Renault Kiger CVT Review: Well Shaped Package For Fun and Practicality

Renault Kiger CVT Review: Well Shaped Package For Fun and Practicality

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I feel like our entire life is a grand chase to find the sweet spot. The sweet spot between personal and professional life. The sweet spot between good food and junk food and so on and so forth. But if we are talking about the Indian car market, I think no other segment actually exemplifies the sweet spot like the compact SUV segment. The sweet spot between India’s love for SUVs and its affinity towards affordability. And in a segment that has seen such intense competition, Renault decided to open its account with this. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Renault Kiger and today we’ll be looking at what the car is all about and whether it makes sense for you to get one home.

Design

To my eyes, the Kiger scores handsomely in the design department. Now, many have said that this one looks like just a beefed-up Kwid and the only question I can ask is how is that a bad thing? Because you see, the Kwid is a perfectly nice looking car and putting those looks on the Kiger is not a bad idea at all. It gets similar-looking DRLs and the front and I personally like the premium touches like the three-pod LED headlights which give it a premium appeal.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

At the sides, the Kiger gets a sloping roofline lending it that out of the normal sporty stance, that’s otherwise uncommon for an SUV. The lines are clean and nothing seems like it’s trying hard to impress you.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

But the back is where I think the car looks the best. It gets a butch stance at the rear with a muscular tail. There are ample elements to support its sportiness as well like the split spoilers and the edgy C-shaped LED taillights. Also the reverse parking camera is embedded within the Renault logo, which is a nice touch for sure.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Interiors

Now we have established that the Kiger looks quite impressive on the outside, but the story inside is a bit different and you are left wanting for a little more. Don’t get me wrong, the fit and finish of materials is laudable. But the car has scratchy hard plastics almost everywhere. Ask me and I would like some colours here and there.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Elements like the AC controls have been borrowed from the Triber and it looks neat and good to the touch. We especially loved the flat-bottom steering wheel that feels good to the touch as well. In terms of technology, the car gets an 8-inch floating touchscreen infotainment system that comes with android auto and apple carplay. The digital instrument cluster works like a charm and reads out the car information rather nicely.

But if you actually look at it, there are a few misses as well. For instance, there is no option of a sunroof here and features like the wireless charging pad are available with an accessory pack. Also, there is no TPMS, Cruise Control or even ventilated seats.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

The Kiger also scores especially well in terms of practicality. You get a cubby hole and an extra compartment in the middle. You get a split glove box at the front and one-litre bottle pockets at each of the four doors.

The seats are a bit firm for my taste but it’s something that won’t tire you or make you uncomfortable during long drives. The driving position is quite commanding and you get a pretty good sense of control over the car as well.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

At the back, the seats have enough thigh support, there is ample legroom and considering that it has a sloping roofline, Renault has done a pretty good job in conserving the headroom as well. Now, for reference, I am 5’7” and while I have enough space, I feel taller passengers will want a bigger window for better visibility.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Practicality and Comfort

Now, while the boot lid looks beautiful, the boot space is quite useful as well. The Kiger houses a segment-leading 405 litre of boot space that can carry a little over a weekend trips’ worth of luggage. But what you must notice is that the boot lip is quite high which means you have to work a little to get the luggage into the car.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Not just that, the second row of seats can be folded which means helping your friend move to a new house might not take a lot of trips.

Performance

Now the CVT variant that we drove had the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that puts out a 100hp and 152Nm of torque. Now it should be addressed that with the CVT option, the car outputs 8Nm less torque than the manual version, but the power kicks in earlier in the rpm range and is spread evenly throughout. Now, I have driven the manual and the AMT version before and it really feels like the inconsistency in power delivery that I spotted before has been ironed out on this one with the CVT. The CVT in my opinion is actually the perfect transmission if you’re talking about city commute friendly SUVs.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Also, the car gets three riding modes that are Eco, Normal and Sport that can be toggled with the help of a rotary knob near the gear lever. As the name suggests, Eco Mode is aimed at returning more kilometres to the litre, where the engine becomes a bit lazy and the steering is light as well. The Sport, on the other end of the spectrum, brings in a sense of urgency and alertness, the gear shifts are late and there is a bit of weight that’s added to the steering wheel. And so the normal seemed like the perfect choice finding a perfect balance for city driving.

2021 Renault Kiger. (Image: Anirudh Sunil Kumar/News18.com)

Now Renault has done a commendable job with the suspension. The setup feels plush in the city while managing to retain the confidence-inspiring stability while attacking corners spiritedly. We were actually impressed with how minimal the body roll of the car is. The suspension while being plush and being able to absorb most undulation can be heard being worked inside the cabin.

Verdict

I’m just going to say it, the Renault Kiger is actually a damn good car. But what really seals the deal is its price tag which starts at Rs 5.64 lakh (ex-showroom). For the money that you will be paying, the Kiger actually shows its worth for every penny. Hence, got a compact SUV in mind? Add this one to the list no doubt.

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