“I am going to be honest…”
I said it in my review of the recently launched Peugeot 108 that people have been reluctant to buy French cars simply because of the after-sales service.
Renault produces brilliant cars, however, its reputation in SA is not so great but the marque has been doing some extensive work to make the brand stand out of the crowded scene.
To put an end to that perception, the Renault SA team has developed a renewed approach to its fleet sales business and I spent time exploring the value-added Fleet Sales solutions.
The idea is to offer customers a seamless experience from the Internet to the physical retail network, by linking the online research, purchase and after-sales service phases.
With an assortment of models to choose from, expert advice, financial assistance, branding, warranties and service plans, Renault promises to have your back.
Apart from that, I also got to sample the refreshed Kwid that boasts new styling cues as well as improved safety features.
It gets new larger 14-inch wheels with stylish wheel cover and a new rear axle that is meant to enhance the vehicle’s safety.
It also boasts new SUV styled headlamps with silver streak LED DRL’s, and tail lamps with LED light guides.
Inside, the refreshed Kwid spawns new chrome finishes, upholstery fabrics, all-new steering wheel plus a new centre fascia and meter cluster.
As standard, the new Kwid features aircon, electric front and rear windows and electrically adjustable door mirrors.
There is a new MediaNav® multi-media system complete with a larger eight-inch touchscreen display, radio and Bluetooth® connectivity, and the convenience of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.
The system also incorporates a reverse camera and park distance sensors.
I am going to be honest, I still do not like how the Kwid goes about its business yet there is a notable change in terms of driving dynamics. The car still jitters all over the road while wind and road noise enter the cabin in full stance.
The new rear axle plus new 14-inch wheels provide the car with improved driving prowess, though.
Renault has added dual front airbags for the passenger and driver. For better stopping prowess, all Kwids come standard with ABS brakes plus a seat belt reminder.
The structure of the new Kwid remains unchanged and that raised questions at the launch if the tyke is indeed safe. For reference sake, it scored 0% in the NCAP crash test, and that simply means, chances of the occupants dying in a crash are high.
There are better cars in this segment that are not just safer but drive even better. The likes of the Kia Picanto, Volkswagen UP, Hyundai i10n and Peugeot 108.
The Kwid carries a starting price of R144 900 while the range-topping Climber AMT retails for R174 900. For that price, you can get a reliable pre-owned Polo or something that you can even take on a longish drive without having to think twice.
That is just it about the new Kwid, it’s either you take my word or regret later.
The new Renault Kwid model range comes standard with a 1-year Comprehensive Insurance Cover, a 2-year Service Plan, and a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty.
Services take place at15 000km intervals.
At the event, I also got to see the only 2 (in SA, for now) Megane R.S Trophy models in manual and auto guise, but I did not drive them as they’re slated to reach our market in the first quarter of 2020.
Renault will also launch its new 7-seater Triber vehicle slated to join the market in February 2020 and it will go against the Honda BR-V, Suzuki Ertiga and Toyota Avanza.
This article first appeared @whipdt