Renault KIGER REVIEW: Can It Replicate Duster’s Success…?

In this Renault Kiger review we talk about the latest entrant in the sub four meter compact SUV in fair bit of detail. Do not miss out the pictorial view at the end…

Renault tasted extreme success with its Duster in the compact SUV segment. It, not only, brought the French in the game in India, but it also allowed us to taste first blood of how good, well-mannered, spacious 5 seat SUVs can be. However, that game has been taken forward by other players in the market and Renault has gradually lost out, simply because it failed to pay heed to the Duster.

However, the French has an ace up its sleeve. It has showed that it intends to get back albeit in a slightly smaller form. And it is the CMF-A platform that it has chosen to take the baton ahead. It recently introduced the KIGER compact SUV in the sub four meter space and rivals quite a lot of players from different manufacturers. Few months earlier, alliance partner Nissan also launched its version of this platform – the Magnite, which has opened to a bumper response.

So, to test Renault’s version, we flew to Goa to get a good first drive of the all important car. The question is – does Kiger have enough to bring back Renault in the reckoning in the compact SUV segment again. Let us talk about it in detail…

Renault Kiger Review – Styling

In straightforward terms, Kiger looks a muscular, grown-up sibling of Kwid. Now, that is not a bad thing at all as the compact hatchback itself looks very handsome. At the front, Kiger comes with large LED DRLs and a well designed front grille. Just under the DRLs are positioned ‘tri-octa pure vision LED headlamps’ – both connected with a black colored plastic. Overall, it is a busy front with a lot of elements, however, it all gels well and the car does look well designed.

From the side profile you get a good idea of the falling roofline which gives it a coupe-ish styling. And it is the rear that is even more interesting than the front. There are those protruding C-shaped LED tail lamps which give the car a wider appearance. Sportiness is further accentuated by that faux skid plate and a hefty bumper.

In essence, Kiger looks aggressive and very thoughtfully designed and in my opinion it will please most of the prospect customers.

Renault Kiger Review – Interiors

When we move inside, it greets us with an all black cabin, which does look fresh but slightly monotonous. The dashboard has a large 8 inch touchscreen with a decent display for all your infotainment needs. It can be paired with your smartphone and comes with Apple Carplay and Andoid auto compatibility.

The steering is partially leather wrapped and is almost perfect in size and it feels good to hold. It appears to be slightly flatter from the bottom. The control knobs are lifted from the Magnite and look beautiful.

There is ample amount of space to hold your stuff. Kiger’s dash comes with two glove boxes with a combined capacity of around 15 liters (top glovebox is around 4.4 liters and bottom box can hold 10.5 liters). All the doors have adequate space to hold water bottles along with other knick-knack. Then there is some smart space just under the elbow support which has a rolling door. All in all, Renault informs that Kiger has a total cabin storage volume of 29 liters.

Though there is not a lot of that soft plastic that you will see but the overall quality of materials used is fairly decent for its price.

Kiger Space Management

Renault has showcased with its Triber that it can utilize (the lack of) space very efficiently and the same engineering has gone on to the Kiger. The driver and passenger both have plenty of space to stretch and move around. At the rear also, passengers have really good amount of knee room.

Despite the falling roofline, I, a 5.9 footer, had a few inches of head space left. So, in terms of that we should give it to Renault. The rear bench can accommodate a middle passenger in fair bit of comfort and he or she would cherish the absence of any hump on the floor board.

Thigh support, however, could have been slightly better and the passenger seat a wee bit lower. This, coupled with, relatively smaller rear windows and all black theme, does make it a bit claustrophobic on the inside. It could be a minor issue during long drives.

At the front however, the seats are pretty high-set and offer the driver a very commanding view of the front, and the sides. However, the ORVMs could have offered a better view.

Considering that Renault would have eaten up a lot of space to offer comfortable and spacious human space (out of the 4 meters it had), things are the back would be miserly..? Right..?

WRONG! Because Kiger comes with segment best boot space of 405 liters. Most of its rivals are in the range of 350 liters! This is very clever packaging of the same space that is available with everyone in this segment.

The trunk is fairly deep as well but the loading wall is slightly higher. The good news is that there is no metal out there which means no paint chipping or scratches. Renault, has in fact gone to the extent of offering compartmentalized space which will help you keep your stuff segregated.

Kiger – Engine Options

Kiger comes with two engine options. There is a three cylinder 999cc, naturally aspirated motor that is good for 72 PS of peak power at 6250 rpm and 96 Nm of max torque at 3500 rpm. It comes mated to a 5 speed manual transmission and you also have the option of an AMT gearbox.

