While one sits in the Kwid in a conventional car-like position, one sits high up in the S-Presso due to its SUV-ish stance with a good view of the road ahead. Coming to the engines, both cars are powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine producing 67bhp of power. Yet, the S-Presso's mill is BS6-compliant and produces 90Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. Meanwhile, the Kwid continues with its BS4 engine that delivers 91Nm of torque at 4,250rpm. Yes, these are three-cylinder engines, but are they are in no way rough-running motors which can be dismissed for unwanted vibrations or the lack of smoothness. That said, both are a bit noisy after 2,500rpm but then the S-Presso sounds better at lower rpms. Also, in comparison, the Kwid's engine isn't peppy, but it feels so in the S-Presso. In fact, the engine is not only peppy but smooth through the rev range too.
Also, what we have here in both cases are engines paired to an AMT gearbox. These are tuned differently but eventually add to the convenience without the clutch and automatic gear shifts. The S-Presso instantly feels quick to get off the mark and offers better drivability too. The AMT here is nicely tuned without showing any pronounced delays in shifts. Overall it makes it feel sufficient enough to keep up with the city traffic with a good bottom-end torque. And it does make good progress even on the highway by easily cruising at triple digit speeds.
On the other hand, the Kwid's AMT could have been tuned better. Especially when the power is the same and there's not much of a difference in overall car weights. The Kwid's AMT shows pronounced shift shocks, has more delay in shifting and feels more laid back. You tend to mash the throttle more than necessary to get going and yet the car fails to make quick progress. That's not the case with the S-Presso. But then for the handling bits, the S-Presso's steering feels vague though it is nice and light to use. The steering response is subdued which also goes down to the fact that there are almost four turns lock-to-lock as against the Kwid's 3.5 turns. The Renault's steering feels quicker and provides better feedback too.
Not that owners will want to chuck these cars into a corner, but we did it to assess body roll. And it’s quite noticeable in both, but feels more pronounced in the S-Presso due to its higher stance. That said, unless driven very aggressively both can go around bends without feeling nervous. The Kwid still feels more planted. Nonetheless, the S-Presso's suspension is well tuned to absorb bumps and undulations on poorly surfaced roads. Then, the combination of the high ground clearance and long suspension travel, only makes it easier for the S-Presso, to take on rural landscapes or broken roads. The Kwid is quite capable of doing that but its suspension and tyre noise is quite audible in the cabin. Meanwhile, the S-Presso isolates this nicely and even takes bumps into its stride easily. Even the sharper-edged potholes aren't felt into the cabin as the S-Presso insulates this better, while a jolt is sent into the Kwid's cabin.