Sprint Review: 2020 Renault Kwid Climber

The Renault Kwid is nothing new – or special – so they dressed up this “Climber” model for extra curb-side appeal. Has it worked?

You need to know: The Indian-born Kwid is a high-riding, low-spec, bargain basement hatchback starting at about 150 grand. The fancier “Dynamique” versions cost 10,000 more while the horrid semi-automatic gearbox will add another 10k to the final invoice. This Climber tops the range at R170,900 for the 5-speed manual model.

Its appeal is mostly visual. Orange indicators on the front plastic wheel arch liners are mirrored by equally amber-hued bumper inserts, exterior mirror caps, interior carpet piping, various seat panels and a spot of dashboard trim. Climber decals on the front seats and doors complete the package.

More info: This top-dog model is available with a choice of four colours and dark grey (14-inch) alloy wheels. Except for the last bit, I think this striking blue is certainly a vibrant and youthful choice. All Kwids are powered by a 1-litre 3-cylinder petrol engine (50kW/91Nm) driving the front wheels.

Standard kit includes daytime running lights, ABS-assisted brakes, two airbags, four power windows and a reversing camera. This lives in a basic but intuitive 8-inch touch-screen media system with Bluetooth, USB, Aux, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities.

Watch out for: Unfortunately there are no remote controls but at least there’s a power/volume knob. Audio quality is acceptable for the price point; which can also be said of the Kwid Climber’s performance, braking and handling. Heavy loads or winds are not its friends while power delivery is lumpy at best.

Why you want one: Mostly for the price, clever infotainment system, decent mechanical warranty (5-year/150,000km) and funky Climber trinkets. As always, I would recommend looking at the new Hyundai Atos, a pre-owned Vivo or most Suzukis in this price class.


Engine:1.0 i-3 petrol
Transmission:5-sp Manual, FWD
Max. Power:50kW
Max. Torque:91Nm
Avg. cons.:Unknown (claimed 4.4L/100km)
0-100km/h:11.97 seconds (standard Kwid) 
Top Speed:Claimed 152km/h
List Price:R197,800

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