After an antagonizing wait, Renault has finally unveiled the production-ready version of the all-new Kiger subcompact (crossover) SUV. The cousin of the increasingly popular Nissan Magnite, the Renault Kiger is pretty much the same car under the skin. Where the Magnite’s front-end design is more akin to a Datsun than a Nissan, the Kiger is undeniably a Renault through & through. By the looks of it, it also seems like Renault has made good on its promise of keeping the production-ready Kiger’s design as close as possible to that of its fancy concept prototype. According to the French automaker, the production model shares nearly 80 percent of its overall design with its prototype avatar.
Commenting on Renault Kiger and the importance of the India market, Venkatram Mamillapalle, Country CEO & Managing Director, Renault India Operations, shared,
“Today, we take another major step in India with the global reveal of Renault Kiger, our all-new B-SUV which will stand out as an excitingly sporty, super smart and attractively stunning offering. Following Duster, which made SUVs accessible to a large set of people, not just in India but across the world, Renault Kiger will once again make SUV aspirations accessible to a whole new set of customers and we look forward to building on our increasing customer base with this new game-changer.”
Just like its Nissan counterpart, one of the main attractions for buyers of the Renault Kiger will be its styling. Where the Magnite’s front fascia appears taller and more conventional, the Kiger’s looks wider and more contemporary. This is because Renault has chosen to go with a split design for the front lights, with the LED DRLs sitting above the triple-beam LED headlights which are placed in the bumper.
The hood of the Kiger is different too, while the twin-slatted grille wears a large Renault logo. Compared to the Magnite, the Kiger’s front bumper is more sculpted and houses the headlights and a segmented lower apron.
Along the sides, the Kiger sports 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, prominent roof rails, and faux vents on the front fenders. Similarities between the Kiger and the Magnite include the wing mirrors and the plastic cladding around the wheel arches. However, much of the sheet metal appears to be different on the Kiger, especially the base of the doors and around the C-pillar area.
The Kiger and Magnite feature identical wheelbase of 2,500mm, but the Renault measures 3,991mm in length and 1,750mm in width. The latter figures make it slightly shorter and narrower than the Magnite. But the Kiger stands taller at 1,600mm compared to the Magnite’s 1,572mm, mostly thanks to its larger roof rails. As for the Kiger’s maximum ground clearance, that figure reads 205mm.
The rear of the Renault Kiger is pretty distinctive. It sports neatly carved surface (especially on the tailgate) and stylish C-shaped LED taillights. Adding to the sporty appeal here is the Kiger’s split roof spoiler and a deep bumper with some fake skid plate effect. The latter looks a bit tacky, if you ask me.
As for its boot capacity, the Kiger can carry 405 liters worth of stuff with its rear seats in place. For comparison, the Nissan Magnite’s boot capacity is only 336 liters, though the two cars are identical under the skin. On the whole, the Renault Kiger boasts its own styling cues and doesn’t look like a half-baked product.
Renault has also ensured that the interior of the Kiger doesn’t bear much semblance to the Magnite. Of course, there are a few shared parts, including the steering wheel, rearview mirror, HVAC dials, and the infotainment touchscreen. Having said that, the leather on the Kiger’s steering wheel looks nicer than in the Magnite. The most apparent visual differences come in the form of a different dashboard, center console, climate vents and center pedestal design.
Moreover, Renault has also changed the design of the doors, digital driver’s display, gear lever, and the front armrest. Whatever the tweaks might be, they have been worth it from a design and layout perspective. I might be wrong, but the Renault Kiger’s interior looks perceivably nicer and more upmarket than the Magnite’s.
Mechanically, the new Renault Kiger shares almost every part with the Nissan Magnite – mainly the stuff with the pistons. This means that the engine on-duty is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol unit that is available in two states of tune. The lower-output naturally-aspirated mill produces 71hp and 96Nm, whilst the turbocharged motor musters up 98hp and 160Nm.
Renault will offer the Kiger with the option of a 5-speed manual, CVT, and a 5-speed AMT gearbox. Do note, however, that the CVT will only be available with the more powerful engine. As for its actual launch in India, the Renault Kiger should appear in showrooms sometime in the middle of 2021. And chances are, the new Kiger might just undercut the Magnite in terms of its starting price.