In the world of social media and access to the content through internet, the attention span of people has decreased tremendously. Nobody has got the time to sit through a three-hour movie, nobody really watches an entire video on youtube in most scenarios and if there was an option, everyone would skip through advertisements on television. So how does a company market its product where everyone wants to skip the advert?
Renault India has found an answer to the situation and I’m impressed by the strategy employed by the French manufacturer to keep the Renault Kwid in news. Thrice in fourteen months we have got a call from Renault to drive the Kwid and each time it was mechanically different. First, it was the 800 cc variant, then the 1000 cc manual transmission and now, the 1000 cc automatic transmission variant. Props to Renault for changing the mechanicals of the car rather than pompous but underwhelming cosmetic updates ploy employed by most manufacturers.
The Renault Kwid has brought instant success to the brand and most importantly, has gained a footprint in the brutal Indian automobile market. With the Renault Kwid 1.0-litre Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), it firmly establishes itself as the benchmark in the sub-5 lakh category.
The design is not a suspense anymore and it is common knowledge that it has been well received. Only differentiation is the EASY-R branding on the rear. The new AMT version is only available on the top trim RXT variant and makes complete sense of why Renault wanted to position it as the most expensive Kwid and yet being priced exceptionally well compared to the competition.
What I want as a customer when returning home from a long energy sapping day at work is a car that takes me home as effortlessly as possible. The AMT is the best possible solution, balancing affordability and functionality and I would take it any day while driving in the city. The Renault Kwid AMT gearbox is great when it comes to city driving and more often than not you find it to be in the right gear. The first couple of gears feel a bit sluggish but overall, it’s is a clean-shaven gearbox with no notchy feeling. Probably the best amongst its AMT peers.
With a promise of about 24 kmpl mileage, it is beating the manual transmission variant in terms of fuel economy figures. In real world, it was close to 18 kmpl and which included a punishing highway drive, straining the gills of the engine for more air.
The Kwid is mostly unchanged when it comes to the interiors. For the Renault Kwid 1.0-litre AMT, the company has given the gear lever a miss, using the space as a bottle holder. For operating the gearbox, it uses an uncomplicated rotary dial. The self-explanatory dial has R, N and D options for Reverse, Neutral and Drive respectively. The other features like touch screen infotainment display and inbuilt GPS make this car stand heads and shoulders above the competition. The interior space and driving comfort have remained unchanged. The digital instrumentation display now integrated a gear indicator.
The car is perfect for city traffic and can be used for occasional outstation trips. If I have to nit-pick, out on the highway, it lacks the steering response and but then you don’t buy this car for highways. The lack of creep function and Hill hold function could be an issue, but a firm foot on the throttle will get you going on paved gradients.
I’m hoping to get a call sometime next year saying that the Kwid now comes with dual airbags, ABS and power windows for the rear seat. With these three features, Renault India will have the perfect hatchback for at least the next 2-3 years unless someone pulls a rabbit out of the hat. Renault is pretty much at the edge of engineering and pricing as far as the Kwid goes. Renault Kwid 1.0-litre AMT is a hard act to match.