant protection. ZERO. According to Global NCAP the Kwid’s bodyshell is, when crashed at 64km/h, nothing short of “unstable.”
You don’t even get ABS brakes. Not in the standard Kwid and not in the new Kwid Xtreme either. Which is a joke considering that for the money – R149 900 – you can basically pick up a Kia Picanto 1.0 Street that gives you an extra airbag, ABS brakes, ISOFIX and a three-star Euro NCAP safety rating. Yep, crash in a Picanto and you’ve got a wa-aaaaay better chance of getting out alive.
Sp seriously, people, the Renault Kwid – there is simply no excuse to buy one. Not the entry-level Expression and certainly not this “limited-edition” Xtreme. Once again you have all been warned. – Thomas Falkiner