For $5,000, This Renault is a Bargain the U.S. Simply Won’t Get
The oceanic span from North America to Europe could be paved in unique cars that the US market never received. Hot Fords, zesty Hondas, and the like. Most of the time it just isn’t a problem, but for the budget conscious, this new Renault Kwid crossover is one forbidden fruit that might leave you longing. Why? Because of its low-low price. Renault designed the Kwid for the intensely competitive Indian entry-level market. As a result, the automaker mandated the car come packed with convenience features and capability, while maintaining a price of between three to four lakhs. Converted to US dollars, that equates to around $4,700 to $6,200. RELATED: See More Photos of the 2015 Renault Kwid
In this market, that would handily give the Kwid the title of ‘America’s most inexpensive car’. And for that price you receive very agreeable SUV styling, an incredibly well designed interior, seven-inch media and navigation touchscreen, ample seating for five, and room for their luggage. There’s certainly a lot to love here, and though basic, the Kwid’s styling is served in a remarkably concise and aesthetically pleasing way.
However, the Kwid won’t be coming to the US. It’s billed as a global car for emerging markets, and with India covered, its future expansion points will likely include Brazil, Russia and China, among others. Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn recently confirmed that the Kwid hits its low price point due to high levels of component localization. A 97 percent localization rate in fact, which means when it does go abroad, it will be built in-country... or else the business case falls through.
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Feel that you need one? You can take solace in one vehicle spec that likely wouldn’t go over well in the US – its engine. Despite its pumped-up SUV looks, the Kwid is pegged to draw power from a tiny 0.8-liter gas engine as standard, mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. That amount of oomph wouldn’t fare too well on speedy US highways, but should prove a competitive mix in India’s city streets.
It won't find a home in the US, or in Europe for that matter. But if it did, would you buy one?
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