By Clive Funziwe
It is not all the time that we get to sample the same car in different transmissions – so when the opportunity presented itself, we were more than happy to do so. For purposes of not dragging this – let’s get the differences in terms of driver feel, either than the manual shifting, out of the way.
As a start, if you will excuse the play on words – both cars are propelled by a 1.0-litre turbo-petrol motor making 74kW / 160Nm which we found to be frugal and more than adequate as a power source. In general terms, the CVT was an easier driving experience with only a hint of lag at take-off. At highways speeds, the manual was marginally more composed and returned 5.3l/100kms (in our test runs) a point 2 of a litre less than the CVT at 5.5l/100kms.
Either than the transmission differences – everything else is the same as one would expect. Interior quality is a mixture of practicality in usable terms but maybe perhaps not the most luxurious as is the case in the segment. Storage space is ample, and amongst the class leaders. It is however hindered by the fact that there are no usable spaces/cupholders for actual cups. The side pockets are angled and can accommodate soft bottles and other items. Rear vents coupled to an arm rest (front and rear) and ambient lighting make the space comfortable to be in, with the steering only having height adjustments and not reach.
The use of different types of plastic textures and colours almost masks the entry level nature of the cabin. Added to that, the 8-inch infotainment that supports Apple CarPlay & Android Auto is intuitive and has descent resolution that is visible in different types of lighting.
Ride quality in the Kiger is where the potential buyer needs to understand the intended use very well. The Kiger fares very well in the city and back rounds. Long highway driving has noticeably more wind and cabin does tend to get on the noisy side of things from road resonance and upset composure when it is windy.
All in all, the Kiger is modern execution in technological terms, has a great exterior design, awesome fuel efficiency but not a class leader ride refinement and fit and finish of some interior components. The Kiger Turbo comes with a 5 year/150 000km mechanical warranty and a 3 year/ 45 000km service plan.
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