Datsun RediGO Expert Review

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Introduction

A small, compact car makes a lot of sense for the crowded by-lanes our country springs up every now and then. Japanese automaker Nissan resurrected the Datsun brand and gave us the GO hatchback and the GO+ MPV. Sadly, neither of them have managed to get in the numbers the manufacturer was hoping. Say hello to the Datsun redi-GO; a tiny hatchback for the big city, that has been launched at an attractive Rs 2.39 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the base 'D' variant. In all, the redi-GO is available in five variants – D, A, T, T (O), and S. Let's see what's on offer

Pros
  • Super-light steering wheel makes it easy to drive in tight, urban spaces.
  • Compact proportions. Fits in practically anywhere.
  • Claimed efficiency is 25.17kmpl. Identical to its sibling, the Renault Kwid.
Cons
  • No touchscreen infotainment, digital instrument cluster like the Kwid.
  • Quality and fit and finish levels are average.
  • Airbag limited to top-spec version only. No ABS at all.

Stand Out Features

  • Cool looking LED daytime running lamps are unique to the redi-GO.

    Cool looking LED daytime running lamps are unique to the redi-GO.

  • Ground clearance is a class leading 185 mm. (Kwid = 180mm)

    Ground clearance is a class leading 185 mm. (Kwid = 180mm)

CarDekho Verdict

The person who buys the Datsun redi-GO will most probably be the first-time buyer who is upgrading from a scooter or a motorbike. He or she will also probably be a novice driver which means that the redi-GO would make a great car to learn or improve one’s driving skills on. But the redi-GO is not for the kind of customer who wants something exciting to drive and something that has good road dynamics. A 1-litre engine variant is expected to join the ranks but that will probably hit showrooms sometime later this or year or in 2017. 

"The redi-Go is a smart, stylish, practical & value for money city run about. "

Overall, the redi-GO looks quite funky, has a lot of space and offers a good ride quality. Essentially, if you are the kind of person that is looking for a point A to point B travel in a car that is easy to drive in traffic and easy to park, the redi-GO will suit you well. 

Exterior

The redi-GO looks quite funky which may appeal to a lot to first-time car buyers looking for an entry-level hatchback. The conventional tall-boy design has just the right amount of details to grab attention.

We like how the production-spec version stays true to the concept that was shown at the 2014 Auto Expo. The large hexagonal honeycomb grille, smoked out sweptback headlamps and the heavily detailed bumper give the redi-GO a lot of character. A little dab of chrome around the grille and the integrated LED daytime running lamps look neat. We do like the faux skidplate Datsun has added at the bottom, that ends up giving the hatch a raised look.

Over to the side, you'd instantly notice the character lines that run across the length of the car. While one emanates from the headlamps and disappears into the taillamps, the other starts off from the front door and ends up at the tailgate. The redi-GO gets thin, 13-inch wheels and a set of good looking alloy wheels would have really set the car apart.

Exterior Comparison

Maruti Swift Dzire Volkswagen Ameo Honda Amaze
Length (mm) 3995 3995 3990
Width (mm) 1735 1682 1680
Height (mm) 1515 1483 1505
Ground Clearance (mm) 163 165 165
Wheel Base (mm) 2450 2470 2405
Kerb Weight (kg) 895Kg 1069 955

 

The boomerang shaped taillamps look quirky and add some funk to an otherwise simple rear. The rear bumper gets a faux skid plate as well and a reflector at either end. While the design isn't path-breaking or out of the box like the Kwid, it is likeable. 

At 222-litres, boot space is not as big as the Kwid’s (300 litres), but offers enough storage for two average-sized bags and then some.

Boot Space Comparison

Datsun Redi GO Hyundai EON Maruti Alto 800 Renault KWID
Volume 222 Ltrs 215-litres 177-litres 300-litres

The redi-GO looks quirky, fresh and young, unlike the Alto twins. That's not all! Datsun has also offered a host of personalisation options comprising of 50 accessories to add a dash of fun. The five personalised kit options comprise Urban, Style, Kool, Easy Kit - enhance style, and Easy Kit - premium style.

Interior

Get inside the redi-GO and a sea of grey welcomes you. There's grey everywhere, including the dashboard, door pads, gear lever, and the seats as well! The dashboard itself is well contoured though and not like the earlier plain jane slabs of plastic that you got on the Go and Go+. You also get a smart looking gloss black centre console. 

The infotainment setup comprises a USB and AUX input but no Bluetooth connection, which means you cannot connect your phone to the car wirelessly to play music or take and make phone calls. 

Storage space, too, could have been better with just one large and another smaller cupholder. The door pads also get limited storage and the glovebox is sufficient to carry your vehicle documents and some other knick-knacks. 

The interior is one step ahead than on the Go & Go+.

The new redi-GO also offers a lot of space in the back seat in terms of knee room and head room but shoulder room for three people is not adequate and it could get quite cramped. The seats themselves are quite comfortable, though, with enough lumbar and under thigh support. There is no folding handrest or adjustable headrests at the back.

In terms of the front seats, although they are decently comfortable overall with the exception of being quite narrow on the top half, the distance between the steering wheel and the seats aren’t large enough for drivers 6ft and above since the seats do not slide as far back as they should ideally. Of course, most Indian men have an average height of around 5’8’ so this shouldn’t be a problem to them. On the whole, though, the redi-GO is more spacious than the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and about as spacious as the Renault Kwid.

