Due in SA soon: Renault’s Kwid gets a makeover

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New Delhi – Renault’s little Kwid has been a sales hit from day one, both in South Africa, and in its home market of India, showing that buyers are undoubtedly hungry for stylish vehicles with affordable price tags, even if there are a few question marks over its safety credentials.

But with no intention of letting it go stale, Renault has just pulled the covers off a heavily updated Kwid in India, and according to our local Renault contact, the company is aiming to get it onto local showroom floors by the first quarter of 2020 at the latest.

Renault has completely redesigned the front end of the Kwid, which now has a two-tier lighting system of the kind that’s all the rage these days. The top section consists of daytime running lights, which merge seamlessly with the chrome elements on the redesigned grille. Round back, the taillights retain their familiar shape, but get C-shaped LED light patterns.

As before, the Kwid rides higher than regular cars, with the ground clearance raised slightly from 180mm to 184mm, but the most welcome news is the fitment of 14-inch wheels in place of the previous 13” rims, something that should improve stability. Unfortunately, the wheels still have only three lug nuts, meaning you can’t accessories with bigger wheels.

While the cabin also retains its basic design layout, there are a number of enhancements, including a more comprehensive digital instrument cluster that includes a new rev counter. Also available is a larger 20.3cm MediaNav Evolution touchscreen infotainment system, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, as well as video playback, voice recognition and a reverse camera.

As before, the line-up is topped by a ‘Climber’ derivative, which adds unique body cladding, darker wheels as well as numerous orange accents both inside and out.

The mechanicals remain unchanged, with power coming from a 50kW, 91Nm 1-litre, three-cylinder normally aspirated petrol engine, but Renault has enhanced the suspension system with the aim of improving the ride quality.

On the safety front, as per the upgrade that took place earlier this year, ABS brakes are standard across the range, but there is still only an airbag for the driver. In that configuration, the previous Kwid achieved just one star for adult occupant safety in Global NCAP’s test, and we certainly hope that Renault has upgraded the structure in some way to improve its crash performance, although we’ll have to wait for the new crash tests to find out for sure.

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