Entry-level hatchback segment in India holds significant importance for auto manufacturers as it is from here that they achieve a maximum number of sales. For Datsun, their offering into this segment is the redi-GO. Having a starting price tag of Rs 2.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), they seem to have got the pricing right, but how does the car fare against the already crowded competition? We test it out.
The first thing that will stand out is the way the car looks. So many sharp angles are usually avoided by manufacturers to keep the pricing low, but that's not the case with the redi-GO. It sports a tall stance which allows it to have a great ground clearance of 185 mm and sports chrome touches throughout the body, most notably on the front grille. It also gets a strip of Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), below the angular wraparound headlamps, which look neat but aren't very visible during daytime. There's a chrome strip on the back as well which, in addition to the black bumper cladding, give the car a wider appearance.Datsun redi-GO from the back. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The neat design language continues on the inside of the cabin as well. The layout is neat and gets ample storage compartments and a centrally placed air vent for the rear passengers. There are several silver accents too.
Under the skin, the redi-GO is quite similar to the Renault Kwid and sports an excellent chassis that can take on typical Indian road conditions with a fair amount of ease, despite having comparatively small 13-inch wheels.
The engine on the redi-Go is a DOHC 800 cc engine that delivers 54 horsepower and 72 Nm of torque and comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. In simple words, it is peppy enough for quick overtakes in the city.
It also has a speed-sensitive steering which feels light at low speeds and gets heavier at higher speeds and has an impressive turning radius - making it ideal for everyday commute.Datsun redi-GO interiors. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
One of the best things about the already good experience of being inside the car is that the car has a very airy cabin and feels fantastic. The tall stance means that you won't have to crouch while getting inside the car either, and once you are in, there is enough shoulder and headroom on offer. Although tall people, those over 6 feet in height, might have the issue of their left knee touching against the dashboard.
Datsun has done some clever engineering like the front seats are fitted a little higher than usual, which means those who are seated on the back can move their feet further under seat resulting in a more relaxed seating position. The instrument cluster has a neat layout as well and has a gear shift indicator for both up shifts and down shifts, something that helps in economical driving and will be appreciated by first-time drivers.
Keeping safety in mind, there is also a driver-side airbag available in higher trims.
What's Not So Cool?
While the design of the interiors is good, it falls short when it comes to the quality of material used. It doesn't feel as premium as it looks and has a little bit of flex, especially near the glovebox area. The levers on the steering wheel could have been a little better too, and the cost cutting starts to become evident when you notice that there's only a single viper for the windshield and the doors miss out on central locking.
The cost cutting goes on to show up when you look at the exposed sheet metal on the inside and realise that the rear seat belts do not retract by themselves and end up dangling around in the back after usage.Datsun redi-GO's instrument cluster. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
The engine gets really lively once you go past 4000 RPM but the catch is that it gets a little audible inside the cabin. Other than that, though, the noise from outside is very well suppressed.
Having a tall stance, there's also a bit of body roll when you turn the car hard at higher speeds.
The redi-GO mainly competes with the market leader Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and the Renault Kwid, both of which have a higher base price tag as compared to the Datsun.Datsun redi-GO comes with driver side airbags as option. (Photo: Siddharth Safaya/News18.com)
At the end of the day one needs to keep in mind that this is an entry-level car and if you want more from Datsun then you can look at the Datsun GO and GO+. The company has managed to keep the price the car very competitively and in order to do that, there has been some cost cutting.
Once you hop inside, you are in for an easy driving experience in a car that is capable of taking on everyday commute hurdles and sports the looks that you won't mind making an appearance in.