While Maruti Suzuki is calling S-Presso a ‘mini SUV’ we rather see it as a mini hatchback, that’s got a taller stature than the company’s hot-seller, Alto. So, how does it compare with the new Kwid from Renault? We decided to find out.
How Are They Priced?
Maruti Suzuki has launched the S-Presso at a starting price of Rs 3.61 lakh going up to Rs 4.91 lakh across six variants. It competes with cars like the Renault Kwid, Datsun Redigo, and its own sibling the Maruti Alto K10.
On the other hand, prices for the 2019 Renault Kwid start at Rs 2.83 lakh ex-showroom, undercutting its newly launched rival, the S-Presso, by about Rs 85,000. That’s not a fair comparison though because the Kwid 1-litre variant has prices that are comparable and just barely cheaper than the S-Presso.
Make no mistake, the S-Presso is a small car with a tall-boy design. Sure, it has SUV-inspired styling when you look at it especially from the front, looking like a mini Vitara Brezza. The platform had to be modified for India to raise the ground clearance (about 180 mm) to give it that SUV stance. And when you view it from the side, it looks like an Alto that's running on stilts.
Renault has redesigned the entire front-end of the Kwid, making it look even more like an SUV. It follows the trend of buyers looking to buy SUVs over cars these days, not that either of these are true SUVs.
The headlamps have been moved to the bumper, while daytime running lamps above it give it the latest SUV trend – like the Tata Harrier, MG Hector and Kia Seltos.
Purely from the looks, we’d prefer to go with Renault’s style for the new Kwid.
Power Under the Hood
The new Kwid comes with two engine options like before. An 800cc unit that puts out 54 PS of power and 72 Nm of torque and a 1-litre unit that puts out 68 PS of power and 91 Nm of torque. Both come with five-speed manual transmissions, while the latter also has two variants with AMT (Easy-R as Renault calls it).
The Maruti Suzuki S-Presso will be sold under the Maruti Arena network of dealerships. It comes with a 1-litre, BS-6 compliant, three-cylinder petrol engine that puts out 68 PS of power and 90 Nm of torque, with a choice of either a five-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed AMT (automated manual transmission).
Both these cars are neck and neck with respect to the power delivery, so eventually it all boils down to how much ground clearance and boot space you’d want in a car.
Renault has updated the safety kit in the Kwid with dual airbags, ABS, speed alerts, seat belt warning and parking sensors as standard. In addition, the top variants also get a reverse camera and the AMT variants have an anti-rollback function.
The RXT variants get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. However, it does not have steering audio controls unlike the Maruti S-Presso.
With the S-Presso you'll notice that it has a unique dashboard. The centre console houses the infotainment system and the instrument panel, sort of like the Mini Cooper. It features steering-mounted audio controls, Android Auto and Apple Car Play in the top-spec VXi+ variants.
There are enough cubby holes for storage as well. It comes with front power windows and manual air-conditioning. Mirrors are manually adjustable only. It comes with driver's airbag (dual airbags on VXi variant), ABS, parking sensors, speed warning, seat belt warning for driver and passenger as standard fitment on the safety front.
Which One is Better?
If you’re in the market for a small car right now, these two options should be high on your list. However, when it comes to picking between the Kwid and the S-Presso, there are quite a lot of parameters that come into play.
We’ve already listed down the technical stuff that’s on offer with both the cars, but for Indian car users, it’s also important to note down the money being spent on services, spare parts (when required) and the reach of the company’s support across the country. This is probably where Maruti Suzuki has the upper hand over Renault.
But if you look at these cars from design point of view, it would be easy to give away the laurels to Kwid. As for the S-Presso, it’ll be interesting to see how it battles in the segment with Maruti’s other products like the Wagon R as well as the Alto K10 series.