Renault Kiger review – Renault’s all-new compact SUV
The Kiger has been one of the most talked about compact SUVs, until its very recent launch. It is made on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-A+ platform that underpins the Triber and Nissan’s Magnite. The Kiger made its debut in India, in its pre-production form only recently – and from what we can see, not much has changed. Let’s take this baby SUV for a spin to see what it has to offer.
Compared to all the other compact SUVs on sale, it’s Renault Kiger that is the narrowest. Let’s not write it off immediately though. Up-front, it gets a grille that sports chrome, and the sculpted bonnet gives it a good stance. The split-headlight design, along with LED DRLs and turn indicators positioned above, make for a nice combination. On top-of-the-line variants, Renault Cars have fitted the Kiger with all-LED lights, housed in separate projector units. The front bumper has black plastic on it, giving it a good contrast. To an extent, we think it’s a larger Kwid. The Kiger is, by no means, boxy – thanks in part to its raked rear windscreen, the slanting roofline towards the rear along with that neatly sculpted spoiler, giving a crossover look. At the rear, you will see C-shaped LED tail lights with traces of gloss black inserts. The tail gate too, has a muscular definition and the nicely rounded rear bumper only adds to the appeal. There is also a faux skid plate at the back, body cladding all around and roof rails as well. Thank fully, the 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels fill up the wheel arches well. And the 205mm of ground clearance is excellent. You can have your Kiger in any one of the six colours available, with a contrast roof as well.
Inside the Kiger
There’s a nice, neat dashboard, identical to what we’ve seen on the Triber. It gets a new 8-inch touchscreen that is smooth to operate; it even gets wireless integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Renault Kiger also comes with a 7-inch digital instrument cluster that displays nice graphics, based on the mode you are in. Soft-touch materials are absent, but for the price you pay, the quality, fit and finish are good. You will also find chrome detailing on the gear lever and a piano black finish for the central console. In the front, you are seated comfortably, with a good view from the driver’s seat. The seats provide good support and are well bolstered too. Space at the back leaves no room for nitpicking and the foldable armrest is placed correctly. Storage spaces are aplenty too; the twin gloveboxes are an example. At 405-litres, it has the biggest boot in its class.
In terms of features, the Kiger comes with ambient lighting, power folding mirrors, automatic climate control, an Arkamys 3D sound system, an external air purifier, a wireless charger, rear-view camera and parking sensors, ABS with EBD and 4 airbags.
The 1-litre pair
Renault Cars are offering the Kiger with two petrol engine options: a 1.0-litre, naturally-aspirated unit, developing 71bhp and 96Nm of torque, paired either to a 5-speed manual or an AMT ‘box, and a 1.0-litre, turbo unit, producing 98bhp and 160Nm of torque if mated to a 5-speed manual, and 152Nm of torque, when paired to a CVT auto ‘box. No diesel engine will be offered, and Renault Cars believe that a majority of buyers will opt for the automatic variants. Start up the Kiger, and the engine settles into a quiet idle. However, some vibrations can be felt in the cabin, particularly on the gear lever. Get going, and that’s when the engine smoothens out while it also picks up pace well. The boost kicks in at around 1700rpm but there’s no sudden surge in power, like what you find on most turbo engines. You can push the Kiger all the way to 5000rpm, soon after which, it starts running out of breath. We wouldn’t recommend revving it too much, because the three-cylinder motor gets loud. It responds to throttle inputs quite nicely. The 5-speed manual ‘box shifts precisely and the clutch is light.
The Kiger comes with three driving modes: Normal, Eco and Sports, all of which are controlled through a rotary dial on the central console; these modes adjust the throttle response and steering. In Sport mode, the Kiger feels more responsive, while Normal mode is best for efficient driving. Also, read the latest car comparisons, only at autoX.