Renault Kiger CVT: What is it?
Kiger is Renault’s first product in the compact SUV segment, and when it was launched earlier this year, it amazed all of us with its competitive price and eye-catching appearance. Kiger is based on the alliance’s CMF-A+ platform and is equipped with two 1.0-liter engines. A 72-horsepower naturally aspirated device and a 100-horsepower turbocharger. Although we do have the opportunity to try out turbo gasoline with a manual transmission on the media drive, until now we have not been able to drive the wheels of the Kiger CVT.
The front-end shape is reminiscent of Kwid; equipped with LED headlights.
Since we have reviewed Kiger in detail, the focus of this review will be mainly on the CVT transmission.You can read more about Kiger’s styling, interior, functions and driving dynamics here. But just to give you an overview, Kiger is not your typical boxy SUV. Renault has a slanted rear windshield and a tapered roofline, making it almost like an SUV coupe. From some perspectives, it does look like an enhanced Kwid, but in general, it is an attractive SUV.
Even for a six-foot-tall player, there is plenty of knee room and head room in the back row.
The instrument panel is simple in design and pays more attention to storage and practicality. There are plenty of pockets and compartments in the cabin. The quality of the material is acceptable in terms of price, but there are still some low-rent parts, such as roof lining, sun visors and internal rearview mirrors. The seat position is high, and the seat is very comfortable and supportive. With plenty of knee and head room at the rear, Kiger has first-class 405-liter boots.
The 8-inch touch screen gets wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration.
In terms of equipment, the top Kiger RXZ is equipped with an Armyys 3D sound system, an 8.0-inch touch screen with wireless integration of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch digital instrument panel, automatic climate control with PM 2.5 filter, ambient lighting, driving mode and cooling Glove box. Safety features include four airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat bracket, rear view camera and parking sensor.
Renault Kiger CVT: How does it feel to drive?
The Kiger CVT is only suitable for a 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo gasoline engine that can output 100 horsepower and 152 Nm of torque. Paired with a CVT box, the torque produced by the turbo gasoline engine is 8Nm less than the manual (160Nm). However, compared with manual, the peak torque of CVT is earlier and the power range is wider. From behind the wheel, you will not be able to tell the difference in traction.
The 100-horsepower, 1.0-liter turbo gasoline engine is very powerful.
The engine jointly developed by Renault and Nissan is relatively quiet at idling speed, but you can feel some vibration from the three-cylinder engine in the cabin. However, once you set off, the engine will feel much smoother. The booster comes in at about 1,700 rpm, but it does not have any significant delivery peaks, like some other turbocharged engines. It pulls strongly at about 5,500 rpm, and then gradually becomes thinner at the last 1,000 rpm, which sounds quite loud and rough.
Although this engine always feels responsive when paired with a manual transmission, it feels better to use a CVT automatic transmission. Kiger CVT felt quite lively when it went offline and speeded up with confidence. It is also pleasing that the flat point in the engine’s power transmission is well masked by the CVT’s shift pattern. Its power transmission feels smooth, linear and consistent, and it responds well to some throttle inputs, making it very suitable for urban conditions.
CVT’box does not have a sports mode, but has a low mode.
Although there is no manual mode or simulated “step” to shift gears like other CVTs, the Kiger CVT does have an L or low mode that focuses on providing maximum torque and aims to better uphill or downhill. As in the manual, CVT also has three drive modes-normal, economy and sports, which will change the throttle response and change the steering to some extent. Kiger CVT definitely feels the most sensitive and energetic in sports mode. It keeps the engine at a higher speed than usual for quick response. Even if you drive at full force, the CVT has almost no rubber band effect (the speed increases without a corresponding increase in speed). However, the sport mode can sometimes become too aggressive, and sometimes you need to carefully adjust the throttle input.
On the other hand, the ecological model feels more strict. Part of the throttle response is significantly weakened, and you need to step on the throttle harder to start. Interestingly, when you put your feet flat on the floor, these modes are covered, and the engine behaves similarly between them; our performance tests also confirmed this.
Kiger’s riding and handling balance is impressive.
Kiger’s ride and handling also left a deep impression. The riding of this compact SUV is potentially robust, but it is not harsh and handles bad roads relatively easily. The same is true on the highway, Kiger’s body movements are well controlled, and cruising at a speed close to three digits feels very comfortable. Renault also feels good around corners due to its good body control and the grip it provides. However, what is not so good is the improvement of the cabin. When driving at high speed, it will filter out a lot of road, tire and wind noise, and sometimes you can even hear the sound of the suspension at work.
Kiger’s steering is very light and requires very little effort when operating at low speeds. It is easy to operate, so it feels like at home in the city. Coupled with the convenience of a seamless CVT gearbox, Kiger is an ideal urban SUV.
Renault Kiger CVT: Should I buy one?
This top RxZ decorated Renault Kiger CVT is priced at 999,000 rupees (ex-showroom, Mumbai). With this money, you will get a compact SUV that is exquisite in appearance, comfortable to drive, spacious and comfortable and fully functional. In addition, the CVT gearbox is not only more convenient, but also better to drive than manual, and it has little effect on fuel efficiency. The turbocharged, gasoline manual Kiger is rated at 20kpl (ARAI), while the CVT is rated at 18.24kpl (ARAI).
Kiger CVT proved that its price is reasonable over the premium of its manual counterpart.
Therefore, even under the guise of CVT, Kiger is still a value-for-money product and has managed to weaken almost all its competitors. In doing so, it also provides a CVT automatic transmission that is more complex than some of its more expensive competitors’ AMT automatic transmissions. In short, the Kiger equipped with a CVT gearbox is definitely worth spending more money than the manual because it just makes it feel like a more rounded package.