Datsun has decided to enter the entry level hatchback market with its third product offering, the redi-GO. Yes, they are now taking on the mighty Alto 800 and its sibling, the Kwid. We spent some more time with the redi-GO to see how it is to live with and bring you this report.
The redi-GO is pretty attractive to look it. It has a good mix of curves and straight lines. Up front, the top of the line variant also gets LED DRLs. Datsun engineers said that this was an addition done later due to data they received from market research. Though they are not too bright, it is a segment first and is an interesting design feature.
Viewed side on, the profile has a strong line which adds to the visual flare. At the back too the curvy design theme continues. The boot is well designed and the tail lamp cluster is curved as well. It is interesting to see how manufacturers are trying out new design themes to stay in the game. While we are talking about looks, the car has a ground clearance of 185 mm and the car is very tall as well.
The car sits on 13″ steel rims with wheel caps that look pretty sporty. The short overhangs allow the redi-GO to places where the others may scrape. The redi-GO did manage to get a lot of attention from the public while we were driving it. In the 2 months the redi-GO has been on sale, it has managed to sell roughly 3000 units each month, which is not bad being a new entrant.
Sit inside and the first thing you notice is how high you sit. Datsun engineers have purposely done that so as to improve the visibility from inside the cabin. And they have really succeeded in doing that. The mirrors have a large glass area and a very thin border which aids rear visibility. This extra visibility makes the car very easy to drive in traffic. The steering wheel is borrowed from the other Datsun products.
The horn is even placed on the side of the steering wheel which means you don’t have to remove your hands from the wheel if you need to honk. The instrument cluster houses the speedo and a digital tachometer with a trip computer, distance to empty and fuel economy gauge. There is no temperature gauge though.
Overall interior quality is decent and the plastics have a soft touch feel to them. There are plenty of cubby holes in the car which is something I really liked. The dashboard has an open storage area throughout its length. There are two cupholders up front and the front door pads have spaces for books or other loose items. The central AC vents have an interesting design. One is the rotary one and the other is a large fixed one.
Let’s talk ergonomics. The power window switches are located near the gear lever which is something that takes getting used to. Another thing which I found irritating was the fact that the lighting on the stereo was very dim. While driving during the day, it is very tough to know which channel or what volume the system is on.
Since the seat is very high, the position takes getting used to initially. Space is something the redi-GO has in abundance. Be it head room or leg room, both at the front and the back. Boot space is 222 liters which is adequate, but the loading bay is very high which may make it tough to load heavy things. Datsun has given more importance to interior room rather than boot space. You do have an option of folding the rear seats flat as well.
The redi-GO shares its engine with its sibling, the Kwid. The 800 cc 3 cylinder engine churns out 53 Bhp and 72 Nm. In a car that weighs roughly 650 kgs, that makes for a fun drive. Revv it hard and you shall be well rewarded. Datsun claims that the car will do 0-100 in 15.98 seconds which makes it the fastest in the segment.
Keep the car above 2500 rpm in all gears and you will be very happy. Even at speeds, the car feels stable. We pushed the car till above 130 kmph (speedo) and found the car pretty stable. Progress to reach such speeds is slow though.
The only issue we found with the engine was the NVH. The vibrations at idle are on the higher side. The steering which is very light in the city weights up adequately at higher speeds. For the height the car has, it handles pretty well. The small size coupled with the peppy engine makes it a good city car for weaving in and out of traffic.
The brakes aren’t adequate enough though. You have to go really hard on the brake pedal for the car to slow down enough. The way to go around it is to use engine braking. The suspension has been setup on the softer side. It is comfortable, but the ride tends to get bouncy as the speeds increase.
At this price point, the redi-GO makes for an interesting buy. The redi-GO is aimed more towards the urban youth. Its funky design, roomy cabin and peppy engine make it a good buy.
Model wise pricing
redi-GO D: Rs 2.39 lakhs
redi-GO A: Rs 2.83 lakhs
redi-GO T: Rs 3.09 lakhs
redi-GO T(O): Rs 3.19 lakhs
redi-GO S: Rs 3.34 lakhs