Datsun Redigo review, road test

This stylish offering stands tall in the budget hatchback segment.

6 / 10

The Redigo is based on the same CMF-A platform as the Renault Kwid, but is 250mm shorter in length and has a 74mm shorter wheelbase. While the little Renault’s design is clearly SUV-inspired, Datsun calls the Redigo  an ‘urban cross’ due to its tall stance and its 185mm ground clearance, but that just seems like an attempt to associate it with the SUV fad that has caught the fancy of buyers lately. In truth, its short length, puny 13-inch wheels and ‘tall-boy’ profile reaffirm that this is no more than a city-friendly hatchback.

Looks are subjective, yes, and it has a hate-it-or-love-it design which might appeal to those who are looking for something stylish and modern rather than those who prefer a safe, no-nonsense look. The Redigo looks futuristic with multiple cuts and creases thrown across the exterior. In fact, this production version is nearly identical to the Redigo concept which was unveiled at the 2014 Auto Expo. The chrome-lined hexagonal grille is now a Datsun signature, the optional LED running lights bring some freshness to its face, and its tall side profile is cleverly designed with prominent lines and black B-pillars that add character. At first glance, the rear end could even be mistaken for an updated version of the Tata Nano, thanks to its vertical tail-lamps and small rear windscreen. Our test car was equipped with a chrome muffler tip and a chrome insert on the boot which gave it an upmarket look.

Interestingly, the build of the car actually feels a little better than the Go twins, but that doesn’t really say much as they feel flimsy to begin with. The doors require a firm push to shut properly and don’t sound tinny when slammed either. The panel gaps do stand out, and cost-cutting elements like the exposed tow hooks, single wiper, manual outside rear-view mirrors and door handles with exposed hinges, scream ‘cheap’. What’s unacceptable though is that even in top spec, the car doesn’t get a remote key nor does it get central locking. So each time you want to access the passenger-side door or even the boot from the outside, you’d have to walk up to the driver’s side and unlock these from inside the car.

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For its sub-three-lakh rupee price, the Redigo is very stylish.
The dashboard design is funky yet functional. Steering wheel is nice to touch and hold.
Front seats gets a long and flat seat base; cushion is soft; placement could be higher.
Two average-sized adults can fit one behind another. Headroom is great for the class.
Window switches require you to reach around the gear lever.
Cabin has lots of open storage areas for knick-knacks, and though it has a closeable glovebox, it is quite small.
Non-adjustable central air-con vent channels airflow to the rear seats efficiently and effectively.
Optional LED lights in the bumper are a segment first and add some bling.
Datsun’s signature front grille dominates the face of the Redigo.
54hp 799cc three-cylinder petrol engine is identical to Renault Kwid’s.
Mirrors feel flimsy and can only be adjusted manually from the outside.
Stylish vertical tail-lamps, but only a single reversing light.
222-litre boot is small and it gets a high loading lip. Rear seat can be folded down too.
Exposed body panels give a bare-bones feel to the cabin.
Tachometer is a segment first; it gets a gearshift indicator too.
We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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