Has it got the looks?
If you found the Kwid’s mini-SUV looks attractive – which it is – then the Kwid 1.0 SCe is no different. And i mean that literally. Other than decals on the side with 1.0 lettering and a silver finish to the outside rear view mirrors, there is no other way to tell the more the powerful Kwid apart from its smaller brother. A set of alloys, and a bigger tyre and wheel combination might have made it look distinctive enough, but that would have come at a price.
Enough of show, does it go?
The numbers are on the side of the Kwid. Although the new engine has added about 40 kg to the kerb weight of the car, thanks to the lightweight CMF-A platform on which the Kwid is based upon, and along with the increase in power to 67 bhp, the power to weight ratio of the Kwid 1.0L is a class leading 96 bhp/ton. In city, in slow moving traffic and off the line, the 800cc motor can easily keep up with the bigger engine, because the torque in the lower end of the rev-range feels identical for both the engine. It is when one holds on to a gear and lets the engine work its way the redline, the Kwid 1.0 pulls away comfortably. Where the smaller engine’s power would plateau out at the higher rpms, there is a lot of punch left in the 1.0-litre engine. Something that would be appreciated for those who need who do a lot of highway driving with the Kwid. The same five-speed gearbox does duty in the SCe, but has been strengthened with some changes to the first and second gear ratios.
What you pay?
One has to pay just Rs 22,000 more than the 800cc Kwid, with the RXT variant priced at Rs 3.82 lakh and RXT (O) at Rs 3.95 lakh, both prices being ex-showroom, Delhi. At these prices, it is well worth upgrading to the 1.0 SCe.
What do you get in terms of features?
Other than the new decals and the silver garnish of the rear view mirrors, the Kwid 1.0 SCe gets new red colored accents for the seat upholstery and slashes of chrome on the instrument console surround. The default trim level for the new engine is the top-of-the-line RXT variant, and hence it gets all the features that the Kwid is known for as standard, like the touchscreen infotainment system, digital instrument cluster, an audio system with two-speakers and remote keyless entry. The driver airbag is still optional though, and a passenger airbag and anti-lock braking system is absent.
One thing we love
Ride and handling and suspension tuning has always been a Renault forte, and that goes for the Kwid. Unlike other cars in this segment, the Kwid does not loose composure fast when thrown around a bit, nor does it tend to skip and unsettle itself. Infact, the chassis can take a lot more power, and can handle that safely too.
One we don’t
Wished Renault would have equipped the Kwid with internally adjustable rear view mirrors by now.
is it fun to drive?
Yes it is, and that is purely down to the way the suspension has been setup. It is very confidence inspiring, with quick lane changes and sustained triple digit speeds unable to unruffle the car. The power steering also weighs up a more than the Kwid .8L. What could have been worked upon a bit is the gearbox, which still, at times, requires a bit of effort to slot it in through the gates.
Should you buy one?
The Kwid 1.0 SCe has a lot going for it. A design that stands out among the crowd, spacious interiors with class leading legroom, headroom and bootspace, crowd pleasing features like the touchscreen infotainment and digital speedo and mature handling characteristics. The icing on the cake is the price tag, which, at a starting price of Rs 3.82 lakh for the RXT variant, is just Rs 22,000 more than the similarly spec-ced variants of the 800cc Kwid. Against the competition, it is slight more expensive than a Alto K10 VXi (starts at Rs 3.73 lakh), but it’s Rs 70,000 less expensive than the cheapest Hyundai Eon with the 1.0-litre engine. So yes, if you are choosing between a Kwid 800cc and a Kwid 1.0 SCe, the premium of the 1.0-litre car is worth it. And among its competitors too, the Kwid makes a strong case for itself.