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Renault have stunned the Indian small car segment with the Kwid. Can it dethrone the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800? We find out

Photography: Sanjay Raikar

The Renault Kwid, a brilliant looking small car that mimics an SUV, heralds a new era in the Indian entry-level hatchback segment. Given its size and design, it surely looks like an ideal candidate for your first car. After all, the Kwid was created to provide the best bang for your buck and on paper it promises just that. However, standing in its way to glory is Maruti Suzuki’s Alto 800, a car that has been ruling the sales charts and people’s mind for more than a decade now. This makes the Renault’s job a lot tougher. Therefore, we arranged a little fight between these two contenders just to find out who the real victor is.

Talking about victors and victories, one instantly realises who the winner is in terms of design and style. The Kwid’s design is clearly influenced by its elder sibling, the Duster. Renault have nailed that SUV-ish look and the interesting bit is that the designers have kept it so proportional that it looks like a precisely scaled down version of the Duster.
The Maruti Alto 800, on the other hand, has stayed true to its conservative nature. Even after being completely re-styled two years ago, the Alto still doesn’t stand out in the sea of cars on Indian roads. But that doesn’t make it an eyesore either. It looks rather decent if not outright gorgeous like the Kwid.


Aesthetically, the interior, too, shines brighter in the Kwid than in the Alto. The Alto may have a clear two-tone theme on the inside with funky seat covers but the Kwid’s modern-day design simply trumps the Alto. Another feature, which many would appreciate, is the digital instrument panel of the Kwid that adds a lot of value to the interior appeal. After all, the Kwid is the first car in its segment to have a completely digital cluster.

The Alto is still living in the shadow of the Maruti 800 as it features an old-world styled analogue speedometer with the only modern exception being the small digital display for the odometer, trip computer and the clock. The centre console and the basic stereo system also do not come across as exciting equipment, which clearly gives the Renault an edge over the Alto.



About the author: Ravi Chandnani


Senior Correspondent
Car India Magazine,
Automotive Division,
Next Gen Publishing Ltd.


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