The micro-SUV war is brewing as we speak with the Maruti Suzuki S-Presso and the Renault Kwid facelift slated to be launched soon. The S-Presso will be Maruti’s smallest off-road styled hatchback in the segment and is aimed squarely at Renault’s contended – The Kwid. While most of the features and specs seem evenly matched in more ways than one, we try and find out, from what we know so far, which one has the upper hand over the other. Maruti will be launching the S-Presso on September 30, while Renault will announce the launch of the updated Kwid in October and will be confirming the official date very soon. Prior to the launch of both cars, Maruti and Renault have been teasing with images and hinting about their products to create a buzz around them. This has allowed us to find out some key features and aspects both models will be offering.
For engine options, the S-Presso will be offered with the K10B motor that does duty in the Alto K10, albeit in BS6 spec. The 998cc, three-cylinder engine in the Alto produces around 68bhp and 90Nm of torque and in BS6 spec in the S-Presso, the performance figures would only be effected marginally. Maruti will be offering the S-Presso with a 5-speed manual or a semi-automatic AMT gearbox options.
In the Kwid, the 999cc, 3-cylinder motor will continue to be offered, however, whether Renault will upgrade the engine to BS6 standards is not confirmed as yet. The engine in the kwid offers nearly identical performance with 67bhp and 91Nm of torque. Similarly, Renault will also offer a 5-speed manual transmission and the option of an AMT auto. However, due to the gear-dial design of the gear selector in the Kwid, the Kwid would not allow manual control of gear shifts as it would in the S-Presso. However, the Kwid will also come with an 800cc engine offering which will keep the entry-level price of the model down.
Again, in the field of features, the Kwid and the S-Presso are likely to be very evenly matched. For starters, both the Kwid and the S-Presso will feature a touchscreen infotainment system enabled with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, power windows for the front seats, digital speedometres, and both cars have dual front airbags on offer. Maruti has officially revealed the styling of the interior of the S-Presso, we know that it will feature the similarly designed multi-function steering wheel from the WagonR, however, unlike the Kwid, the speedometer and driver instrument cluster on the S-Presso will be mounted centrally, instead of being right in front of the driver.
The Interior of the Kwid although has not been officially revealed, it will offer a tweaked layout from the model currently on sale. However, the main central dash has been designed to accommodate the new larger touchscreen. Hence, the gear-selector dial for the automatic variant has been repositioned to the traditional gear-lever position on the centre console between the front seats. The Kwid, however, will not get a multi-function steering wheel, but the voice command button for the infotainment system is positioned on the right side of the screen.
The Kwid is currently priced from Rs 4.2 lakh for the standard 1.0-litre model while the Kwid Climber AMT top of the line variant is priced at Rs 4.7 lakh. Maruti is expected to undercut the Kwid with a starting price of around Rs 3.5 lakh with the top of the line model being priced at Rs 4.8 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi.
While the S-Presso will be an all-new car firm the ground up, the Kwid seems like an established brand being in production since 2015. However, Maruti’s reputation for small frugal cars is unmatched. In this segment, it all depends on how Maruti prices the S-Presso in India which will be announced on September 30, Monday. So stay tuned to Express Drives for more on the S-Presso and the Kwid.