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New Renault Kwid Climber AMT Facelift Review – Is The New Styling Enough?

Renault recently updated its best-selling car, the Kwid hatchback. The SUV-styled small car gets a completely new styling language with some new features as well. The hatchback had received a small update last year but there has not been any big update since its launch in 2015. It stormed the Indian market as one of the coolest looking affordable cars. 

Over time, the sales of Kwid has remained decent and has kept Renault in the positive chart. It frankly came as something different in the market which was dominated by the Maruti Suzuki Alto and Hyundai Eon. Now, seeing the Kwid, Maruti has launched the S-Presso, which is again an SUV-styled small car. So, in this review of the Renault Kwid facelift, we have talked about its new styling, engine performance, new features and the AMT gearbox as well. Let’s find out in this review if the Renault Kwid Facelift is just good looks or something more than the older generation?

Styling

The Renault Kwid facelift is all about looks. The SUV-styled hatchback now dons a sexy avatar and especially in this so-called “Zanskar Blue” colour. With orange accents on the outside as well as inside, it easily manages to portray a youth appeal. Everything about the Kwid has been changed in this facelift. 

For starters, you now have a more aggressive-looking front design with restyled bumpers, larger air vents and refreshed front grille. The headlamps are now integrated in the bumper and above that, you have the LED DRLs. The orange accent can be seen on the headlamp covering, skid plate and the rearview mirrors.

On the side, there are no such changes except the new blacked-out five-spoke wheels. Of course, you have the body cladding on the side doors just like before. At the back, the boot lid is styled identically to the pre-facelift version but it now gets new wrap-around tail lamps and reflectors on the rear bumper. Not to miss out the roof spoiler and the roof rails that come only on the Climber variant. 

Step inside the Kwid facelift and you think what just happened. All black dashboard theme, black upholstery with orange accents and the flat-bottom steering wheel are some styling bits that caught my eye. Frankly, now I think the Kwid Facelift is a bit sportier looking than before. 

Other styling bits inside the cabin include orange accents surrounding the touchscreen infotainment and on the door handles. Although, there are still some bits that do not go with the funky theme like the dull glovebox and AC controls design. There are some bits that I again did not like was the front window buttons on the centre console below the infotainment and plain steering wheel without any mounted audio controls. 

Engine Performance

Powering the Renault Kwid facelift that we had for review, is the 1.0 Litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an AMT gearbox. The gearbox is not a stick but a rotary knob with Down (D), Neutral (N) and Reverse (R) options. No option for manual shifting like other AMT cars. Also, the knob is something fresh in the menu but does not look that well. 

The engine runs the same as the earlier Kwid. Below 2000 RPM, the Kwid is smooth and calm without any noise. Just cross it and you feel some vibrations and engine noise coming in. With the pedal to the ground, the engine noise is highest that you can imagine. The NVH levels are still down with the Kwid, something that it needs to work on. The refinement of the engine is quite low but with the nature of Kwid, its better you go easy on it. 

Talking about the acceleration, that’s decent. Even with the slightest of pressure on the pedal, it quickly moves ahead. Like if you are running around in the city at peak hour traffic, you will be satisfied with the Kwid. But throw in some heavy acceleration and the car struggles to match up. The AMT gearbox shows a lot of lag while shifting the gearbox. However, with this tuning, the Kwid manages to extract decent mileage and in our road test, we achieved 19 kmpl. That’s decent. 

Clearing many rumours about the Kwid – Yes, it can reach more than 100 km/hr and it does not struggle for that. Although slow, Kwid AMT manages to make it easy while overtaking and suddenly coming from low speed and going to a higher speed. 

Ride Quality And Suspension

As said earlier, the engine refinement is poor and you have all the engine noise creeping in. The overall ride quality is affected because of that. Vibrations are high at the front as well as on the back. To be noted, these observations are only felt once the Kwid has crossed 2500 RPM. 

The suspension setup manages to soak over most of the potholes and damaged roads. Thanks to the bigger ground clearance, it does keep the car from being scrapped on heavily damaged roads. To say, the passengers felt comfortable at the front as well as the back. It will bottom out on only those potholes bigger than its tires. Continuing on the tires, there are 14-inch wheels on the Climber. 

In terms of comfort, the Kwid is best suited for four passengers and not five. The cabin else while is quite roomy and you would not have any complaints about that. The view from the window is also ample for the rear passengers. The seat is perfectly reclined with decent knee space and headspace. 

Braking And Handling

Handling is one point which you would like about the Kwid. The lightweight steering wheel makes it easy to take sharp turns. That is also aided by the shorter turning radius. Since it is compact in size, it fits in easily in tight parking spaces and tiny roads. In short, the Kwid is the perfect car for in city runarounds. A special mention to the driving posture of the Kwid in which you can easily spot the top of the bonnet, making it friendly for learners. 

Talking about the braking, I felt the brakes to be very spongy and with average bite. Not something to complain but yes it might be a problem after a couple of months itself. 

Features

This is another USP of the Kwid. Renault has filled the Kwid facelift with many decent features but has also missed out on some good ones. Like there is a big touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Reverse Parking Sensors with a camera, four power windows, electric steering, fully digital instrument console, Voice Recognition, dual airbags and more.

On the other hand, it misses out on steering mounted audio controls and electric adjustment for the ORVMs. You literally have to adjust the mirror with your hands touching it. These features are available in all of its competitors. About the quality or fit and finish, it is better than the earlier version. The infotainment system lags a lot and it took nearly 10 seconds for the parking camera to show up on the system. 

Verdict

The Renault Kwid Facelift is nothing extraordinary in its segment. Features are more or less same, engine performance is similar and so is the cabin comfort and Quality. It manages to score extra points for some features, its ground clearance and suspension. However, engine performance, particularly the ride quality and refinement do need to be worked on. With its refreshed styling and new features, the facelift is a lot better than the pre-facelift version. Nevertheless, for beginners, youngsters, older generation or basically, people who want an easy-driving car, the Renault Kwid Facelift can be your choice. 

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