The Redi-GO has been Datsun’s bestseller in the Indian car market, having carved out a little niche for itself in the entry-level hatchback segment. The Redi-Go is the third car in Datsun’s line-up after the Go and the Go+ and to take the fight ahead, it now has a new 1.0-litre engine in its repertoire. We are here in Goa, to drive the Redi-Go 1.0-litre and to discover more about its added punch.
The Redi-Go lends a fresh look to the otherwise plaid styling of the entry-level compacts. At a time when price sensitivity is at its peak, the dynamic look of the Redi-Go makes the car stand out amongst the crowd.
The design is bold, but not overtly aggressive. It sports a large mesh hexagonal grille up front with two large swept-back headlamps that dominate the fascia. The LED DRLs and the silver bash-plate along with the 185mm ground clearance do justice to the urban-cross styling. The tall-boy design is evident in its profile, with the flared wheel arches adding character to it.
The decked up rear gets its share of creases and contours with the small rear windscreen perched high. The kinked tail lamps along with the chrome slat on the tailgate and the contrast bash-plate make it look upmarket. The only thing that gives away the fact that this Redi-Go has a bigger engine is the 1.0 badge on the tailgate.
The interior of the 1.0 is all black, the seats are upholstered in faux leather and the body-coloured highlights give it that pop. The seats are comfortable and the front row space is generous for this segment. Since it’s a tall boy design, even big men will not find it difficult to fit in. While three occupants in the back might be a squeeze because of the car being narrow, they will still have enough headroom and leg room to spread out.
Like the exterior, the dashboard gets its share of contours that also double up as cubby holes. There are cup folders in front of the gear stalk while the only storage spaces for rear passengers are bottle sacs on the sides of the front seat. The Datsun Redi-Go gets a 220-litre boot, enough to carry three to four pieces of soft luggage. While it is enough for in-city commutes and short trips, you might have to fold the rear seats if you are planning for long hauls.
The hard wearing plastics are tell-tale signs of a budget hatch, but they do not look outright cheap. At about 680kg, the car is light and you can feel that when you slam the doors. The cabin insulation is minimal and the road noise seeps in unbridled. But then, that is the case with almost every car in this segment and it should certainly be not a deal breaker.
The instrument cluster is dominated by the large speedometer dial with a multi-information display that reads fuel economy, distance to empty and the trip meters. The centre console gets a 1-DIN audio system with USB and AUX inputs and the air-conditioning control unit. Placed between the seats, the front power-window switches will make you stretch a bit to reach them.
The Redi-Go has been built on the CMF-A platform, same as the Renault Kwid and now gets the 1.0-litre mill from its French cousin. The 999cc three-cylinder petrol engine develops 67bhp of power and 91 Nm of torque and that comes mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
The engine cranks to life with the typical three-pot shiver and settles into a rather throaty idle. The gearbox is smooth, with short throws, and slots well. Get on the throttle and you will immediately feel the added go, the 1.0-litre i-SAT engine provides over the 0.8-litre mill.
The Redi-Go is a city car and it is quite good at that. You can putter around the concrete jungle at as low as 1200 to 1500 rpm and the engine responds in its typical three-cylinder vibey manner. But then, the added power of the 1.0-litre makes your life easier as you do not have to shift as often as the 800cc car. The gearing is suitable for bumper-to-bumper traffic and with a light clutch, it will never be tiresome.
Out on the highway, the 1.0-litre comes into its own. The car cruises at 80 kmph effortlessly at about 2200rpm in the fifth gear. Unlike the 0.8-litre car, you do not have to downshift the car every time you have to overtake, especially on the narrow Goa roads.
We had a chance to hit the Chorla Ghat, a 30km patch of twisting mountain road and the car held up quite well. The lack of an anti-roll bar in the front shows when it is chucked into corners. It rolls quite a bit, but its manners are predictable. The steering lacks feedback, but it is precise and the car responds well to direction changes. The brakes bite and are progressive. They also stop the car effectively but they do lack feedback.
While the suspension setup is not stiff, the ride feels firm because the car barely weighs 680kg. The low weight also makes it skittish on broken roads but it holds up quite well in the straight line at highway speeds.
|Max. Power (bhp@rpm)||67bhp @ 5500|
|Max. torque (Nm@rpm)||91Nm @ 4250|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||28|
|New black dashboard||Yes|
Competition All Specs
|Max. Power (bhp)||67bhp @ 5500||67bhp @ 5500|
|Max. torque (Nm)||91Nm @ 4250||91Nm @ 4250|
|Fuel Capacity (in litres)||28||28|
The Datsun Redi-Go 1.0 sure gets added power along with faux leather seats and central locking. Like the Kwid, the Redi-Go 1.0 should ideally cost you roughly Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 more than the 800cc car and for that money, it does make a lot of sense. The added horsepower will make your life easier both in the city and out on the highway. The busy design will grab some eyeballs while not being too hard on your pocket as the 1.0-litre mill delivers an ARAI rated fuel economy of 22.5kmpl.
So, if you are out to get yourself an entry-level hatch, and have the Datsun Redi-Go on your list, you should certainly give the 1.0-litre a fair chance.
Photos: Kapil Angane