New Cars Versus Used Car: 2020 Renault Kwid 1.0 Climber Automatic

New is always better than pre-owned, right? You’ll never read us agreeing with those words on this particular website. We spotted a brand-new 2020 Renault Kwid 1.0 Climber Automatic on special at a local Cape Town dealer for R180,900 – and it got me thinking about what else a prospective car buyer could get for that amount of money on the used car market.

The Renault model in question is designed and built in India for their market – with roads even worse than those of our country – and as a “cheap and cheerful” hatchback, the Kwid is popular on our roads. However, that doesn’t mean the Kwid is a good car.

Is A New Renault Kwid Better Than A Used Car?

It has a sketchy safety record at best. It was initially launched in South Africa in 2016 to much fanfare for its super affordable R119,900 price WITH a year’s free car insurance cover. Uber drivers across the country descended upon Renault dealerships to snatch these deals up, but little did they know what awaited them around the first corner after leaving the dealership in their new cars. The Kwid was a basic, analog car: no ABS brakes, no driving aids and no airbags. In fact, it scored 0 on the Global NCAP safety tests. About 2 years later, Renault equipped the Kwid with a driver’s airbag to improve that crash-test rating to a 1-star. This latest version of the Kwid is equipped with 2 airbags, ABS braking with EBD.

The other slightly worrying aspect of the Kwid’s safety its light weight. Unlike Colin Chapman’s aims of producing lightweight cars for superior performance, the Kwid fails in this regard for being too light for safe driving. With a 758kg kerb weight, these little hatchbacks have blown over in gusts and strong winds while travelling on highways.

Take away its sticker price of R186,900 – and R180,900 with a special offer – and it still seems like a lot of money to pay for a vehicle with such shortcomings. Not even its status as favourite Uber car can change its public perception.

What’s The Renault Kwid Climber All About?

The Climber trim denotes this as the top-of-range model in the Kwid line-up. Apart from styling upgrades (and extra stickers), it sports bright orange accents that lift its appeal, sharp looking LED daytime driving lights, a reverse camera with PDC rear sensors, cloth seats, 14” alloy wheels, a touchscreen media interface with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, electrically-operated windows front and rear, aircon, power steering, audio with Bluetooth and AUX and USB inputs, and foglights.

Under the bonnet is a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that offers “spritely” performance thanks to its light weight. It boasts 50kW of power and uses around 5.5-litres/100km in real-world driving.

As a new vehicle, it is packaged with a 5-year/100,000km Factory Warranty, a 2-year/30,000km Service Plan and a 1 year’s free car insurance. In my experiences with Kwids on the used car market, I’ve learned that these aren’t the most robust of machines available and the Kwid falls into the trap of Renault’s somewhat hit-and-miss customer service and parts availability.

The nub of this article is that there are undoubtedly better value propositions available for less money than a 2020 Renault Kwid 1.0 Climber Automatic. What would I spend my money on?

The Used Car Options

2018 Hyundai Grand i10 1.0 Fluid
• R169,900
• Only 168km
• Details:

2018 Ford Figo 1.5Ti VCT Ambiente
• R159,900
• 10,400km
• Details:

2018 Opel Corsa 1.0T Ecoflex Essentia
• R154,900
• 9,820km
• Details:

2018 Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL
• R149,990
• 9,000km
• Details:

2018 Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL
• R149,900
• 10,000km
• Details:

2018 Kia Picanto 1.0 Street
• R145,900
• 4,233km
• Details:

2017 Toyota Aygo 1.0 X-CITE
• R144,200
• 6,700km
• Details:

2018 Toyota Etios 1.5 Xs 5dr
• R139,900
• Only 1,000km
• Details:

Sell & Save

The above selected vehicles are but a selection of those available on the pre-owned market in South Africa. Now that your appetite has been whet, which ones do you pick and which to avoid? To aid you through this quagmire of decisions, figures and financial-speak, we are able to assist you to find the source the best models for your budget with our Sell & Save feature. Contact Evan Rothman via e-mail at and via phone by Call/WhatsApp/Telegram at 0834526892.

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