Sunday Drive by Hormazd Sorabjee: A little bit of a stretch

Sunday Drive by Hormazd Sorabjee: A little bit of a stretch

There’s an revolutionary streak in Renault, which gave delivery to revolutionary merchandise just like the Duster, Kwid and Triber, which not solely created new segments however utterly disrupted the market once they have been launched. The newly launched Renault Kiger, however, doesn’t break new floor however enters the overcrowded compact SUV section. So, has the Kiger come too late to the celebration? Or, does it have a final mover benefit?

Expectations are excessive every time Renault launches a mass-market automobile as a result of it addresses a large swathe of automobile patrons who anticipate the French carmaker to spin the identical magic it did with its forebears.

Nevertheless, Renault hasn’t gone usually radical with the Kiger and has caught to a traditional template that defines the compact SUV section however, what units it aside is the good design. True, it appears to be like a bit ‘Kwiddish’ from the entrance, however that’s to be anticipated amongst siblings. It’s no unhealthy factor both as a result of the Kwid was a ground-breaking design within the first place.

Renault didn’t wish to go for a typical boxy SUV look with the Kiger which is obvious by its sharply angled rear windscreen, tapering roofline and distinct spoiler component, all of which lends it a SUV-coupe-like profile. The standout function on the again are the 3D, C-shaped LED tail-lamps with gloss black parts which not solely look beautiful however exaggerate the width of the automobile. The boot lid too has loads of cuts and creases and it additionally has a chunky rear bumper, physique cladding and a pretend skid plate. What completes the SUV look is the 205mm of floor clearance, the roof rails which may take masses as much as 50 kg and the sensible 16-inch diamond-cut alloys. The split-headlamp association with LED lights and switch indicators on high and a three-barrel headlamp cluster under could be very putting too. Additionally, including an additional shot of SUV enchantment is liberal use of black plastic cladding and distinguished skid plates. Chunky but stylish greatest describes the Kiger’s appears to be like.

There aren’t any soft-touch supplies on the sprint however the plastic is suitable

The intelligent design extends to the cabin as effectively, which has a lot of helpful storage areas and cubbyholes to maintain all of your stuff. Taking centre stage on the dashboard is an all-new 8-inch touchscreen, that’s slick sufficient in its operation, is filled with options which incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The actual celebration trick although is the totally digital instrument cluster that shows actually cool graphics relying on the drive mode you’re in. There’s not an analogue dial in sight!

The Kiger’s cabin doesn’t really feel very upmarket and also you gained’t discover any soft-touch supplies on the sprint however plastic high quality is greater than acceptable for the Kiger’s value. Renault has additionally accomplished a superb job to spruce up the cabin with chrome detailing across the gear lever, a piano black end on the centre console and the local weather management knobs with built-in readouts look fairly premium. Nevertheless, there’s no escaping that prices have been reduce in an effort to value the Kiger so competitively. For instance, parts like the interior rear- view mirror, sunglasses and roof lining really feel very fundamental. The Kiger will get two engine choices — a base 72hp 1.0 litre petrol and a extra highly effective 100hp 1.0 litre turbo-petrol mated to a five-speed handbook gearbox, which is what I’m driving. It’s not the smoothest of engines and the dearth of insulation accentuates engine sound which rumbles into cabin, together with tyre and wind noise. Efficiency could be very spectacular and the Kiger responds well to inputs out of your proper foot and the sturdy surge of energy makes overtaking or shortly filling gaps in visitors a breeze. Actually, energy and efficiency is the Kiger’s forte, which together with an correct steering and effectively sorted suspension, harking back to the larger Duster, offers this compact SUV a sporty edge.

Priced from 5.45 lakh, the Kiger is essentially the most inexpensive compact SUV. What you get for not a lot cash is a compact SUV that appears nice, has a great deal of house, is well-equipped and is enjoyable to drive too. The highest-spec RXZ model I drove, priced at 8.55 lakh, is incredible worth too. No, it’s not a sport changer, however the sheer bang for the buck it gives ought to have prospects turning up at Renault showrooms in droves.

The views expressed by the columnist are private

From HT Brunch, March 7, 2021

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