Talk about entry level cars and two names immediately gain a mention – Renault Kwid and Maruti Suzuki Alto. Maruti had been literally ruling the entry-level segment for years until Renault introduced the Kwid hatchback. The Alto K10 variant which until now had an upper hand with the AMT option, now stands a chance to lose considerable share to the newly launched Kwid AMT from Renault.
Both the cars are powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine and are available as top-spec variants. The Alto K10 AMT comes with a five-speed AMT gearbox which produces about 66bhp of power and 90Nm of torque, while the Kwid AMT generates about 64bhp of power and 91Nm of torque. In terms of fuel efficiency figures, both the vehicles return almost identical figures, with ARAI figures for Kwid claiming 24.04kmpl and 24.07kmpl for the Alto K10. Interestingly, the Kwid scores some brownie points with segment first Shift Control AMT Dial (Reverse-Neutral-Drive modes), while the Alto features a traditional gearstick.
As far as design is concerned, the Kwid definitely scores higher with an SUV-like stance. The Alto K10 AMT has also come out of its conventional shell and now comes forth with a modern approach with large profile headlamps with chrome detailing, while the grille gets slimmer and longer with one horizontal chrome slat. The rear also comes with a bigger tail lamp as compared to the older generation. The Kwid on the other hand comes with a bold, structured grille, and sharp C-shaped slim headlamps. The bumpers come with a black cladding that adds to its robust and rugged appeal.
For the interior, the Alto K10 has a dual tone interior and a new instrument cluster which makes it all the more engaging. The Kwid offers a slightly sportier feel with black, red and grey fabric theme upholstery. The latter also offers 7-inch touch-screen media-nav system which offers Bluetooth connectivity, satellite navigation and iPhone and iPod connectivity. Moreover, the instrument cluster with an onboard digital trip computer reads out gear shift details, distance to empty and more. In comparison to the Alto K10, Kwid offers ample interior space and class-leading 300-litres of boot space which can be extended to 1115-litres.
As far as pricing is concerned the Alto K10 AMT starts at Rs 4.05 lakh while the Kwid AMT is priced at Rs 4.25 lakh (Both prices, ex-showroom Delhi). In terms of performance, the Alto K10 with a lighter body does feel a little quicker in comparison to the Kwid. But then, the Kwid comes forth as a better pick between the two as the hatchback not just offers a modern design, but also comes with a set of interesting features that makes it a complete value for money package.