Renault Kwid seen testing in Chennai sans camouflage

Renault created a lot of buzz some time back with the global unveiling of it's upcoming compact car, the Kwid, in India. Bringing to the market a fresh take on how an entry-level small car could look, the Kwid promises to open up new avenues for Renault in the cost-conscious Indian market.

Caught testing in the busy GST Road last evening, we find the Kwid's design distinct and appealing. That we were staring at a budget car was apparent, thanks to the those puny wheels fastened with just three nuts each and the absence of body-colored door handles and mirrors. Still, the Kwid wasn't lost in the crowd and had good street presence, its compact dimensions notwithstanding. Standing tall with what appears to be an above-average ground clearance for the small car segment with plastic cladding all around, the Kwid creates an impression of a mini crossover than a hatchback. Of course, it's compact footprint brings us back to reality but Renault has superbly differentiated the Kwid from its chief competitors, the Alto 800 and Eon.

As revealed during the unveiling, the Kwid boasts mature styling all around that would appeal to all and offend none. The interiors are expected to be very spacious too with the segment-first 7-inch 'MediaNav' touchscreen system being the trump-card. Renault is said to be readying a 3-cylinder 800 cc petrol engine for the Kwid and there could even be an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) option to rival the AMT-equipped Tata Nano and Maruti-Suzuki Alto K10. But, what sent the interest levels on the Kwid skyrocketing was the indicative price tag of INR 3-4 Lakhs. At those prices, this could be the next big thing in the Indian automotive industry provided Renault prices, positions and markets the Kwid right.

Despite selling cars under three different brands, Renault-Nissan alliance's only smash hit in India till date has been the Duster. Okay, the Lodgy is doing respectable numbers but these are still early days for the Innova-rivaling MPV. In this scenario, the upcoming Kwid is just what the doctor ordered for the French manufacturer. We can't wait to try or hands on the Kwid.

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