One entered the South-African market in 2014, the other in 2016. Both saw (and still see) countless amounts of criticism, both launched their latest models in November 2019, and both sell as entry-level models in a difficult financial market.
We recently had the opportunity to test both the new Datsun Go CVT as well as the Renault Kwid (Climber) to draw up some valuable consumer advice.
One of our latest Youtube videos (search for or click on: Galimoto Media) draws a good comparison between the two. From 0-100 km/h, the 1.0 Kwid with its 50kW and 91Nm outperforms the 57kW and 104Nm of the 1.2 Datsun Go. On paper this does not make sense. However, bringing the CVT (automatic) transmission into equation, does prove to hinder the ultimate performance against the manual 5-speed Kwid.
Renault is also very proud of the fact that the new Kwid range has ABS. (Should you doubt this, the acronym can be found in bold on the body panels). Ultimately, this does help the Kwid to come to a standstill from 60km/h in a shorter distance than the Datsun Go CVT.
More can be said as the Kwid features 300 litres of luggage space, compared to 264L in the Go. While both feature basically the same infotainment system with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Kwid offers a rear-view camera for reverse manoeuvres. However, while both cars are equipped with dual front airbags, the Datsun Go trumps with a rear windscreen wiper, something very handy during cold winter days.
As stated in our previous Datsun Go CVT articles, finding a completely new automatic car under the R200,000 price point, will prove problematic. Compared to the AMT gearbox of the Kwid, the CVT in the new Datsun Go should be hailed as a marvel. Yet, we cannot say that the CVT in the Go will leave you with the ultimate package.
On paper and at first sight, the Renault Kwid will leave any new (potentially first time) buyer in a desired state. With its rugged looks, yet ‘cute’ attraction, the Kwid caters for most new buyers. Bring a name like ‘Climber’ into the equation and you can conquer Africa, right?
“…you can conquer Africa, right?”
Even with its noisy drive-train, the Datsun Go CVT handles better than the Kwid. Yet, the Kwid has many other standouts against the former.
While the manual model is much more accepted than the AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), the Kwid remains a city car. With not much power and questionable front-arm gym sessions performed during the strong winds of the Cape summer, the Kwid is not suited for highways. With this said, the Datsun Go CVT will scream at 6,000 rpm when you accelerate. Secondly, wind noise over the left side mirror at 100km/h will also make you believe that the Go CVT is fitted with lane-departure assist.
What both the Kwid and Go CVT were designed to be, is relatively inexpensive urban commuters. Both are very light on fuel and if the right foot is held at a steady 2,500rpm, both will showcase a fuel consumption around 5 litres per 100km.
It is easily understood why the Kwid is such a success in the local market. It is spacious, easy to manoeuvre in the city, as well as a light commuter. As for highway driving, the Datsun Go CVT should certainly be considered.
Both Datsun and Renault can learn from one another, with each having something the other does not possess.
The Datsun Go CVT sells for R184,200 (6 years and 150,000km warranty), while the Renault Kwid retails at R164,900 (the AMT version sells for R174,900) with a 5 year / 130,000km warranty.
Should a new low-cost vehicle be the only option (and not a better-equipped pre-owned vehicle with less warranty) we can recommend that you look at both these models. Especially when an automatic vehicle below R200,000 is under consideration, the Datsun Go CVT is a decent choice.
If you are open to other suggestions near the R200,000 mark, we recommend the Suzuki Swift, Polo Vivo and Ford Figo range.