Kiger is Renault's way of saying good things do come in small packages.
As further proof segment differentiation has lost its meaning over the years, the Kiger is officially labelled by Renault as a compact model. However, the smart-looking crossover is only 3,991 millimetres (157.1 inches) long, thus fighting in India’s hugely competitive market of sub-four-metre vehicles. Over in Europe, the Kadjar – also a compact crossover – is a whopping 459 mm (18 in) longer than the Kiger.
Renault introduced the Kiger as a showcar in November 2020 and now it’s unveiling the production version. It slots above the even smaller Kwid without stepping on the toes of the Dacia Duster sold in India with the diamond logo. As with most Indian-market cars, the new crossover has a generous ground clearance of 205 mm (8 in) to better cope with the typically rough roads of the world’s second-most populous country.
Gallery: 2021 Renault Kiger
The exterior design is a mélange of several other models as the front end looks like a more upscale Kwid while the rear takes after the Captur with its C-shaped taillights. Speaking of which, Renault has fitted the Kiger with LED lights at the front and rear, while the fancier version ride on 16-inch wheels with a black diamond-cut finish. Even though it’s a budget crossover, customers will be able to order the Kiger with two-tone paint finishes.
As for the interior, it too looks familiar as those three round dials with built-in screens for the climate controls are borrowed from other Renault and Dacia products. The start-stop button also reminds us of other models from Group Renault, and so does the seven-inch digital instrument cluster. It’s accompanied by an eight-inch touchscreen looking like a tablet affixed to the centre console.
In terms of technical specifications, the Kiger rides on the same platform utilised by another sub-four-metre model sold by Renault in India – the Triber MPV. Underneath the bonnet, a three-cylinder 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces 100 bhp and 160 Newton-metres (118 pound-feet) of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a five-speed manual or an optional CVT.
A lesser 1.0-litre naturally aspirated mill is also available, delivering 72 bhp and 96 Nm (71 lb-ft) through a five-speed manual or an Easy-R robotised gearbox. That might not sound like a lot of power, but we’ll mention the Kiger only weighs 1,012 kilograms (2,231 pounds). Interestingly, the Kiger even has a sport mode for a "crisper engine response and faster shifting."
Despite being a petite crossover, Renault touts best-in-class cargo capacity thanks to a volume of 405 litres, expandable to 879 litres after folding the rear seats. There are also several other storage compartments throughout the interior, offering an extra 29 litres. The Kiger comes with an upper glove box – a first in the segment – and a massive glove box as well.
All things considered, it would appear Renault has come up with a worthy adversary for the likes of the Nissan Magnite, Kia Sonet, and the Hyundai Venue.