Road Test: Renault Kwid Climber
When the Kwid was launched I’d been a motoring journalist for a while and it was finally time for me to get my first test car. Excited, and eager I went to a location to get some shots of the Kwid and promptly let the wind catch the door and it folded over like a skateboarders arm in a fail video. With a damaged ego and dented door, I went to Renault and confessed my sins.
Since then I’ve learnt to love the Kwid, not just for the fact that that bent door was the cheapest door I could have screwed up, but because Kwid represents good honest value in an industry that can sometimes be cloaked with gimmicks and trinkets. I’ve had countless arguments about how Kwid represents more than just a car, but a mobility for the masses. And the stats prove it. More woman buy Kwids and more specifically , more black woman. Woman who are now able to work longer hours, go to that early coffee with the MD and not have to sit for two hours in traffic. All this with free insurance for a year and Renaults Warranty.
So that brings us to Kwid Climber. For an extra R21 000 you get one of 200 Renault Kwid Climbers. It has a roof rack, (that’s not functional) a raised suspension that makes it slightly more comfortable but also more wallowy. The extra ground clearance is a nice selling point but how much benefit does it actually bring to a potential buyer? It will probably be slightly better in rural areas and over gravel roads but the compromise in handling and stability for me seems too much. The body also hints at offroad ability with colour enhanced skid plates which make Climber an attractive little car.
Interestingly I found the steering didn’t re-centre properly, although I do think this was a problem with this specific car. On the plus side, you still get the 7” touchscreen, the Satnav, USB and that very frugal 3 cylinder engine that pulls quite willingly when prompted to do so. Fuel consumption is as low as 4.7 litres per hundred from that 50kW engine.
The new colour looks great and the highlights did grow on me after a few days. Inside the seats have funky Climber seat covers and the vibrant orange and piano black accents do make for a very modern cabin.
At R 128 900, the standard Kwid represents great value for money and is one of the best entry-level options out there. Kwid Climber is the spruced up version of the same car but potential buyers need to ask themselves the question if an extra 20k is a premium they are willing to pay.