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In the Indian market, hatchbacks outsell SUVs most of the time. However, Indian buyers and their inclination towards SUVs is quite evident. We in India now have several sub-segments of SUVs. There are the full-size SUVs, the mid-size SUVs, compact SUVs, sub-compact SUVs, and even micro SUVs.
One of the SUV sub-segments that is turning out to be a hot favourite with the masses is the sub-compact crossover segment. The bestseller in this segment is currently the Renault Kiger and for good reason. It is one of those vehicles that offer a long list of features, decent performance, and great value for money.
Renault India has debuted the 2022 Kiger with only a couple of updates. These updates are only aesthetic in nature and the mechanical aspect of the Kiger remains the same. We drove the new Renault Kiger in the scenic locales of Kerala to see what it is like. Read on to know more.
Design & Style
This is the area in which the Renault Kiger has seen the most changes. The biggest update comes in the form of a new exterior colour called Stealth Black. The new Renault Kiger features a couple of exterior additions.
Up front, it features the same fascia as the 2021 model. It features a split headlamp setup that is quickly gaining popularity. The LED DRLs flank the unique grille with chrome trim. The Renault logo is massive and also protrudes into the bonnet space. The bumper houses the LED headlamps and at the bottom is a new skid plate.
Move over to the side and you would find the Turbo decal. The 16-inch alloy wheels are sure to grab your attention. Some might find that Renault has overdone the design on the alloy wheels while some others feel it is premium and stylish.
The Renault Kiger gets all-round body cladding while the rear-end is pretty simple and tidy. The Renault logo takes prominence once again. The unique C-shaped LED tail lamps are still very much present and the Kiger now looks much better in the Stealth Black shade.
Cockpit & Interior
The Renault Kiger is one of the most stylish cars in the segment quite naturally, one would expect the same styling to be present inside the vehicle as well. However, this isn't really what you find when you tug on the chunky door handles and swing the door wide open. The interior has all the features you would expect of a car in this segment, however, it could do with some more style.
Right in front of the driver is a three-spoke steering wheel with mounted controls for the audio and cruise control. Behind the steering wheel is a digital instrument cluster. In the centre is a 7-inch TFT screen that displays the various gauges and quite a lot of information is thrown up for the driver to take in. Flanking the screen to the left is the temperature gauge and to the right is the fuel gauge.
Taking centre stage on the dashboard is an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment unit with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It is pretty intuitive and easy to operate. Beneath the screen are the centre AC vents and under them are the controls for the air-conditioning. The three dia;s that are used to adjust the temperature, fan speed, and AC mode also have in-built LCD screens. This is a very nice touch and is something we liked.
Beneath the AC controls is the start/stop button and a USB port as well as an AUX-In port. You also get a wireless smartphone charger and what makes it unique is the fact that there is a power on/off button for the wireless charger. This simply means the phone can just be placed there even when it doesn't require further charging. Very clever indeed.
The styling on the door pads is very nice indeed with a unique door handle. You get the Red Fade dashboard accents and Red Stitch interior. On the whole, the Renault Kiger is a nice place to be in. It certainly isn't the most stylish interior out there, but it is very practical and functional.
Practicality, Comfort & Boot Space
Renault has always sold cars that are practical, comfortable, and functional from the inside and stylish on the outside and the Kiger is no different. The seats are very comfortable indeed. The driver's seat gets height adjustment. These seats also get a good amount of bolstering on the sides to keep occupants in place while a corner is taken at speed.
There is no room for complaints when it comes to the front seats. At the rear though, the headroom and under-thigh support could have been better. Legroom and knee room are great and we can see occupants using the Renault Kiger on long drives without getting much fatigue. Passengers at the rear even get adjustable headrests, dedicated AC vents, and a fold-down armrest with cupholders.
There are multiple cubbyholes across the Renault Kiger that occupants can make use of. Be it the two gloveboxes up front, the cupholders in the centre console, the storage space underneath the front armrest, or the door pads, the Renault Kiger offers great practicality. The Kiger also boasts one of the largest boots in the segment. With a capacity of 405-litres, the boot can swallow quite a bit of luggage.
Engine Performance & Driving Impressions
As aforementioned, the Renault Kiger remains unchanged mechanically. It is still powered by the same engine options. The base powertrain option is the ENERGY 1.0-litre petrol engine. It is a 999cc, 3-cylinder unit with a maximum power output of 71bhp at 6,250rpm and a peak torque output of 96Nm at 3,500rpm. It can be paired with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 5-speed AMT.
The same engine is available in a more powerful state of tune. This time, the 999cc petrol engine is turbocharged and puts out 98.6bhp at 5,000rpm, and 152Nm between 2,200 and 4,400rpm. This engine can be paired with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT gearbox.
The car we drove was equipped with the turbo-petrol engine and CVT gearbox. The engine offers great performance, but we ended up wishing for the manual gearbox instead of the CVT. There are no complaints with the CVT. It functions just as a CVT should, and CVT gearboxes are less engaging which is what made us wish for the manual.
If an engaging drive is not your priority and only getting from point A to B is what you need the Kiger for, the CVT does a great job. However, we would pick the manual variant which we have driver earlier. To know more about how the turbo-petrol manual Renault Kiger drives, read our detailed review.
The Renault Kiger features a stiffly sprung suspension setup. As a result, bumpy roads will see you slowing down quite a bit. The stiff suspension also means the Renault Kiger handles very well and while body roll is present, it is very well under control. The brakes are adequate and do their job very well.
On the whole, the Renault Kiger features a very likable engine. However, the CVT lets it down quite a bit. Other than this, there are no complaints and the Renault Kiger continues to be a nice drive.
Safety & Key Features
The Renault Kiger has always been one of the safest cars in its segment. Nothing has changed when it comes to the safety aspect. Even in terms of the features, the Renault Kiger still holds its own.
Renault Kiger Safety Features:
- ABS with EBD
- Rear View Camera
- Front Parking Sensors
Renault Kiger Key Features:
- Cooled Lower Glovebox
- 8-Inch Touchscreen Infotainment
- Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
- Wireless Smartphone Charger
- Automatic Climate Control
- Cruise Control
- Drive Modes
- Keyless Entry & Go
- Moonlight Silver
- Ice Cool White
- Mahogany Brown
- Stealth Black
- Metal Mustard
- Caspian Blue
- Moonlight Silver
The Renault Kiger has always been a likable car and a brilliant buy. It is great value for money and offers a lot of features. The fact that it looks so stylish makes it even better. Now, in the new Stealth Black shade, the Renault Kiger looks stunning and this shade is certainly our pick of the various colour options available. If you are considering the Renault Kiger, pick the turbo-petrol with the manual gearbox.