Renault Kiger Sub-Compact SUV Road Test Detailed Review
Renault Kiger Sub-Compact SUV Road Test Detailed Review
Renault was the carmaker which ignited the trend of compact SUVs in India, by introducing the Duster. After that, we got to see sub-compact SUVs like the Ford EcoSport and many other rivals. The sub-compact SUV segment saw a boost with the launch of the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza and the Hyundai Venue. Fast forward to 2021 and today, we have the 10th contender in the sub-compact SUV segment. Based on Renault’s CMF-A+ platform, the Kiger shares its powertrains with its Japanese cousin – the Nissan Magnite. With the same story underneath, how different is the Kiger from the Magnite, we find out that and more!
The Renault Kiger is a breath of fresh air amidst other sub-compact SUVs. The design of the Kiger is similar to that of the Kwid and that is for good. The sharp creases on the bonnet and the tri-pot headlights on either side uplift the overall SUV-factor of the Kiger. The Renault grille is flanked with LED headlights which also work as turn indicators. Thanks to the lower positioning of the headlights, the Kiger misses out on fog lights. Over to the side and the Kiger impresses with its coupe-esque stance. We get body cladding all around and the dual-tone 16-inch wheels look great too. The rear profile of the Kiger gets LED taillights and doesn’t feel like a chop-off – like in case of rivals. The inverted crease at the boot and silver skid plate give it a butch stance from the rear too. Overall, you will be content with the design of the Renault Kiger.
Stepping inside the Renault Kiger and initial impressions are good. We get to some sharing parts with the Triber and the quality of plastics isn’t top-notch. But then you are reminded of the affordable price the Kiger comes with. The centre of the dashboard gets 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment which also supports wireless Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Down below the touchscreen is the AC blowers and the controls for air-con which have been shared with the Nissan Magnite.
Renault has also given a 3D pattern on the door pads to make the interiors feel premium. However, hard plastics are used throughout the cabin and we particularly don’t like the knob-type door locks. The digital instrument cluster is easy to read and all the controls fall in the line of sight and easy reach. The rear seat space of the Kiger is also very good as it claims best in class shoulder room and leg space. The fabric seats are supportive and also offer good under-thigh support. The door pads of the Kiger get fabric padding with contrast stitching. The boot space of the Kiger is 405L which is great when compared to the competition. What’s also great is the 29L of in-cabin storage space which also includes a 10.5L glovebox.
Safety and Equipment
The Renault Kiger excels over the Nissan Magnite in this part as it boasts four airbags and extra equipment. The top trim levels of the Kiger offer 4 airbags, hill start assist, ISOFIX anchorages, traction control system and more. The Kiger also comes kitted with Multi-Sense driving modes, in-cabin air purifier, wireless charging, digital driver’s display, cruise control, automatic climate control, rear AC vents and more. However, it misses out on a 360-degree parking camera which its Japanese sibling gets. For the price, Renault has kitted the Kiger exceptionally well and you don’t ask for more.
What also falls in favour of the Kiger is its CMF-A+ platform. The same platform also underpins the Nissan Magnite which secured 4 stars in the crash test conducted by ASEAN NCAP. Although we still await the crash test by GNCAP, the Magnite crash-tested by ASEAN NCAP was made in India and that says a lot for both the Magnite and the Kiger. As the Kiger gets 4 airbags in top trims, we expect even better ratings for the Kiger once it gets crash-tested.
The infotainment of the Kiger is fairly easy to use as the menus are well laid out. The graphics are good and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay pair easily without any hassle. The instrument cluster is bright and gets a lot of dancing graphics which may trigger the OCD of some. Upon changing the driving modes, the instrument cluster also switches its backlit and adds to the overall experience. The tri-pot AC controls of the Kiger look sporty and we get to see the similar layout in Hyundai Venue and Maruti Swift too. The placement for the wireless charging pad is good and it fits big-sized phones easily.
Engine and Performance
Renault was known for its K9K diesel engine found on the Duster but that has been taken off the shelves because of stringent BS6 norms. Renault Kiger comes with a 1.0-litre 3-pot turbo petrol engine which churns out 100hp and 160 Nm of torque available from 3200 RPM. This engine comes mated to either a 5-speed manual or a CVT. The ARAI rated fuel economy is 20 km/l which is the best in its segment. For the buyers seeking value, Renault also offers a 1.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine which puts out 72hp and 96 Nm of torque. It comes mated to a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed AMT as well. The power figures may seem less on paper but the turbo petrol engine performs very well in day to day driving and it’s the CVT which tops our recommendation.
The turbo lag is well contained and the engine offers a surge post-2000 RPM. Although you don’t get the shove from the engine and it pulls nicely till 4-4.5k RPM. Anything post 4000 RPM feels like a stretch and the engine also gets vocal. Surprisingly, Renault has taken care of the vibrations and they only creep in at high RPMs. Talking about the gearbox, the CVT is buttery-smooth and masks the rubberband effect well. We also have driving modes at our disposal to spruce up the driving fun which alters the steering, throttle response and gears.
The 5-speed manual of the Kiger is enough for the city runabouts. The shifts are on the notchy side and the gates are not well defined. However, the clutch is very light and also offers good progression. On the highways, the 5 ratios feel inadequate and the fuel efficiency is also compromised due to the lack of the 6th gear. On part throttle, the CVT performs much better than the manual and also returns considerably good mileage.
Ride and Handling
Renault cars are known for their amazing balance of ride and handling. The Duster, despite being quite old, offers the best ride and handling balance even today. Although you cannot expect it to touch the territory of the Duster, the Kiger holds of its own in the segment. If gobbles up the small bumps for breakfast and deals the bigger ones with finesse without any drama. Undulations and speed breakers are dealt with ease but you do move a bit over badly-engineered speed breakers. The rear seat comfort is also great but it tends to get a bit bouncy over bad roads.
However, the sublime ride quality comes at the expense of handling which is good at best. The body roll is evident owing to the softly sprung suspension but it maintains its line pretty well. The steering is light to twirl in the city and it also weighs upon the highways. Overall, the Kiger offers a great ride quality and decent handling characteristics.
The Kiger prices start from Rs 5.4 lakh for the base version while it goes till Rs 9.5 lakh for the CVT. There are four variants of Kiger on offer RXE, RXL, RXT and RXZ. The Kiger seems slightly better than the Magnite in terms of driving experience while only falling short in terms of refinement. The turbo petrol variant is the pick of the Kiger range. With these aggressive prices the Kiger would certainly be another success while giving stiff competition to the likes of the Nissan Magnite, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet, Tata Nexon and Maruti Brezza plus others. It is now amongst the cheapest compact SUVs in the market.
Explore MYNEWCAR.in. We are an online marketplace which simplifies the car buying process by providing a transparent, convenient & safe purchasing experience. You can get Brand neutral expert advice, Search Cars, Compare Cars Online, Book a Door-step Test Drive with a click, Get On-Road Price, Offers & Discounts and Book your new Car Online.
We provide Finance, Car Leasing assistance along with an option to Exchange your car and renew your Car Insurance with discounts up to 40%, all under one-roof. We also bring Latest Automobile News for our readers including Buying Advice, New Car Launch Updates, Car Offers, Reviews and much more. Not just that, MYNEWCAR.in also provides you with car maintenance tips and car driving tips for your car.
LEAVE A COMMENT