After the likes of the Micra and Pulse, the Sunny and the Scala, and the Duster and the Terrano, the Redigo and the Kwid come as a big relief. Not a single panel is shared between the cars. And to give the two a bigger differentiation, the two cars have different dimensions as well, down to the wheelbase.
The Kwid is longer and wider and it sits on a longer wheelbase, while the Redigo is taller and has higher ground clearance. The designs of the two cars follow different thought processes too. Renault has given the Kwid a mini-SUV stance and appeal, while Datsun or Nissan, has chosen to go for the ‘cross’ tag, even though the Redigo is definitely more of a modern-day, contemporary tall boy than an urban cross.
There’s another big difference: while the Kwid’s design has a more universal appeal, the Redigo with its over dramatic design is bound to polarise opinion. It might not be the best way forward given the lukewarm response to the Hyundai Eon, but at least, it has caught the Indian car buyer’s attention. And that to us, especially for a brand like Datsun, is half the battle won.
The two cars sport significantly different interiors as well. The newer Datsun has gone for lighter shades while the Kwid is a sea of black. Interestingly, the perceived quality between the cars remains identical. So, they don’t feel cheap but you know you are in a car with stiff cost targets. Between the Redigo and the Kwid, the Datsun is easier to get in and out of. It also has the better driving position. And the seats are nicer too in terms of design. But, the Redigo’s rear seat could have been firmer for better support.
The Kwid on the other hand is better loaded. It gets a touchscreen audio with Bluetooth telephony and satnav missing on the Redigo. It also gets central locking with keyless entry and two gloveboxes, again something the Datsun misses out on. What’s more, even though the Redigo and Kwid have equally comprehensive trip readouts including distance to empty, average fuel economy and gearshift indication, the Kwid setup looks chic while the Redigo’s borders at the boring. But then, the Redigo does get a tachometer missing on the Renault.
Now here’s the shocker: The Kwid might be bigger on the outside, but it’s the Redigo that offers more room! At the front, it’s close. The two have exactly the same head and kneeroom but the Redigo offers more shoulder and elbow room; meaning, it is wider on the inside compared to the Renault. At the rear too, the Datsun has more head and shoulder room, but thanks to the smaller wheelbase, it is short on kneeroom compared to the Kwid. The Kwid meanwhile also has a much bigger, usable boot.