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The world's gone mad - a billionaire evangelist has converted a nation, telling them he is going to build a wall. And they made him President. Elon Musk, a fellow South African and business genius, is recruiting customers for his next venture - to inhabit Mars.
And now we have teeny tiny crossovers. Petite hatchbacks with an elevated ride height, to supposedly take you on almost any adventure - like a tiny rhino.
The newest crossover to arrive from Renault is the KWID. It's not actually entirely a Renault. Truth be told, it's a Datsun Go dressed in Renault attire.
Yes, that car - the one with the notorious rep - for being unsafe. In fact, in 2014, the Datsun Go recorded a zero score in Europe's NCAP crash testing. So, that's not such a good starting point for the KWID.
Speaking of attire, I'd liken the Renault brand with the apparel giant H&M. Both trendy and a fashionable product at value for money prices. They are good enough quality to last more than a season, but won't become a lifelong classic. But then there is the KWID. Keeping with the clothing parallel, the KWID is better compared to Mr. Price - cheap and cheerful. One wash and you can toss it.
Perhaps I'm coming across like a nasty bitch? So, enough with my snide analogies; let's look at the KWID's good points. To begin - it's cheap – R124 900 for the Plain Jane, named Expression, and R134 900 for the dolled up, "Dynamique" version. Both models come with electric windows, that go up and down really quickly, a powerful manually controlled air conditioner and central locking.
The Dynamique also comes with a very cool 7" touchscreen infotainment system that includes a navigation system, Bluetooth, Aux port and hands-free telephone function.
The interior is cute in a juvenile way - hard plastics and polyester cloth abound. There's a driver side airbag too, which gives the KWID a one-star rating in Euro NCAP crash test.
The ride height is good. Its 18cm advantage will see you going over speed bumps with savoir-faire.
This little city slicker is fitted with a compact 1.0L 3-cylinder engine; a sweet motor that's not much bigger than a jam jar (50kW/91Nm). On the go, it also sounds like a jam jar filled with a swarm bumble bees. When revved with a gusto, that swarm gets angry. Given its meagre capacity, an advantage is its frugal fuel consumption - Renault claims a figure of 4.71l. I'd suspect 5.5l would be a more realistic daily figure.
This thrumming little honey pot is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Easy to use, and a sweet treat for day-to-day use.
So, is it a good buy? For a first-time car buyer, the answer is yes and no. Yes - because it is well priced, has a decent sized boot, and a rad infotainment system that the youth will worship. No - because first-time drivers aren't generally the best drivers. They lack experience; the potential for an accident is, therefore, higher than normal. When your car only has a one-star rating in an accident – due to no ABS brakes, or electronic stability control and only one airbag - for the driver.
It is hard to deny that the KWID is good value, but it also begs the question: should you rather buy a used car? Something like a two-year-old compact hatch like a POLO with low mileage? There are many options available in the used market.
Interesting fact, since its launch, the Renault KWID has been a top seller. So much so that most of the current stock is sold out.
Cute and unique looking
Nice sized boot
Easy to drive
On trend infotainment system.
Lack of safety features
Questionable build quality
Safer second-hand options.
Datsun GO, Hyundai i10, KIA Picanto, and a host of second-hand options.
Service and warranty
As is the case across Renault’s entire product range, the new KWID Dynamique and Expression derivatives come standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals. Optional service plans are available.
KWID Expression R124 900
KWID Dynamique R134 900
KWID Dynamique R134 900 or a demo model VW UP!
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