Maruti Suzuki launched the Wagon R in India back in December 1999, in its 17th year the Wagon R continues to challenge some of the new entrants to the auto industry.
Recently, Renault has launched the Kwid with the Automatic Manual Transmission (AMT) gearbox. Does the Kwid AMT match up to the evergreen Wagon R AMT? Let us take the comparison route to find out which takes the lead.
To understand more about the technology of AMT, it's a simple electro-hydraulic system which makes use of an electronic control unit and a hydraulic system that allows the driver to change gears without using the clutch.
The Renault Kwid AMT is 80mm longer, 84mm wider, 22mm longer on wheelbase, and 15mm higher in ground clearance; however, shorter in height by 222mm compared to the Wagon R AMT. For a taller person though the Wagon R takes the lead.
This clearly suggests that the Kwid is bigger in all sense except for the height of the cabin space. With better wheelbase length, width and length, the Kwid has better legroom and comfortable for three passengers on the rear row compared to the Wagon R.
On the looks of the two entry-level hatchbacks, the Kwid feels SUVish with its bold and imposing front profile. The plastic side cladding and on the wheel arches asserts itself as more of an SUV than a small hatchback.
The Wagon R is boxy and the lines are more straight lined than curvy like the Kwid. The Wagon R is still a very practical car while driving on Indian roads. The Kwid has the same practicality, comfort yet has the best of looks.
Overall Design Rating
- Renault Kwid AMT 9/10
- Maruti Suzuki Wagon R AMT 7.5/10
Engine Specification & Gearbox
Renault has powered the Kwid AMT with its 1.0-litre SCe (Smart Control Efficiency) four cylinder petrol engine and is paired to the 5-speed Easy-R rotary knob automatic gearbox - Yes! That is what Renault calls its AMT technology.
The Kwid mill produces 67bhp and 91Nm of torque, while the Wagon R specs are closer with 67bhp and 90Nm of torque though at different RPMs. The Renault Kwid AMT is slightly peppier compared to the Wagon R.
The takeaway for the Renault Kwid AMT is the new premium looking rotary knob seen in brands such as Jaguar and Audis, taking the excitement to a new level in the small hatchback segment.
Overall Engine Rating
- Renault Kwid AMT 8.5/10
- Maruti Suzuki Wagon R 8/10
Renault is offering the Kwid AMT same as the manual gearbox variant and hence retains its features. However, the AMT version will be available on the top of the line variant, RxT(O).
The Maruti Wagon R has a bit an edge when it comes to the comfort such as all four power windows, electrically adjustable Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVMs), 60:40 split and folding rear seat and various combination storage spaces.
While the Wagon R is more on the utilities, the Kwid makes up with the touchscreen media satellite navigation infotainment system. It does lack the four-door power windows, electric ORVMs, and storage spaces.
Overall Features Rating
- Renault Kwid AMT 8/10
- Maruti Suzuki Alto 8/10
The Renault Kwid AMT suffers due to the lack of dual airbags for the driver and the co-driver, where the Wagon R scores brownie points with the optional dual airbags and ABS and collapsible steering column.
Overall Safety Rating
- Renault Kwid 8/10
- Maruti Suzuki Wagon R 8.5/10
Renault Kwid AMT is expected to be priced in the range of Rs 4.3 lakh to Rs 4.5 lakh and the Wagon R AMT price ranges from Rs 5.19 for the metallic and Rs 5.15 lakh for the non-metallic.
Renault Kwid AMT takes a slight lead and a very small margin compared to the Wagon R. The Maruti Suzuki Wagon R though suffers on the design front, where the Kwid AMT is far ahead of its competition. Also, on the pricing front, the Kwid AMT is ahead of the Wagon R.
On the safety and comfort perspective, the Wagon R AMT is ahead against the Kwid AMT. Renault could have provided the safety features as an option for the AMT version of Kwid and it could have taken the market by storm.