The French car maker Renault has had a mixed journey here in India so far. The car maker tasted good amount of success with the KWID, Duster and the Triber then they got the B-SUV the KIGER for the Indian markets which was a big hit. The KIGER shares a lot of its underpinnings with its cousin the Nissan Magnite which too has been very well received in the markets due to what it is offering at the low price factor. Now Renault has sold 50,000 units of the Kiger and to commemorate this the car maker has updated the model with subtle changes. We tell you all about it as we drive the MY22 Renault Kiger on some enchanting Kochi roads to get you this review.
Food for Thought
The Kiger is built on the Renault-Nissan CMF-A+ platform which it shares with the Nissan Magnite and the Renault Triber. Common Module Family (CMF) is a modular architecture concept jointly developed by car manufacturers Nissan and Renault through their Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance partnership. The Kiger, Magnite and the Triber are all built at the Renault Nissan plant in Chennai.
The Renault Kiger has always been a smart looking Subcompact SUV. The basic styling remains the same. You instantly notice the muscular and beefed up stance that it has. It stands at 3991mm in length, 1750mm in width, 1605mm in height with a wheelbase of 2500mm and a overall ground clearance of 205mm. First thing that you will think of seeing the face of the Kiger is its younger brother the KWID that it has a striking resemblance with. The overall front styling is highlighted with the uniquely designed headlamps that are three cubically shaped white LED beams placed next to each other surrounded by loads of black inserts. The positioning of these headlamps is in the middle of the sharp lined bumper while the LED DRLs that also doubles up as turn lights are placed above just on the lip of the bonnet giving the face a rather different look. The grille gets a mix of black and chrome style elements with the diamond tip Renault logo shining bright in chrome placed in the centre. The face gets further SUV like prominence with the faux skid plate in black. The bonnet gets a very smart looking beefed up styling with the character lines that flex it up adding tons of muscular look to it.
The side profile gets the floating roofline theme with blacked-out top, glossy black and wing mirror housing. The fenders get unpainted fiber cladding in typical off-roader style. The fender also gets a moniker in glossy black and chrome that depicts the trim of the Kiger. The SUV drives on meaty 195/60 R16 spec tyres mounted on diamond cut dual tone alloys. Door handles are in glossy black color while the window frames are blacked out. The roof comes with a practical roof rail finished in silver and also gets a neat looking shark fin antenna. What is added on the MY22 model is the bold TURBO stickering on the Turbo engine model that we drove. Coming to the rear profile the Kiger looks very unique and grabs loads attention here just like the front end. The bootlid gets a large faux spoiler that’s stamped into the body panel along with a large spoiler in glossy black. The rear windshield is placed at a sharp angle giving the tail the notchback look. Tail lamps get LED glow and a unique ‘C’ styled design pattern neatly flushed into the bodyline. The rear bumper gets a large faux skid plate, unpainted section in the middle and a slim angular stop reflector all nicely put together. A chrome strip is now placed on the lip of the boot lid on the MY22 model as an addition.
Step inside and you are welcomed to the Kigers cabin with a dual tone setup here. The dash comes in all black finished with a neat textured silver insert that runs vertically along the AC vents. The dash also houses dual closable glovebox with good amount of storage in them. The centre dash gets an 8 inch touchscreen AVN unit which is similar to the one seen on the Nissan Magnite. You get all the connectivity options on this unit which is easy to use and fairly crisp to view. The unit gets Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth connectivity, radio etc. This screen doubles up as the reverse parking camera screen but what is missed here is live 360 degrees camera view that the Magnite gets. The climate control unit is the same rotary type system like that on the Magnite. Under this you get a cleverly designed Mobile holder which fits in a large sized handset. Below this is the wireless mobile charger that comes with its own cooling pad. Loads of storage space here. Behind this is the ambient ligt On/Off button and just behind that is the drive mode selector dial with Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes on it. Just next to this dial is the gear shifter finished in black with metal inserts and leather. There also is a storage bin here with a closable shutter door that looks and feels nice. The centre console also gets an arm rest with a huge storage space underneath it.
The instrument cluster is a 7 inch color tft screen that is customizable, key highlight here is the Kiger animation that drives through the screen during modes. This is a very crisp and clear looking display that also changes color when you toggle between the drive modes. The cluster housing also gets a dash of chrome insert to define it. The steering unit is a three spoke design unit with updated MFD buttons which now includes the cruise control buttons on it. Leather wrapping is only on the top section with manual adjust only for height.; The seats on the Kiger get fabric upholstery with unique patern padding and red hand stitch on its edges.
The driver’s seat getting manual adjust for height while adjustable headrests being standard with comfort level being largely good here. At the rear you get a foldable armrest with bottle holders and a mobile holder, two adjustable headrests and a charge socket for the rear passengers. Comfort at the rear is pretty good with a large door opening because of the missing rear tyre hump that usually intrudes. Speaking of seat comfort the seat offers good support and loads of leg room, knee room and shoulder room. The passenger seated in the middle also gets good leg space thanks to the flat floor area.
Speaking of the boot space the Kiger gets 405 liters of boot space with deep and wide loading area that can swallow 3 full sized suitcases and a few more small bags at a go.
Engine – Transmission – Drive
Engine options on the MY22 Renault Kiger remain the same with two engine option and three transmission options to pick. For starters you have the 1.0L 3 cylinder petrol engine with 72PS of power and 96Nm of torque transmission options on this include a 5-speed manual and a AMT automatic. The other engine on offer is the one that drove, 1.0L turbo Petrol engine with a 5-speed manual and a CVT automatic transmission. This engine makes 100PS of power and 160Nm of torque.
The engine feels highly refined for a 3 cylinder unit at idle. The overall drive quality is also pretty neat and very similar to that of the Magnite. Power delivery is pretty good and intense at all speeds with the turbo boosting up the overall intensity. The steering feels lively and well weighted assisting and enhancing the connect factor. The CVT transmission does a fine job though it is not the fastest in the business if you compare it to the faster DCT but then considering the price of the Kiger this surely is a very wise option. The difference between the Kiger and the Magnite being the drive modes that the latter misses out on. Toggle into sport mode on the Kiger and you can feel the change in the power delivery while you also have the normal and eco mode if you want to play it easy. Comfort levels at the rear seat is pretty good with the suspension ironing out the unwanted undulations and bumps to a large extent.
The Renault Kiger shares a lot of its underpinnings with the Nissan Magnite but it has its own character. In terms of looks the Kiger has that muscular aggressive blending on the outside. On the inside we loved the instrumentation, the AVN system, drive modes and overall practicality of the cabin area. The Kiger has already given Renault lot of good sales numbers here in India establishing itself as a strong player in the Sub Compact SUV class delivering everything and much more and with this subtle update it will further boost its sales and that too for a very tempting starting price tag of Rs. 5.99 Lakh only. Go live your KIGERLIFE….
Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Video – Subodh