Renault Kwid SUV concept first look


February 17, 2014 By Mike Lee
Last updated on March 3, 2015

Crossovers are becoming increasingly popular thanks to their spacious interiors, road presence, and the range of hatchback engines available to them for economy. In a world where downsizing is a new trend, crossovers allow motorists to buy a car that’s friendly to the environment yet isn’t the size of a Renault Twingo.

The current crop of crossovers aren’t perfect, though. The Nissan Juke isn’t fantastic to drive, and the Kia Sportage is too expensive for what it is. The best crossover right now is the Mazda CX-5, but even this offers little practicability versus a saloon or estate around the same price.

The future of crossovers is small cars that have ingenious interior design, to gift the driver with as much space as possible.

In a new announcement, Renault has shown off a car that benefits from just that.

It’s called the Renault Kwid, and no, it hasn’t been licensed in collaboration with a payday lender. The Renault Kwid is a tiny city car SUV concept that Renault says could come to the UK, but Renault says that the most important market for this car will be India, where the company already sells their rebadged Dacia Duster SUV.

The concept car is powered by a 1.2-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s paired with a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission. Renault also says that this concept has been designed for space for a battery and electric motor. There’s no information on power or performance from Renault, but from taking a look at the current crop of TCE engines, one can expect the Kwid to be able to achieve over 60 miles per gallon with a CO2 output of less than 100 g/km.

The biggest problem with the Kwid is the way it looks. In a word, it’s hideous. It is smaller than a Nissan Juke yet it sits over 20mm higher than it, with an arch gap that could hide several cats. What’s more, the alloy wheels look like they’ve been clamped, and Renault has seen fit to stick one of those ridiculous gap steering wheels on it, probably because it’s oh-so-futuristic.

Bristol Street Motors – Renault Twingo Derby is much better looking than the Kwid. The Twingo might be too small for some people, but its design language is far more pleasing than the Kwid concept. Likewise, the Renault Modus looks better and has more space.

If you are struggling to see the point to the Kwid, I don’t blame you. It isn’t particularly economical and it isn’t particularly good looking. A super mini would have far more purpose in the city.

But concepts rarely dictate how a car will look when it gets produced. If the Kwid tells us one thing, it’s that Renault’s future design language is much different to what it is now. Gone are the sweeping headlights and traditional bumpers, and in their place come narrow headlights and a front bumper that forms part of the wheel arches.

The coolest thing about the Kwid is that it has its own drone. That doesn’t save it from being quite a pointless concept, though.