Calling the subcompact SUV segment in India a hive of activity would be a massive understatement. Since the day the likes of the Ford EcoSport arrived, this part of the market was always going to be the Goldilocks zone. Manufacturers have realized that there are a lot of people searching for their next car in this space, thus, a lot of money to be made. Then again, can you blame them? It is all demand vs. supply. French automaker Renault entered the battle zone in February 2021 with its all-new Kiger subcompact SUV. The arch-nemesis of the Nissan Magnite, the Kiger has become a mega-hit amongst buyers in the country.
Such a big hit, in fact, that over 1,100 units of the Kiger were dispatched on the very first day! Since its debut, Renault has already sold 3,226 units of the Kiger in India in just a few short weeks. With a sales figure like that, the Renault Kiger became the fifth best-selling car in its segment. In comparison, the extremely popular Nissan Magnite only managed to nail the number eight spot on the sales list for February 2021. While that is still quite impressive on its own, Kiger’s sales figures are in a league of their own. Launched with an introductory starting price of Rs 5.45 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), this isn’t a car many are going to ignore.
Available in RXE, RXL, RXT, and RXZ trims, there is a Renault Kiger for almost every type of buyer. Depending on your preference, there are two engine choices offered with the Kiger. There is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder that utilizes natural aspiration, resulting in an output of 71hp and 96Nm of torque. Meanwhile, there is the same engine but with the added benefit of a turbocharger. This takes the power figures up to 98hp and 160Nm. Both engines drink petrol and are mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox as standard. Other transmission options on the Renault Kiger include a 5-speed AMT and a CVT. However, do note that the CVT gearbox is only available on the higher Turbo RXT and RXZ variants.
As for its dimensions, the Kiger is almost the same size as the Nissan Magnite that it is based on. Its overall length measures 3,991mm, while width and height come out to 1,750mm and 1,605mm, respectively. Given these figures, the Magnite is slightly longer and wider by a few millimeters, though the Kiger is a bit taller. However, both cars share the same 2,500mm wheelbase. On the other hand, the Renault’s boot is larger than the Nissan’s, measuring 405 liters instead of the latter’s 336 liters. The design is also distinctly different between the two cars; with the Kiger’s exterior styling incorporating an all-new face with bumper-mounted tri-beam LED headlamps, a completely different rear, and bolder 16-inch alloy wheels.
The interior of the Renault Kiger, while it shares some commonalities with the Magnite, is noticeably different. On the features front, the Kiger scores an 8-inch touch-infotainment system with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, a digital driver’s display, ambient lighting, automatic climate control, wireless charging, and cruise control. Meanwhile, the Kiger’s safety suite includes ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, dual front airbags, ISOFIX anchor points, and rear parking sensors. In a nutshell, the Renault Kiger’s success doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. What remains to be seen now is how rivals respond to the challenge thrown at them.