If you’re in the market for a small hatchback, chances are you’d be already aware of both the Renault Kwid and Maruti Suzuki S-Presso. After all, both these cars are one of the best-selling ones in the market. After the Alto 800, it’s the S-Presso that comes across as the most affordable hatchback – or a mini-SUV, as Maruti Suzuki likes to call it – in the homegrown carmaker’s product portfolio.
Only last year, we were given the exclusive opportunity to drive the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso at the Buddh International Circuit. Our first impression on the homegrown carmaker’s all-new ‘mini-SUV’ were quite mixed. For a car that looks simply awful, the S-Presso was actually quite enjoyable when pushed around the BIC.
Having discontinued the Alto K10, the S-Presso is the only alternative to the Renault Kwid in the homegrown carmaker’s line-up. This is also down to the fact that with its upright nose, tall stance, and SUV-Esque look, the S-Presso squarely aims at the Renault Kwid. After all, the Kwid, with its SUV-esque looks, won the hearts of thousands of Indians ever since it made it to the Indian market.
Stepping into the SUV craze, both the manufacturers now have a small so-called mini SUV in their line-up. Surprisingly, as soon as the S-Presso was launched in the Indian market, Renault also updated the Kwid giving it a mid-cycle facelift. Therefore, both these models are fairly new for the Indian market. Let’s see which one’s the better deal.
Starting with the design, the updated Kwid now looks much better and more SUV-like than its predecessor. The split-headlamp design with LED DRLs on the top and side indicators hidden beneath and the main headlamp unit placed lower down is a first for this segment. And so are the LED inserts in the taillamps.
The S-Presso, on the other hand, looks quite awful with its disproportionate body matched with a high upright stance and a narrow track. In the design department, then, it’s the Kwid that wins the brownie points.
Both are quite similar when it comes to the equipment as well. While touchscreens with Apple Carplay/Android Auto support and necessary features like central locking is common to both, the Kwid gets a rear centre armrest and a reverse parking camera over the S-Presso, while the small Maruti makes a comeback with steering-mounted audio controls and internally adjustable wing mirrors. The S-Presso also impresses with its cabin space, as it feels quite roomy and almost a segment above the Kwid in terms of space.
As for the engines onboard, the comes with two petrol engines, the entry-level 799cc three-cylinder engine is good for 53bhp and 72Nm of torque. Then there’s the punchier 999cc engine, which churns out 67bhp and 91Nm of torque. Both the engines are BS-VI compliant.
The S-Presso, however, comes with just a single engine option, which is the company’s K10B motor, 998cc in displacement and good for 67bhp and 90Nm of torque. On driving these cars back to back, it’s evident that the S-Presso is a better performer since Maruti Suzuki’s K10B unit is a gem of an engine. Ride quality on both the cars is quite good, but both disappoint on the handling front.
Since the Renault Kwid comes with two engine options, it is also the more affordable of the two. However, we recommend picking up the 1.0 Kwid – if budget is not a constraint –over the smaller one. The higher-spec versions of the Kwid, then, are in the same ballpark as the S-Presso.
If you can get over its funky design, the S-Presso is a very good car indeed. It’s space, loaded, and has a better engine. The Kwid, however, covers a lot of fronts. It is the better looking of the two, and it has all the necessary equipment. For more like this, be sure to tune in to autoX.