Expecting a small affordable car to be luxurious is like expecting to be given a four course meal on a budget airline. You will probably be left disappointed. However, in the case of the Redigo, there are some neat touches which more than make it a happy and comfortable place to spend time in. We ran the 1-litre manual version in our fleet for a period of three months and have more good news than bad to deliver.
What we like
The Datsun Redigo is the essence of lightness in the steering, clutch and gearbox departments. All this along with plenty of glass all across means that this car is a joy to drive around town. All the controls are nimble and the car feels agile on its feet. NVH levels, for what is essentially an affordable car, are acceptable too, although when you rev the engine hard it can be heard inside the cabin. That said, at idle, you’ll sometimes have to glance at the rev band to see if the engine is still spinning or has the car stalled on its own.
Another big boon are the tall set seats that make getting in and out a total breeze. Buyers who have older parents at home will appreciate this a lot. Also considering its modest engine size and performance, the AC did a stellar job of cooling the cabin. Special mention has to be made of the fixed AC vent which throws air towards the back of the cabin.
What could be improved?
The Redigo is an affordable small car so expecting to many frills would be foolish. But we do have some points to knit pick about. The seats for one could well do with some extra padding and better cushioning. Both the front row and the back have very flat squabs. While there is ample room inside the cabin, the seats aren’t the best for comfort.
Another big annoyance, is that fact that the rear view mirrors can’t be operated from inside the cabin. You have to roll your windows down come heat, winter or monsoon. This is a big negative in a country like ours with extreme weather.
Overall, we have more good news than bad about the Redigo. Its peppy engine, light controls, excellent visibility and good fuel economy make it a strong choice as your first set of wheels. If you are looking at an affordable city car, you’d be foolish not to consider it in your shortlist.