Whilst the economy has the majority of us tightening our belts, the “entry level car” segment in the South African car market is booming; in an effort to provide the consumer with a well-priced “first” vehicle, most dealerships and manufacturers are punting small, economical little cars that still possess basic features to keep the driver happy. In this segment, Renault has produced the Kwid, and seems to have found the winning combination.

Group 1 Renault at the Glen showcases the Kwid for its most popular feature: it’s incredible affordability, coupled with great on-board features that come as standard. With a starting price of R119 000, the Kwid has leaped into the frontline of popularity in the country, with extremely low monthly repayments for a well-rounded entry-level vehicle.

It’s now-familiar curved body shape has become a customary sight on the roads. With distinctive grille styling identifying it as a proud Renault, the Kwid sits on 13-inch wheels and stands at 1.5 metres in height. It has quite a nice ground clearance of 180 mm, and still proves to have ample space in the front of the cabin. Standard features on all variants include power steering, a potent aircon, digital instrument display and remote central locking (which is often absent in other vehicles in this class). It sits quite comfortably too, and the inside is well dampened against road noise. Impressively fast electric windows are available to the driver and front passenger. For me, the impressive 300 litre boot space is a definite winner in this case – always needing ample space for school bags and groceries, I find particular affinity with the allocated compartment.

Boasting an adorably-ferocious 1 litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, the Kwid produces a sweet 50 kW and 91 Nm of torque; with a body weight of only 695 kilograms, the Kwid promises to be an incredibly efficient car to drive in terms of fuel consumption, noted at a satisfying 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres. Thanks to this frugal and efficient engine, the Kwid’s emissions rating is also great (112 g/km) and is another reason why this vehicle has become so popular.

Driving the vehicle proves to be delightful too. The precise steering means that the vehicle responds with instant enthusiasm, most especially in the horrific bumper-to-bumper traffic I have to brave daily. With a really great lightweight feel to it, the Kwid is nimble and extremely manoeuvrable in traffic, and – thanks to its compact size – unbelievably adept at negotiating lane changes, stop-go queuing and my not-so-favourite, tight parking spaces.

As far as budget cars go, the Kwid makes an exceptionally good case for itself as a contender in this segment. With all it traits pointing out why it such an affordable vehicle, the Kwid is truly an all-rounder: well-priced, well designed and economical to drive, Renault has certainly outdone themselves in achieving these goals.

For more info on this great vehicle, click on the link for the Group 1 Renault the Glen Dealership, where your individual motoring needs are always prioritised:

 

By Desh Bechan