The other choice you have is the turbocharged version of this same engine which kicks the power output to 100 PS at 5000 rpm and the torque output is bumped to 160 Nm between 2800 to 3600 rpm. It is paired with a 5 speed gearbox.

There is this fourth option that you have which is the CVT box mated to the turbo motor (only). While the power output here remains unchanged the torque output decreases to 152 Nm (between 2200 to 4400 rpm). There is no diesel option in the lineup and don’t expect one either. We drove the turbocharged manual top of the line RXZ for this review.

Kiger – How is it to Drive?

I will keep it short and simple here. The engine has fair bit of grunt and feels reasonably powerful to drive so that you can easily overtake on highways. Tractability is again good for the turbo motor, however, there is a lag under that 2000 rpm mark. The turbo kicks in without any ‘push’ but the response is very acceptable all the way till mid-high rpms. At the redline, there appears to be plenty of engine noise without a lot of forward progression.

The gear throw and the feedback from the gearbox is however a little sub par. The gear lever jitters while in motion and I believe the gear slotting could also have been slightly better managed. While in motion, you can hear a fair bit of noise from, well, a lot of things – wind, tyres and even the horn that appears to be placed inside the passenger cabin!

There are three drive modes in the car – Sports, Eco and Normal that can be engaged through a round knob near the gear lever – on the go. These drive modes alter the throttle response, steering and probably the intrusion of the ABS as well. In the Normal and Eco mode, the steering is lifeless – to the extent of being boring! But once you enter the Sports mode, the steering adds a fair bit of that much needed weight and the motor suddenly becomes more energetic. In the Eco mode, the engine response is slightly restricted and the focus is on extracting more from that costly drop of petrol. These modes are signified by cool displays on the instrument cluster. Each mode has a dedicated theme highlighting the needed stuff.

Ahead of my turn of the Kiger, I drove the Duster that was my convoy car. And there is no denying the fact that it still is one of my favorite when it comes to on-road manners. Though you should not expect Duster like poise on the Kiger, it does not disappoint. I mentioned about Duster specifically to set the bar.

Renault Kiger Review – VERDICT

Let me start by sharing the feature list that I haven’t told you yet. In terms of safety, Kiger is loaded with 4 airbags – one for the driver, one for the passenger and two on the sides at the front. There is ABS and EBD apart from front parking sensors and a rear parking camera (that is nicely embedded inside that Renault logo).

The top of the line RXZ Kiger that we drove is offered with 3D sound by ARKAMYS and has four speakers and four tweeters. All of this ammunition and I could only listen to the radio songs that the local RJs played. Sound output is nice and it should please most ears, and probably to even the connoisseurs of music. Then there is an air purifier which is a nice add on. However, despite being fairly loaded, Renault does not offer the Kiger with a sunroof and cruise control.

Now the most important thing – Should you buy it..?

At a starting price tag of Rs 5.45 Lakh for the entry variant, Kiger is India’s most affordable compact SUV. It even undercuts its sibling Magnite by a whisker. Heck, in this new world even top variants of WagonR are costlier! The top of the line RXZ manual that we drove costs Rs 8.55 Lakh ONLY. Kiger also undercuts premium hatchbacks like i20 and that is extremely surprising for a car in the compact SUV segment today.

Summarizing it, Renault has nailed the pricing of Kiger and it is a lot of car for that amount. You have all the gearbox options as well. No doubt there are a few areas where Renault has cut corners, but none of them are deal breakers. So, if you are in the market for anything around that 7-9 Lakh price bracket, Kiger should be in your list.

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Renault KIGER Review – Pictorial View

