Since the Renault Kwid’s arrival on the South African market in 2016, the city car really won favour amongst buyers. It was an almost instant hit and was it the car’s affordability and low running costs that really clinched the deal. The Kwid is one of the few cars in South Africa retailing from below R200 000; hence it’s a target for young, prospective buyers, as well as those wanting to beat the monthly budget.
Affordable it may be, but there are other aspects that also count in its favour.
Earlier this year Renault revised its local Kwid range and fitted all the models with ABS brakes. It’s a big one, because the Kwid used to be available with normal brakes only and did it require a calculated foot not to take too much out of the brakes. With ABS the city car now brakes better and do you as the driver have a bit more confidence to apply brakes a bit later.
Unfortunately, the Kwid is still available with only one airbag for the driver.
Glance over the Kwid’s interior and you’ll notice the multimedia system. This 1.0 Dynamique is fitted with the standard system, but the one used in the Kwid Climber features satellite navigation. The Dynamique’s system is user-friendly and is it easy to connect your phone with it; either via Bluetooth or the AUX port. Speaking of, the AUX and USB ports have been positioned lower for ease of usability. There may not be controls on the steering wheel whereby you can control your audio, but the system does at least function without it.
The Kwid’s engine is a three-cylinder 1.0-litre unit that produces 50kW and 91Nm. It’s a damn puny amount of power, but with a body weighing only 695kg it makes the Kwid relatively easy to drive. The five-speed manual gearbox cogs over nicely and is there no restraint from the engine to chase the redline.
The engine is a bit noisy, but then you have to remember that the car is aimed at affordability rather than luxury. The 13-inch tyres could maybe be replaced by units that are an inch or two bigger, but steering is always nice and light when you have to face traffic.
For R147 900 for this Kwid 1.0 Dynamique you get relatively good value-for-money and is the car aimed at helping people realise their dream of purchasing a brand new car. The Kwid Climber (R157 900) would probably be the preferential choice for many, but for under R150 000 you do get a car that can take you from point A to B, without you having to break the bank.