Renault Kwid AMT Goes Almost Auto

There aren’t a lot of options if you’re in the market for an affordable automatic hatchback, a fact that Renault have noticed and done their bit to remedy with the addition of an ‘automatic’ Kwid.

Words by Stephen Smith

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I used quotation marks because the Kwid Dynamique AMT is actually what is known as an ‘automatic manual transmission’. With an AMT gearbox there is a clutch, but no clutch pedal – an electronic actuator depresses the clutch and a computer selects the gear.  Essentially it is automatic, in that the driver selects one of three drive modes (Reverse, Neutral or Drive) on a rotary dial and the transmission takes care of the rest.

In practice it is a satisfactory but unfamiliar sensation, with very distinct shifts between gears that takes a bit of getting used to. For smooth shifts you need to predict when the car is about to change gears, and then ease off on the accelerator, otherwise, things are a bit lurchy.

The Kwid AMT uses the same engine as the rest of the models,  a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder engine pushing out peak power of 50kW at 5 500 rpm and maximum torque of 91Nm at 4 250 rpm. It’s a peppy little engine that’s good around town and also pretty fuel efficient, using around 4.4 – 5 litres per 100km.

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Gearbox and Easy-R badging on the tailgate aside, the car AMT model is the same as the manual Dynamique model, which means that it has satellite navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, USB/Aux input, all accessed via a 7-inch touchscreen system. It also has a driver’s airbag, but none for the passenger, and no ABS braking either. This will be added in the future, but that will obviously affect the price.

As is standard across Renault’s entire product range, the Renault KWID model range comes standard with a 5-year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 6-year anti-corrosion warranty. Services take place at 15 000km intervals. Optional service plans are available. The KWID model range also currently offers 1-year comprehensive insurance cover included in the price.

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RECOMMENDED RETAIL PRICING

Expression                       1.0-litre SCe          R 126 900

Dynamique                     1.0-litre SCe          R 136 900

Dynamique AMT          1.0-litre SCe          R 146 900

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