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Mountainous terrain of Shimla….Alto K 10 vs Renault Kwid- A slight review

Driving in the mountains is always a thrilling venture. Especially in Himachal Pradesh and that too city like Shimla, where traffic has its own nuisance, a small car has its own space. This made us think of reviewing two of the best-selling small cars currently, which may be useful for this mountainous heritage city.

Though Alto still rules the roads especially the mountainous areas but it seems with similar capacities and a design worth appreciation Renault Kwid is out to pose some serious threat to the market leader. In hills one needs a car which could play the dual role of being a SUV too, as ‘Kaccha’ roads are part of life here. Owing only a SUV would not be a good idea here due to the choking traffic conditions in the cities or even vice versa.

The Kwid design and ground clearance right from day one made it a practical machine on these roads. Highest among the two Kwid is 20mm higher than Alto K10. Though, it doesn’t imply that Alto lacks on ground clearance, practically. I have been driving an Alto since 2004, and it has been the most practical and productive car I driven so far. One cannot shy away from saying that before the Kwid made it to the market Alto was the best in its category.

However today when many well designed cars are being seen everywhere, Alto K10 in its new avatar is still very conventional small car design. Whereas the Kwid in its high rising shape gives a much more aggressive look. The Kwid surely could get more marks for its inside space and better interiors on the Alto K 10. A better digitized dashboard outcome can be felt in the Kwid, whereby Alto still lives with its analog plus digital effects, though practically don’t make much of a difference to any normal city driver.

Cars of today though hardly breakdown unless driven with no mercy at all. So, not much to compare on the engine capacities as both are three cylinders with tit-bit differences in BHPs and other parameters. However in suspensions, it feels Alto K 10 has tried to modernize, whereby the Kwid has wanted to deliver a rather practical design i.e both in terms of sturdiness and financial viability.

Alto K 10 because of its 3 link modern rigid rear suspension could be a better performer in ‘Kachha’. The 3 link rear suspension system is a newer style that is only becoming stock in just a few vehicles. Since these suspensions are custom-made, it has almost no bind, though could be a little extra on pocket. It’s simple, lightweight, and works well while off roading. On the contrary Kwid is using a twist beam rear suspension. This type of suspension is usually low-cost, simple, neatly packaged and has no need for a separate roll bar, but is also not a bad performer when in ‘Kachha’.

Practically talking with easily available service outlets Alto K 10 still happens to be the leader, with Kwid still makings its mark around.

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