In a bid to get rid of the hassle and stress of urban commute, automatic transmissions are fast becoming the need of Indian cities. Renault’s Kwid Easy-R AMT with a shift control dial for Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) technology offers a simple, efficient and affordable solution for the same. Renault’s Kwid has already gained substantial ground in the entry-level hatchback market in India and with the arrival of its AMT version, Kwid is going to strengthen its command further. Team WHEELS took a spin to experience the promise of stress free driving.
In an AMT there is no clutch pedal and gear lever. The system completely removes the need to depress a clutch pedal to facilitate gear changes as it relies on sensors, ECU and actuators.
The Renault Kwid, launched with its 799CC engine has already gained a lot of success for its SUV-like styling and features leading to more than 90,000 units being sold in a little over a year. Now it has been upgraded with a more powerful 1.0-litre engine and also gets an AMT option as well. The Kwid AMT comes in at a time when the segment is warming up to the idea of gearless transmissions and increasing number of buyers are opting for it.
Engine and Performance
The 1.0-litre motor has a peppy performance with the 999cc 3-cylinder engine delivering 68PS@5500rpm and 91Nm@4250rpm. It has good torque at lower revs making it easier to pull swiftly in the city. The AMT drivetrain that it now comes optioned with, has a 5-speed AMT that has been developed in-house with the assistance of Bosch. The system relies on the existing ECU leading to a simplistic software approach that helps in quicker commands with quicker shifts.
The shift mechanism consists of a rotary dial with three positions ‘DNR’ denoting Drive, Neutral, and Reverse. Strikingly, there is no manual mode like other AMTs. The problem with traditional AMTs has been the slag between gearshifts making it a tedious affair in traffic. Renault seemed to have found a solution to this when they came up with the Duster AMT which has one of the best AMTs on offer here. The Kwid AMT follows that tradition with its well-tuned gearbox that offers shifts that, by most AMT-equipped cars’ standards, are virtually seamless! Getting away at traffic lights is no problem with well-timed shifts and in traffic too, the gearbox impresses, with the lurch kept to a minimum. It is only during hard getaways that you feel the lag. Highway runs won’t be an issue either as the 1.0-litre motor has ample grunt to keep up with bigger cars.
Design and Styling
In terms of styling, the Kwid AMT remains unchanged with just the addition of an Easy-R logo on the tailgate. It looks similar to the 1.0 variant without any variation. The Kwid has always found followers with its SUV-inspired design giving it an edge in a country obsessed with SUVs.
Everything remains the same inside. The only difference you will notice is the absence of a gear lever replaced by a shiny rotary ‘DNR’ dial on the dash. There is a cubbyhole in place of the gear lever now. The Kwid’s trick was the touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and navigation on the top variants.
Despite its compact dimensions, everything has been smartly designed for more storage space. The tall seating offers a lot of space and boot space is sufficient.
Renault Kwid has already gained the position as a stylish affordable city car and the automatic gearbox helps it serve even better without any compromise on its fuel efficiency of claimed 24.04 kmpl.
With the ex-showroom price of Kwid RXT 1.0 AMT with driver airbag option at Rs 4,43,145 in Kolkata, it is one of the best AMTs Team WHEELS has reviewed so far. We expect its performance and fuel efficiency figures to keep up to its commitment.
With an offer of 50,000 km or 2 years warranty policy extendable up to 80,000 km or 4 years from Renault, added with complementary Road Side Assistance for 2 years, it is slated for an impressive haul.