This past month proved to be quite an exciting time for the AutoCity Group, who celebrated eighteen years of service to the local community. AutoCity’s General Manager, Johan van Heerden, verbalised his pride for the AutoCity Renault Heidelberg team who consistently provide quality products and services to their customers with dedication and enthusiasm. This has not changed since the launch of the dealership many years ago. Giving credit to a team who understands the importance of the act of buying a car, this dealership has earned a reputation for always going the extra mile.
It is said that Dealer Principal Martin Jooste is committed to the development and growth of this prominent dealership; due to his extensive experience and passion for the brand, Martin has been noted to continually seek ways of improving service delivery to clients.
Similarly, I have heard that Sales Manager Pieter Venter is enthusiastic about input into the team he works with, to not only provide knowledgeable services, but promote long-term relationships with clients that will see them returning to the dealership. Showcasing the Renault fleet, AutoCity Renault Heidelberg has a vehicle for each unique client.
No one is immune to the pinch of the rising petrol price or concerns about the economy. As a result, vehicle manufacturers are putting a great deal of effort into producing cars that are affordable and economical to drive. None more so than those in the entry-level car segment, where first-time car buyers are searching for the best deal possible. In this segment, Renault has produced the Kwid, and seems to have found a winning combination in this regard. AutoCity Renault Heidelberg proudly showcases this vehicle that has become so popular on South African roads.
The Renault Kwid at first caught my attention for looking pretty much like a miniaturised SUV. With its now-familiar curved body and SUV-like haunches, the only give-away to its compact size (from a distance, admittedly) is the standard 13-inch wheels. The Kwid has distinctive grille styling which identifies it as a proud Renault vehicle. Standing 1.5 metres in height and with a nifty ground clearance of 180 mm, the Kwid still surprises me by having ample space in the front of the cabin.
When compared to other vehicles in this segment, the Kwid stands out as having much more features than most: power steering, a potent aircon, digital instrument display and remote central locking is all included. Whilst there is no infotainment system in the entry level variants, the pay-off of this is the affordable price which is, after all, what Renault had in mind when developing this car. Top of the range variants on the other hand come equipped with Sat-Nav and a touch-screen system which in itself, is impressive, whilst the entry level derivative presents with a standard radio that has USB/AUX and Bluetooth capabilities.
Comfort levels in the Kwid are relatively good, with seats that feel quite cosy and a well dampened cabin that minimises road noise. Seating is stylish cloth upholstery, which is of high quality and in line with the rest of the top-notch finishes around the cabin. Impressively fast electric windows are available to the driver and front passenger, which is a nice touch I must add. As a family woman, I am a fan of the impressive 300 litre boot space. As a mother always needs extra space for school bags and groceries (and pets, once in a while, as my readers know).
I find the engine specifications of the Kwid to be both endearing and rather remarkable to be honest. A ferocious 1 litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine on the Kwid produces a sweet 50 kW and 91 Nm of torque. Combined with a light body weight of only 695 kilograms, the Kwid subsequently proves to be an incredibly efficient car to drive in terms of fuel consumption. With low rates noted at a superb 4.7 litres per 100 kilometres, the Kwid is almost ridiculously frugal and efficient. Naturally, emissions ratings for the Kwid are also great (112 g/km) and is another reason why this vehicle has become so popular.
As everything with this vehicle seems to be simply delightful, the drive itself naturally follows suit: steering is precise, and the vehicle responds with instant enthusiasm, most especially in the horrific bumper-to-bumper traffic I must brave daily. With a 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.
When it comes to budget cars, the Kwid makes an exceptionally good case for itself as a contender in this segment, winning hands down when it comes to fuel efficiency as well as standard features included for a supremely low purchase price. With all it traits pointing out why it’s such an affordable vehicle, the Kwid is truly an all-rounder. The Renault Kwid entry level Expression variant is currently marketed at R127 900, mid-spec Dynamique at R137 900, and the top of the range Kwid noted at R147 900 – which is quite extraordinary considering the standard features it is released with.
Currently on show at AutoCity Renault Heidelberg, the Kwid is worth taking for a run. For a closer look at what this dealership has to offer, please follow this link:AutoCity Group
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson