I could have extended my budget for a better-finish car in this segment but now there’s no turning back.
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My observations after covering 2000 km on my 1-month-old Kiger – RXZ Turbo CVT and first service
Details of the car
- Model: RXZ Turbo
- Transmission: CVT
- Year – MY 2022
- Color: Dualtone Caspian Blue and Black
- Total No of Kilometers: 2300 km
I recently bought it from Harsha Motors, Visakhapatnam. We took the delivery on the 1st of January 2023. Since then I have been driving it almost 4-5 times a week. Each ride is a minimum of 100-120km drive to the nearest city of Visakhapatnam from Vizianagaram. The ride primarily is a mixed Highway and City drive – 70/30 ratio split.
My initial observations regarding the car
- Shoddy paint job – The paint seemed fine when checked indoors. But the real quality of reflection during the bright sunshine revealed its actual color. The finish is not fine and really feels cheap.
- Wiper Blade Sound – Wipers are producing heavy noise when operated.
- Gaps and spaces – Less refinement and usage of cheap plastic wheel arches which left huge gaps in between.
- Fender Lining – Really pathetic job. They should have provided a proper fender lining. It looks incomplete.
- Original Accessories – Wind Deflectors – Cheap plastic and are of pathetic quality. It’s been just a month since they have been installed and they are losing their sticking.
- Lights – The headlight has less intensity and feels inadequate. They should have provided better lamps. Driving at night on darker roads needs careful handling.
- Hard plastic interiors – an all-black design with hard plastics is really not expected in a car at that price. The cabin feels cheap when compared to its competitors in the segment. The dashboard, Door panes, door lock/unlock mechanism, handles, Rear view mirror, etc are really cheap.
- NVH – Lots of noise from the exterior is communicated into the cabin. The noise suppression is really bad. When cruising at 75+ kmph the wind gush is clearly audible.
- Engine noise during Idlling – When the car is idle with the engine on, the grunting sound is heard in the cabin.
- Vibration – Lots of minor rattles are heard from the doors during the ride. Also, I have observed that when traveling alone the co-passenger seat minimally rattles which gives an uncomfortable feel.
- Air Conditioning – The performance is quite average even during the daytime during the winter. At a blower level above 3, the gush of air could be heard which adds to the noise in the cabin.
- Upholstery – Seats don’t have a leatherette finish, although this is subjective, other brands in this segment offer the finish in their top trims which Renault should have provided them in their top-end cars.
- Quality of Seatbelts – very poor quality of the seatbelts, and for the driver, it is almost impossible to access the seatbelts and lock them.
Apart from these exterior and interior aspects, there are a few other cons of this car.
- Brake Sound – The brake produces a horrible screeching sound that is really irritating especially during the mornings when you take your car out. Even a lorry’s brakes are smooth when compared to the ones on this machine.
- Cabin Pressure – The cabin feels pressurized when entered, which I have personally felt. Again this is subjective, and I have observed that there is a very high pressure within the cabin which actually for a brief period made me uncomfortable.
- The auto central locking feature of the door – The doors have an autolocking feature that can be activated only by a long push of a button on the main console which is fine. But when you try to open the door from inside again you have to access the button on the console which I feel is inappropriate. The main reason is that in case of emergencies, it is difficult to escape if the door is locked, and in a panic situation, one forgets about the button on the console. This has to be answered at least.
- Stock Tyres – I have gotten the stock rubber of MRF make, Wanderer to be specific, which I quite didn’t like as it is not so comfortable and jerky. They should have added wider profile tires of at least 205mm or 215mm.
- Engine – I am in love with the engine performance, especially the CVT version although it is a 3-liter one. It is a fun machine to drive with little or minimal lag. Only once I had experienced the so-called “Rubber band” effect. I rode all the 2000+ km in Normal mode and never switched on to the Eco or sport mode. The manoeuvring is easy even for the inexperienced and handling this car is a breeze even in heavy traffic conditions.
- Look and Presence on the Road – It is one car in this segment that has better design aesthetics when compared to its competitors. It has an amazing road presence and surely is a head-turner. My wife initially liked the car the rear design in particular which I think Renault has made a good job of making this beauty.
- Drive Quality, Suspension – As said this engine is fun to drive and it is coupled with a fine-tuned suspension. I felt the thud of larger potholes but on bad roads with smaller ones, it rides on like a breeze. I have maximally clocked a speed of 110kmph on an expressway and the vehicle is rock solid and stable even at that speed. I am usually a sedate driver and clock an average speed of 75-80kmph.
- Steering and Controls – The steering is light and easy to manoeuvre. The turning radius is decent and never felt difficult in the sharpest of turns. Navigating through traffic is like slicing butter with a sharp knife. I enjoyed the steering pretty much.
- Seats and Comfort – The seats are really good with adequate lumbar support and I found them to be comfortable for long hours. The rear seats, as told by my aunt who used them more than me, as I am the driver, are comfortable and she never felt any inconvenience during the ride. The leg room is very good, and even taller adults could sit comfortably in the rear.
- Space (Cabin, Boot) – This car is a little less wide in this C-SUV segment when compared to its friends among other brands. But it has a very decent amount of space in the cabin for storage. Two glove boxes, A wide space beneath the center console give adequate space in the cabin. Boot space is one of the highest in the segment, which is very much adequate for a small to medium family for a week-long trip. I am impressed with the design which actually accommodates such space although the vehicle looks small from the outside.
- Audio System and Connectivity – The audio system is finely tuned and performs well in mids and highs. The connectivity is rather fast and never laggy. The latest update of android auto makes it much more fun to use as it supports a split screen like that of Apple car play.
- Additional features – Cruise control is a fun addition and I loved this feature. My previous cars never featured this function and I thoroughly enjoy this on long highway stretches.
Some aspects I do not want to comment on
- Missing features – TPMS, Hill Hold, ESP, TC – answered in the latest 2023 edition.
- Mileage – It is just 2000 km on a new car, and I will update this after my second service. For now, I get 10-12kmpl in the city and 15-17 kmpl on highways, and the combined average is about 13-14 kmpl.
My Experience with the Renault Sales and Service
- Sales – I actually am impressed with the sales guys at Harsha Renault in Visakhapatnam. They closely followed up on the booking and processed it fast. Post delivery they followed up every week till my first service and are in close touch with me which I have never expected, unlike my previous 2 vehicles. A 4.5/5 for their sales team for their skills in handling a customer.
- Service – The First service was done at 2000 km odo, which is a mixed experience. Although the first service is just washing and cleaning the car, they barely answered my queries regarding the brake sound, in cabin rattles. They just try to convince us that the sounds are normal rather than addressing the actual cause. Post car wash I observed that the cleaning was not on par and left marks on the car. I had to inform my sales friends, and they got the car cleaned again. So for the service, I rate a 2/5, and this is where they should improve.
- So, overall the purchase is a mixed bag for me. Although I could have extended my budget by a few more bucks for a better-finish car in this segment, I have opted for this car. Now that there is no turning back, I look forward to answering all the shortcomings, by the service center and making it a better one.
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