Renault arrived late to the sub-4 metre SUV party, but it came prepared. With the Kiger, launched earlier this year, it has been able to create a sweet spot for itself in the ultra-competitive sub-4 metre SUV segment (along with Nissan Magnite, with which the Kiger shares the platform).
We now drive the top-end Kiger Turbo Xtronic CVT RXZ, priced Rs 10,09,030 (ex-showroom), to see how value-for-money this rather pricey variant is, and how convenient it is to drive.
Muscular lines on the body, roof rails, high ground clearance (205mm), wheel arch cladding and spoiler give this variant a more SUV look compared to entry-level models that are priced almost half (which look more like a hatchback). At the same time, somewhere it does look a bit over the top.
The cabin has plenty of ‘functional’ storage spaces, the dashboard has a distinctive design, and it also appears to be the most spacious SUV in its segment.
The 999cc turbocharged petrol engine (100PS; 152Nm) powering this variant is quite engaging to drive. It has three drive modes: Eco, Normal and Sport (the default mode is Normal).
As opposed to automatic gearboxes like AMT, the CVT is far smoother. The feel of acceleration in the Normal and Sport modes is great, but the real-world fuel efficiency I got in both these modes was around 15 km/litre during city driving. The steering feedback—mechanical signals that front tyres send to the steering wheel—is accurate and you feel most bumps and dips on the road through the steering wheel.
In the Eco mode, the Kiger feels quite low on power, and acceleration is slower. But in city driving conditions it returned me 20.4 km/litre, which is among the best in India for a petrol-engine car.
(Fuel efficiency figure as shown in the car’s trip computer)