What I like & dislike about my Renault Kiger after covering 7,000 km

The air conditioning system of the car is quite effective but my old Ford EcoSport had a better one.

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An update on my Kiger AMT RXZ (the top variant)

Have run close to 7000 km in just over a year – mostly city driving with 7 or 8 longer runs. Finished the annual service earlier this month.

I will just put my frowns and smiles about the car.

The frowns

  • Obviously, the slow engine and the lethargic gearbox (in my case I knew what I was letting myself in for and was a willing victim). The gearbox takes a lot of adjusting to (to drive reasonably smoothly) – the trick I have learned is to drive it like a manual transmission minus the clutch, especially the accelerator at the time of shift. Easier while upshifting – harder to learn while downshifting. Also, it helps if you are not impatient with it.
  • The gearbox also gets confused when it heats up especially if you don’t press the brake hard enough or you shift in a jiffy from drive to reverse – can get stuck. I had an issue when I visited Guruvayur a couple of months ago. Was stuck there when it refused to engage despite repeated efforts. Had to leave the car there and get back by cab. Renault Service however was pretty responsive and when I got the car back the next day, the adviser gave me a few tips on how to troubleshoot in such situations.
  • I am not too disappointed with the fit and finish because my expectations were set to an economy car level. Yes, there could be some improvements – proper weather stripping, better plastics etc.

The smiles

  • The vehicle is spacious enough for its size. The driver seating position is good – the rear legroom is quite ample.
  • The seats are comfortable – decently bolstered.
  • The climate control is fairly effective (my old Ecosport was better though). No complaints – did a longish drive (180 km) yesterday and it was very comfortable despite the heat and humidity outside.
  • Good boot space – came in handy when my children were here and we went out of town.

On a lighter note, I would be much happier if the car had the performance of a BMW X5, the features of a Merc S Class, the looks of a Porsche Cayenne, and the toughness of a Land Rover Defender at the price of my Kiger.

But sadly, wishes are not horses.

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