With the narrow roads in Kampala and difficulty finding parking space, you cannot fail to appreciate the convenience of a small automatic hatchback such as Renault’s Kwid. While the ‘new’ 2018 version is not all new, the little updates it carries are significant to warrant a good drive.
The 2018 Kwid can best be described as simple. But upfront, the new Kwid gets a slightly different chrome finished grille. As for the rest of the line-up, the Kwid comes with body coloured bumpers, wheel covers and front fog lamps as standard. All in all, the Kwid retains its high-riding stance. What also adds to this car’s strong road presence are the SUV-like elements such as the heavy plastic cladding, wing mirrors and door handles.
According to Paul Kyeyune, who is familiar with this car, all variants now come with emergency locking retractor (ELR) for the rear seatbelts. It allows the belt to freely extend and retract with occupant movement, yet locks the belt instantly in the event of a crash.
He adds that the dashboard design and layout of materials has been carried over from the old Kwid, which is not a bad thing at all. “Seat comfort up front is impressive for a car of this size, with adequate strength and back support. Overall you would not feel as helmed in as you would sitting in probably a Datsun. Even the nearly flat rear bench is comfortable with good amount of leg room and thigh support. However, it is only comfortable for two adults,” he says.
According to autondtv, an online portal, the new Kwid has the same engine and gearbox combo as you will find in the 1-litre manual Kwid. The only difference here is that a set of hydraulic actuators and sensors engage and disengage the clutch and shift cogs on the 5-speed gearbox for you.
The site adds that although the power and torque figures will not raise any eyebrows, the Kwid is a featherweight so there isn’t much to lift. Nonetheless, it is quiet and refined.
“However, every time you pull away from standstill you will hear that typical three-cylinder tap as you pick up pace. The one-litre Kwid is relatively smooth with the way it delivers power,” the site adds.
The biggest addition on the 2018 Kwid AMT, without a doubt, is the much-needed creep function that moves the car forward so lightly when you take your foot off the brake, a good feature when driving in heavy traffic. As for the all-important shift quality, the gearshifts are not exactly seamless but the trademark rocking motion linked to AMTs is noticeably less in the Kwid.
Sure, there is still that typical shaking and vibrating rapidly when you get off the line or drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic, but the bumpiness smoothens out as you up the pace.
It is worth a look if you are after a small, easy to drive automatic hatchback that has a touch of flair about it.
A brand new Kwid costs Shs50m at Victoria motors at Zero mileage and they have a payment plan for those interested in purchasing the car.