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First drive: Renault Kwid Climber RXT

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The French carmaker has been quite proactive with its popular hatchback. Since its launch in 2015, we’ve seen quite a few updates to the line-up. From adding a 1.0-litre engine on top of the 800cc original to plonking in an AMT ’box, Renault has done a fair bit to keep the interest in this little car going. With this new 2018 model, it’s not done anything radically different, simply adding some more kit to the equation.

Just like the touchscreen was quite an impressive bit of equipment to have at this price point when the Kwid was first introduced, Renault’s gone and done it again. This time, there’s a rear-view camera, a rear centre armrest and a 12V socket that’s been added to the mix. In terms of cosmetics, there’s now chrome on the grille but we’ll give you details on that when we get our hands on the top-spec car. On this RXT Climber variant, the features pretty much round up all the changes.

Everything else remains pretty much the same and why shouldn’t it? It worked well enough before and should continue to draw in customers. The space is good for a small car and the ride is sublime. That central screen is truly an ace in that cabin. The AMT ’box, well, it affords you the convenience of an automatic and despite that head-nod shifting, works well enough to not make driving in chaotic urban traffic a task. The creep function has been added now and while it works okay on level ground, you’d be better off tapping the accelerator when on an upward incline.

The 1.0-litre engine may not inspire a lot of confidence in terms of grunt but trust us, it’s enough to get this little hatchback to 100kph from standstill in 16.6seconds; for perspective, consider that the Duster petrol auto is 0.1 sec slower.

While you could squeeze in three at the back, pretty comfortably at that, if there’s only two occupants, that central armrest can be flipped down for a feeling of actually being in a car that’s from a few segments higher. And this is precisely why the Kwid has been popular and from what it seems, will continue being so for some time to come. It not only offers up some genuine strengths but also, has a few features here and there that really stand out. And if that’s not enough to draw in the crowds, the addition of chrome definitely will.

Verdict: Additional features at no extra cost. A good deal if there was one.

Score: 8/10

Engine: 999cc petrol
LWH: 3679x1579x1478mm
Wheelbase: 2422mm
Ground clearance: 180mm
Power: 67bhp
Torque: 91Nm
Gearbox: AMT
0-100kph: 16.6s
30-50kph: 2.1s
50-70kph: 3.4s
80-0kph: 2.8s/28.6m
Fuel economy: City – 12.9kpl, highway – 15.2kpl

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