Renault Kiger Review
Just look at it. This is designed as a (significantly) grown up Kwid from the front. And it is all in the positive sense…
Renault Kiger Review
Here is the rear section and this is probably the best angle to view this compact SUV from. We got to drive the Mahogany Brown color.
Renault Kiger Review
That is a nice, angry face. If you would have noticed, in the newer generation Renault cars, the logo has continuously been growing in size. And it does not look out of place here.
The headlamps are not at their conventional place similar to the Kwid. They are placed lower. Many a cars are experimenting with this set-up like the Harrier, Safari and they all look good.
Renault Kiger Review
That is a busy front with a lot of elements, creases and curves. However, it all gels well and Kiger would be one of the best looking compact SUVs in the segment.
Here are the headlamps up and close. Renault calls them Tri-Octa Pure Vision LED lamps. We could not drive the car during the dark and hence can not comment on their performance. Lower spec variants come with yellow colored halogen bulbs.
These humps on the bonnet add to the muscularity of Kiger…
Renault Kiger Review
A view of the 16 inch diamond cut alloy wheels. These are limited to the top variant and gel well with the overall design of the car. Do notice the big gap despite the presence of 16 inch tyres.
Renault Kiger Review
View at the rear. Renault has used plastic to lend muscle to the design…
Renault Kiger Review
A good side view. Shows the coupe-like falling roofline. Also notice that Renault did not opt for a boxy design and instead, it is more of a flowing car-like styling…
Here is the complete rear view. The design becomes wider from the mid-section, under the rear glass.
Renault Kiger Review
This protruding spoiler adds a lot of sportiness to the rear. It is standard across the range.
Renault Kiger Review
The rear wiper and washer are available in the two top trims…
And this is what changes the complete design – C-shaped LED tail lamps that are standard on all variants.
Renault Kiger Review
Here is a closer view…
Renault Kiger Review
Another one…
Renault Kiger Review
The mid section comprises of the big Renault logo at the rear with ‘KIGER’ brand under it. The ‘Turbo’ badging also finds a place here, towards the right side.
It also carries few curves and lines as are visible in this pic…
Renault has smartly placed the rear view camera within the Renault logo. This is available in the two top trims…
Renault Kiger Review
Even the entry variant comes with rear parking sensors as standard…
Curved reflectors…
Contrast colored skid plate adds SUV-ishness to Kiger. Notice the lack of finishing towards the bottom. It is available from RXT variant onwards…
Single exhaust pipe. Renault could have lent it another outlet pipe for added sportiness.
The shark fin antenna. This is available on all variants expect the base RXE.
Renault Kiger Review
Functional silver colored roof rails. Renault says they can carry 50 kilos of luggage on them. Also while our car did not come with contrast colored roof, you have the option of converting your car into a dual tone shade on the Caspian Blue and Moonlight Silver color options.
Kiger has one of the segment highest ground clearance of 205 mm (same as Duster) which is good enough for soft off-roading. Many key rivals like Ecosport and others are at 200 mm or lower
Here are things from the inside. Its an all black theme with few contrast bits. To kill monotony Renault has used silver color strip on the dashboard.
The big animated instrument cluster. It shows truckloads of information and changes skin based on the driving modes you are in. The entry variants come with an 8.9 inch LED instrument console.
Talking about drive modes, here is the rotary knob placed near the gear lever. You can shift on the fly and the car changes steering response and engine response immediately.
Renault Kiger Review
The 3-spoke steering wheel with audio controls and slightly flatter bottom is perfect in size and feels good to hold.
Keeping with the overall styling, its good that Renault did not opt for round AC vents. Kiger is equipped with PM2.5 clean air filter.
An 8 inch touchscreen display takes care of your infotainment needs. It is fairly easy to use and has Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. This is available from RXT variant onwards…
Another switch on the center console. This is an interior ambient lighting changer.
Renault Kiger Review
There are four speakers plus four tweeters in the top of the line Kiger which play the ARKAMYS 3D sound system. I could only try the radio and it sounded quite good.
There are these two gloveboxes on the dashboard with a combined capacity of 15 liters.
These buttons and knobs, directly lifted from Nissan Magnite, are contemporary and stylish. The entry variants come with different, more conventional buttons…
Under these knobs is space to keep your knick knack including wallet, keys and other stuff.
Renault Kiger Review
Here is the push button starter (and stopper) just under that above mentioned space. Quality of plastic is not soft and expect minor scratches such as these on your dash with time.
Here is wireless mobile charging just under the push button start. It is again limited to the top variant…
Closable 7.5 liter storage space under the elbow support. Kiger has a total cabin volume of 29 liter.
Renault Kiger Review
Kiger has the same problem as Ecosport. Because of a small rear windscreen, view is limited.
Kiger turbo feels fairly powerful to drive. The engine and gearbox match could have more refinement but drivability is pretty decent.
Not a very good angle, but here is the Duster with younger sibling Kiger in blue shade.
Renault Kiger Review
The siblings again. Caspian Blue is probably the most promoted color in the palette. Others include Mahogany brown that I drove apart from Radiant Red (pictured below), Moonlight silver, Planet Grey and Ice cool white…
Here is the red color of the car in Radiant red. This was parked with a lot of accessories and looked really cool…

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