The friendly cousin

Renault Kiger is the new value king among small SUVs


The Kiger has an unenviable job—compete with some well-liked vehicles in a segment which has started getting crowded. The Venues and the Sonets are selling like hot cakes; the Magnite has a six-month waiting period in many cities; the Nexon has made a good impression; and the Brezza, despite its age, still leads the pack.

Renault, however, has given enough ammo to its new launch to take on them all. For instance, the price—Rs5.45 lakh for the base model—undercuts not just the competition in the segment, but also some hatchbacks. Then the features—the top variant is equipped with stuff like wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, wireless mobile phone charging and drive modes that are hard to find even in higher segments.

On the outside, the Kiger looks like a beefed up Kwid. And inside, it is a more polished Triber. Neither turned out to be a bad thing. It is a decent-looking vehicle with an agreeable cabin. There is a 7-inch instrument cluster with nice graphics and an 8-inch touchscreen display. The seats and the sitting position are comfortable, and the steering wheel is nice. The gear is a bit notchy and the driver’s leg space is a bit cramped.

The Kiger offers two engine options—both three-cylinder, 1.0 litre petrol—a naturally aspirated unit (72hp) and a turbo (100hp). While the first one just does its job, the turbo version is quicker and more responsive. They are mostly quiet, but some vibrations in the cabin will not go unnoticed. There are three driving modes (normal, eco and sport) that can be selected by a rotary dial. They are no gimmick and make a noticeable difference in the throttle response and steering.

Renault has built the Kiger well, and it shows on the road. It does not shake even in high speeds and is firmly rooted. The flip side is, you can hear all the hard work the car does inside the cabin. A little more refinement would have been great.

The Kiger’s closest rival in the market is its cousin, Nissan’s Magnite. Both share the Renault-Nissan alliance’s CMF-A+ platform. While the Magnite has made full use of its early arrival with strong sales, Renault has used the extra time it got to make the Kiger a slightly better offer. And it costs a few thousand rupees less.

It is not just the fantastic value that it offers, but also the features it has been packed with and the good ride quality that make a strong case to buy the Kiger.

ENGINES: 1.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol and 1.0 litre turbo petrol

LENGTH: 3,999mm

WIDTH: 1,750mm

HEIGHT: 1,600mm

BOOT SPACE: 405 litre

PRICE: Starting from Rs5.45 lakh


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