There is definitely something alluring about the subcompact SUV segment in India. A lot of car manufacturers want a piece of the action and so does Renault. Barely months after the launch of the Nissan Magnite, has Renault come up with its own subcompact SUV, the Kiger! And yes! I refer to the Magnite because, the Kiger, well, it is based on the same CMF-A+ platform, which underpins the Triber and the Magnite. The Kiger is to the Magnite what the Kia Sonet is to the Hyundai Venue. Brother from another mother, if you will! With the coming of the Kiger, you have nine subcompact SUVs to choose from. So we tell you, if the Kiger's worth your consideration or not!
Also Read: Renault Kiger Accessories Packs Explained
Straight off the bat, the Renault Kiger comes across as a handsome SUV. Renault did well to offer a very distinct look on the Kiger, one which is suave and typically European. I mean, the front end while busy, is neatly done. Especially the wing-shaped grille, sleep LED daytime running lights and the low-mounted tri-cube LED headlights. Quite stylishly done! Then, you have the cool-looking bumper, a skid plate and that butch looking sculpted bumper.
Swing your view to the profile, the 16-inch alloy wheels look stylish, housed is square wheel arches, then you have black cladding all over and the roof-rails, hugging the slightly sloping roofline. Well, Renault is calling it a SUV coupe, make of it, what you will! At the rear, you have these C-shaped LED taillights, muscular haunches on the rear wheels, a thick, blacked out C-pillar and an integrated rear spoiler.
Also Read: Renault Kiger Variants Explained
Tech and Interior
So yes! The Kiger is a handsome looking car and when you are inside the cabin, we are happy to tell you that the interior is done nicely too. The quality of plastics, there are a lot of plastics, but the quality is good. The dashboard has a layered theme to it. It is a minimalist dashboard, not many buttons. The steering feels chunky to hold and you have a 7-inch digital instrument console and it has changeable skins. The party piece here is the 8-inch touchscreen, which gets wireless smartphone connectivity in form of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The touch itself is quite tactile and responsive and overall there is a good sense of space inside the cabin. Switches, steering wheel etc. are the same as on the Triber. So, nothing new there! Renault offers five accessory packs for the Kiger which includes features like wireless charging pad and a PM 2.5 air purifier among other fitments.
Top trims also get white ambient lighting along with 3D Arkamys sound system. The Kiger misses out on a sunroof though, which is something that is catching on in this segment. And, there is no connected car tech either! A big miss, perhaps! In terms of safety, the Kiger gets four airbags on the top trim along with ABS and ESC. The middle seat the rear gets a lap belt. There's also a rear parking camera on the top trim.
Renault has done well to offer good space for the rear seat passengers in the Kiger. There is a good amount of knee room for the rear occupants. Despite the fact that the Kiger gets a sloping roofline, there is enough headroom here. Even a 6-foot passenger will be comfortable at the rear. And the good part is that there is an armrest and space to keep your phone. So there is a nice sense of airiness at the rear, you will not feel claustrophobic and of course, three passengers can sit abreast at the rear because Renault says that rear bench has the best-in-class elbow room.
There is a total of 29 litres of space inside the cabin, which is impressive. And more importantly, the bootspace is a massive 405 litres which is best in class! The Renault Kiger has an unladen ground clearance of 205 mm, which is at par with other SUVs in the segment.
Also Read: Renault Kiger vs Rivals: Price Comparison
Performance & Dynamics
Straight off, the view from the driver's seat is commanding, you get that proper SUV feel because the ride height of the Kiger is quite tall. Today, we are driving the 1.0-litre turbo petrol variant, with a 5-speed gearbox. There is a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated engine on offer as well but that is for a different day. The engine is a 3-pot motor hence it is not the most refined unit out there but it is not bothersome either.
There is a slight hint of turbo lag at lower speeds, but it should be alright as long as you are driving in the city. The more glaring bit is the lack of grunt at the top end. Overtaking manoeuvres on the highway will need some planning. The five-speed gearbox is slick and a little notchy, which is a good thing. There is a bit of noise that seeps into the cabin.
|Specifications||Renault Kiger 1.0 NA||Renault Kiger 1.0 Turbo|
|Displacement||999 cc||999 cc|
|Max Output||71 bhp at 6,250 rpm||98 bhp at 5,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||96 Nm at 3,500 rpm||160 Nm at 3,200 rpm|
|Transmission||5-Speed manual /5-speed AMT||5-speed Manual/CVT|
The Kiger has nicely tuned suspension and that is something it has in common with other Renault cars too. It soaks up bumps, potholes, undulations nicely too. The steering though feels a little dead and coud have offered better feedback. It is an electronic steering. But Renault also offers a Sport mode, which firms up the steering and the throttle response becomes sensitive. Apart from the sport mode, you also have a Normal and an Eco mode, which alter the steering sensitivity and throttle response accordingly.
Pricing and Verdict
When Renault said it is going to price aggressively, the company meant it! With a starting price of ₹ 5.45 lakh and the top-spec model priced well below ₹ 10 lakh, the Kiger gets its pricing spot on! With starting prices considered, it is the most affordable subcompact SUV in the segment. In fact, the top spec turbo models of the Kia Sonet and Hyundai Venue are more than ₹ 2 lakh expensive than the top variants of the Kiger.
|Renault Kiger Prices||RXE||RXL||RXT||RXZ|
|Energy MT||₹ 5.45 lakh||₹ 6.14 lakh||₹ 6.60 lakh||₹ 7.55 lakh|
|Easy-R AMT||₹ 6.59 lakh||₹ 7.05 lakh||₹ 8.00 lakh|
|Turbo MT||₹ 7.14 lakh||₹ 7.60 lakh||₹ 8.55 lakh|
|X-Tronic CVT||₹ 8.60 lakh||₹ 9.55 lakh|
I mean look at the overall package! The car looks handsome and rugged, it offers decent driving experience and packs in features which are adequate enough! The value for money proposition is quite high with the Kiger, thanks to the excellent pricing and enough trim options to choose from. The subcompact SUV space is crowded no doubt, but the Kiger has what it takes to jostle around and make some space for itself!
Photography: Pawan Dagia