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Datsun Redigo hatchback revealed

14th Apr 2016 12:50 pm

All-new Datsun makes world premiere in Delhi; shares platform with Kwid; sub-Rs 2.5 lakh price expected; bookings open May 1, 2016.

Nissan today pulled the covers off its entry-level hatchback under the Datsun brand, the Redigo, at a global unveiling in Delhi. The Redigo is expected to be priced below Rs 2.5 lakh for the base variant. Bookings will start on May 1 and deliveries from June 1.

Showcased in a near production guise, it is noteworthy that the Redigo shares much of its styling with the concept car which made its debut at the Auto Expo 2014. Just like the bold-looking concept, the vehicle stands tall, features pulled-back headlamps placed higher up with the Datsun hexagonal grille placed prominently in front, kinked rear windows and a prominently pinched rear end. 

The Redigo is based on the Renault-Nissan alliance’s same flexible Common Module Family (CMF) engineering architecture as is the Kwid. In fact, it is the first Datsun product to be underpinned on the CMF-A platform.

However, it doesn’t share its styling with its sibling. While the Kwid features an aggressive SUV-inspired styling with cues from the Duster, the Redigo on the other hand is styled as a more urban and slick hatchback. Datsun is calling the Redigo an “urban cross” and in a nod to the SUV is the stylised faux skid plate at the front.

When viewed from the side, the nose looks nicely tapered and the kinked rear windows stand out along with the creased line that runs from the lower edge of the front doors all the way upward to the high set rear tail-lights, which are also sharply kinked along with the back of profile of the car.

The inside of the car – given its tall-boy design – is quite generous with the headroom, however, the legroom is a bit tight especially at the rear. Also, the rear seat hip point is higher than front seat's hip point.

The dash misses the touchscreen system that does duty in the Kwid, and instead, gets a simpler single DIN entertainment unit.

The Redigo is very stylish, but the fact that this car is built to a price is quite obvious in some areas. On the inside, there are a lot of exposed metal areas, the door pads are simple, slim and don’t feature any sculpting for bottleholders or decent-sized pockets. The windscreen makes do with one wiper, and the glovebox and other plastics like the rear parcel shelf are quite cheap in the look and feel. The glovebox itself is very small and would not be of too much use.

At 3,430mm in length, the Redigo is smaller than the Kwid, which is 3,679mm long, but to improve roominess which was the key during designing, the wheels have been pushed further outward and as a result, the Datsun has a larger wheelbase at 2,430mm (Kwid: 2,422mm). The Redigo also stands taller at 1,540mm as against 1,478mm. 

Notably though, the Redigo is narrower than the Kwid and being taller, handling was a concern that had to be addressed, so Datsun has a different and stiffer suspension setup from the Kwid. The two do share a lot of parts, but they are parts you can’t see, like the hatch tailgate is the same, but with a different skin.

The Redigo will be powered by the same 800cc powertrain as in the Kwid, mated to a five-speed gearbox and will make the same  amount of power. The 1.0-litre engine and AMT options, which were seen on the Kwid at the 2016 Auto Expo, will come much later on the Datsun.

The Redigo will go up against established rivals from Maruti, Hyundai and even Renault. The market leader Alto will be the main rival, but the Redigo will also have to take on the Hyundai Eon and the Renault Kwid.

Nissan will be counting on the Datsun Redigo to revive its sales volumes. The carmaker hasn’t found much success with the Go and the Go+, since both of them have failed to perform as per its expectations. For instance, sales of the Datsun Go have declined nearly 28 percent to 9,229 units in 2015-2016 (March-April) as against 12,842 units in the previous year.

Developing an affordable car alone won’t be enough to drive up sales, and for that reason the carmaker is also looking at ramping up its dealership network. Nissan now has a network of 215 sales and service touch-points across 165 cities. By end-March 2017, the carmaker plans to bring the total up to 300.

Datsun Redigo photo gallery

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