Performance

0.8-l Petrol 

The Renault Kwid and the Datsun redi-GO share the same platform and, thus, share the same engine and gearbox. They even share the same engine mapping. And this means that the redi-GO gets a 0.8-litre or 800cc engine that makes a modest 54PS of peak power and 72Nm of peak torque. Essentially, this car is not tuned for performance but for fuel efficiency. So, don’t go looking for driving thrills. But, if you are the sort of person who only wants to potter around from point A to point B in relative comfort, then this could be the right car for you. 

Datsun claims that the redi-GO can accelerate from 0-100kmph in 15.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 140km/h. However, if you do drive it sedately, it returns a respectable 25.17kmpl as per ARAI. 

Performance Comparison (Petrol)

Maruti Alto 800 Datsun Redi GO Hyundai EON Renault KWID
Power 47.3bhp@6000rpm 53bhp@5678rpm 55.2bhp@5500rpm 53.3bhp@5678rpm
Torque (Nm) 69Nm@3500rpm 72Nm@4388rpm 74.5Nm@4000rpm 72Nm@4386rpm
Engine Displacement (cc) 796 799 814 799
Transmission Manual Manual Manual Manual
Top Speed (kmph) 140 kmph - 135 Kmph 135 Kmph
0-100 Acceleration (sec) 19 Seconds - 19 Seconds 16 Seconds
Kerb Weight (kg) 727kg - - -
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI) 24.7kmpl 25.17kmpl 21.1kmpl 25.17kmpl
Power Weight Ratio 65.06189821182943 bhp/ton - - -

Now, as we just mentioned, the redi-GO is not an exciting car to drive but it sure is easy to drive (especially for a beginner). The clutch is very light and the gearshifts although a bit imprecise, are light and easy to slot. An automatic (AMT) version is also there in the pipeline, which should make driving in our cities easier still. Overall visibility from inside the car is also brilliant while driving in tight traffic is a breeze. Also, since the length of the car is quite small, it is extremely easy to park the car. The NVH (Noise Vibration Harshness) levels aren’t too bad either but when compared to the likes of the Maruti Alto, they could have been better.

Ride and Handling

One of the most comfortable cars in the segment.

The Datsun redi-GO does share the same basic architecture as the Kwid,  but the suspension setup is very very different. In fact, it comes with a unique H-shaped beam setup for the rear suspension which is a unique feature in its class. But what does that translate for the average joe? Well, for starters, the redi-GO is one of the most comfortable cars we have driven in a long time (in this segment). It is also suited much more towards ride quality as compared to handling and it shows in the way the Datsun makes short work of most bumps and potholes.

Now although the redi-GO does handle much better than other older Datsun cars, it still hates being thrown into a corner aggressively. In fact, the Datsun hatch has a tendency to understeer and the steering wheel itself lacks feel compared to, say, the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800. We also found an issue with the steering return ability on the redi-GO. Basically, take a U-Turn and the steering takes a lot of time and some manual effort to get back to the straight position. Now, normally, we would assume the issue to be a poor set of tyres, but we drove two different cars on two different set of budget tyres, and both of them had the same issue.

Even with the brakes, we felt a lack of initial bite and braking feedback until you push the pedal harder and deeper into the floor. Push too hard and the brakes lock up instantly as the redi GO does not get ABS on any variant. In terms of safety, apart from passive safety features like crumple zones, the redi-GO does get a driver airbag on the top-of-the-line variant. 

Safety

This is one segment where safety of the occupants is not really the prime concern for majority of car manufacturers. Although, Datsun has managed to equip redi-GO with some decent features. It makes use of a Datsun claimed ‘Pro Safe-7’ mechanism.

Only a driver side airbag is on offer.

This includes a reinforced crash protection shell which beefs up the structure of this compact hatch. Also on offer is an electric power steering with an impact absorbing feature. To ensure a safe and comfortable drive, Datsun has introduced a driver side airbag for more protection along with increased seat bolster that takes care of your driving position and provides lumbar support as well.

Safety Comparison

Volkswagen Vento Hyundai Verna
Airbags righticonClose righticonClose
ABS righticonClose righticonClose
EBD righticonClose righticonClose

Variants

  • Petrol
Variants Features Price
D Instantenous fuel economy, Rear-door child lock, Shift-up indicator, 2.41 Lakh*
A [ In adition to D ] Accessory socket, Immobilizer, Air conditioner, [ Variant D price ] + 45,100 =  2.86 Lakh*
T [ In adition to A ] Two front speakers, Body-coloured door handles, Mobile docking system, [ Variant A price ] + 27,700 =  3.14 Lakh*
T Option [ In adition to T ] Daytime running lamps, Driver Airbag, Accessory socket, [ Variant T price ] + 11,700 =  3.26 Lakh*

With five variants to choose from, the entry level D variant manages to get only basic driving aids. The absence of necessary equipment such as body coloured bumpers, power steering, air conditioner and even an immobilizer makes it score less on features. However, all the rest of the variants get the above list of features as standard. Apart from power steering which is offered only on T, T(O) and S variants. As you gradually move up the segment i.e. A and above, one gets treated to some premium appeal with silver finish on the steering wheel, AC vents and a piano black centre console.

Our pick is the top S variant as it is the only one to get an airbag.

Only the T(O) and the top S variant gets an audio system with CD/MP3 USB and AUX support. The audio unit is connected with two speakers at the front. These top two variants also get front power windows for added comfort. The top of the line S variant gets an additional driver side airbag and daytime running lights as well. 

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*Ex-showroom price

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