Motoring | Road Tests
I really love Renaults. They are totally cool cars and I think I look even better when driving around Jozi in one of them. These vehicles are all about style and when the French carmaker itself introduces the Kiger as car designed to turn heads, I know I am right.
I was so ready to own my drive in the new Kiger and couldn’t wait to jump inside to go show off this cute SUV to my friends. The inside has more than enough space for a single lady like me, or even heaven forbid a young family.
You are surrounded by luxury in the form of handsfree smart access, ambient lighting, a multi-sense driving mode experience, a 3D surround sound Arkamys sound system, wireless smartphone replication and an eight-inch touchscreen.
The Kiger is said to have 405 litres of boot space and 29 litres of storage compartments within the interior. While I am certain there isn’t a normal person on planet earth that actually knows how big 405 litres are in boot space terms, I do know that the boot was big. But it was those 29 litres of storage space that started a small petty argument with the Renault Kiger.
Even though I have small lady hands, there must have been an even smaller Renault designer who thought that the access points into and out of these storage compartments could be accessed without getting your hand jammed in them somehow.
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A great idea on paper, but in reality, I simply started putting my phone and other vital travelling goodies everywhere but in these compartments.
Excitement returning as it was now time to drive my Renault Kiger. I had become acquainted with the interior and the easy-to-reach steering wheel controls. But before I could even hit the start button, the Kiger and I had a proper tantrum throwing fight which cost me one of my gel tips.
Who? And I mean who honestly at Renault could have sat in a Kiger trying to fasten the seat belt? It’s impossible not to jam your fingers in the non-existent space between the belt holder and the centre console. And then this person had the nerve to sign off on this car as ready for everyday use?
And as much as I tried to wriggle around in the seat to try and make this process a little easier and see if I could get used to this annoying quirk, I couldn’t.
Every time I got in the Renault Kiger to drive it somewhere, I would end up doing this silly little contortionist thing in an attempt to get my seatbelt on without sacrificing a nail.
At least the peppy, city friendly, 74 kW/152Nm, 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine matched to an easy-shifting CVT gearbox was a treat to drive with all the traffic around.
I messed around with multi-sense driving modes, swapping from Eco to Sport and back to Normal to find a sweet spot in terms of driving feel, but I didn’t like the Kiger as much when trying to hustle out on the open highway. The Kiger felt a bit like it was being tortured while trying to keep up with all the cool dudes in their GTIs.
What will be of more importance to any young woman on a budget, is fuel consumption and running costs. Here the Renault Kiger does well by using only 7.0-litres of fuel per 100 km, and I don’t drive slowly.
For peace of mind, Renault also offers a five year/150 000 km warranty to go with a three year/45 000 km service plan included in the R289 900 selling price of this top-of-the-range Intens model.
What should be of importance to anybody is safety and here again the Kiger does well by offering safety features such as ABS and EBD, four airbags, rear parking sensors and ESP.
I really wanted to fall completely in love with the Renault Kiger, but there are quirks that are hard for a girl to live with on a daily basis. And at the price, I have a number of other options out there that I would like to check out first.
To see more information on the Renault Kiger, click here.