Datsun redi GO Review & Test Drive

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Datsun redi GO Overview

Automatic transmissions are gaining popularity in India as our roads are becoming more congested with every passing day. In order to offer its buyers the convenience of an automatic transmission in a budget, Datsun will soon launch its most affordable car, the redi-GO, with an automated manual transmission (AMT). The redi-GO shares mechanicals with the Renault Kwid and the 5-speed AMT paired with the 1.0-litre engine isn’t an exception either. We drove the redi-GO AMT in the heart of India’s capital to find out whether automating gear shifts has made the little Datsun a better city runabout.

Since the redi-GO AMT remains the same as the redi-GO 1.0, read our review of the latter to know more about the 1.0-litre engine’s performance and the exterior and interior styling. Without beating around the bush, let’s get straight to what’s new here, the 5-speed AMT.

Datsun redi GO Design

Datsun has done an amazing job with the redi-Go, with the design closely resembling the original concept. With its young, fresh styling based on Datsun’s new Yukan theme which means brave and bold in Japanese, the redi-Go also manages to make the Go siblings look outdated. The front is dominated by the large hexagonal radiator grille with its chrome surround and a matte black mesh. It does look large for the overall profile but then Datsun wants it to be a signature trait that will also be seen on its future offerings. The wraparound headlights have a sleek design with chrome detailing on the inside.

The front bumper gets a series of crease lines which makes the lower portion appear wider. Instead of fog lamps, it gets LED DRLs which we believe will only be offered in the top-end variant or as an optional accessory. The recess above the DRLs gets circular and squarish slots which make the design look unfinished. Front bumper also gets a plastic cladding to mimic a bash plate which is a smart addition.The first thing that you notice on the side profile is its height. Datsun claims that the tallboy design was not only done for aesthetics but also to provide better ingress and egress compared to that of its competition. Also, for substance on the side profile, there are two distinct character lines that flow along the length creating multiple layers. In addition, it gets flared wheel arches and bulging contours, especially on the rear. This is further accentuated with its tall ground clearance of 185mm, which is greater than that of the Alto 800 (160mm), Eon (170mm) and even the Renault Kwid (180mm).

The redi-Go measures 3,429mm in length, 1,560mm in width and 1,541mm in height which makes the redi-Go shorter than the Hyundai Eon by 66mm, wider by 10mm and taller by 41mm.On the rear profile, the sharply raked character line gels into the tailgate to create the effect of a slingshot. The clear lens tail lights have been placed at a higher position which offers better visibility to cars around you. The redo-Go’s rear bumper is wide and gets a chrome-treated exhaust pipe neatly tucked underneath. The faux skid plate can be seen on the rear bumper too. It is a step towards making the redi-Go appear like an ‘urban-cross’ (as Datsun likes to call it), but to me it just looks like a jazzy A-segment tallboy, at best.

Datsun redi GO Cabin

The instrumental cluster doesn’t feel as modern as the Kwid’s digital unit but displays the same amount of information like fuel efficiency, distance to empty, gear shift indicator and trip distances. The redi-Go shares it three-spoke steering wheel with the Go range. The centre console isn’t reminiscent of the Go though and gets a comparatively premium layout with a piano finished bezel around the single-DIN audio unit and the HVAC controls. Also, the redi-Go’s entertainment unit offers USB connectivity too which is missing in the more expensive Go series. Is it better than the Renault Kwid? Not when you consider the Duster-sourced 7-inch touchscreen system, which comes with satellite navigation system and bluetooth telephony.Check for Datsun redi GO price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Being 6’1 in height, I always have trouble crawling inside the cabin of entry-level hatchbacks, but in the redi-Go, it wasn’t the case. The tallboy cabin design was of great help. In addition, the cabin offers generous headroom. The cabin can accommodate four average-sized adults and a kid; however, taller occupants will find it uncomfortable with the shortage of kneeroom in both the rows. I also felt that the seats were tad too small. In addition, both row seats lack under thigh support as well. However, I liked the tall seat positioning which Datsun claims was done intentionally to give a better visibility of the road.

In terms of practicality, the front door panels don’t offer useful storage – maybe enough space for a tablet device or a notebook. The glove box too is shallow on space and can only hold the vehicle documents at best. Under the dash, there are cubby pockets to make space for knick knacks. The 222-litre boot is sufficient to carry one average size suitcase, but the higher placed loading lip makes it difficult to haul.There are certain areas that highlight various cost-cutting measures like the lack of enough cladding around the pillars(exposed metal instead), seat mechanism and foot well or just having one reversing lamp instead of the usual two. Justifying it by considering the price range of Rs 2.5 – 3.5 lakh won’t be right, especially when you realize that even the Renault Kwid is positioned in the same segment and offers better quality of interiors compared to the redi-Go.

Datsun redi GO Performance

All our doubts on the Datsun redi-Go getting a different tune of the engine compared to the Renault Kwid were cleared when Gerard Detourbet, managing director, 2ASDU Renault-Nissan Technology and Business Centre India clearly stated that both the motors are identical in nature.The Renault-developed 799cc petrol motor makes 54PS of power at 5,678rpm and generates 72Nm of torque at 4,386rpm. This aluminium-finished motor is claimed to be highly fuel efficient and extremely compact in construction. It weighs a mere 57kg and this was achieved with the use of a plastic oil sump and directly attaching the alternator to the engine block. This motor is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission with gear ratios identical to the Kwid. Even the claimed fuel economy remains unchanged at 25.17 kmpl. To know more details on Datsun redi GO check Lanetalab

While the Kwid hadn’t made any claims about its 0-100kmph sprint, the Datsun claims 15.9s, with a top whack of 140kmph.Crank up the motor and you hear a familiar note. The engine idles at a little less than 900rpm. The motor doesn’t feel eager at lower revs, but comes into its zone beyond the 2,800rpm mark. I liked the motor’s mid-range performance, and the car feels a bit more energetic than the Kwid. But don’t expect it to be as rev-happy as the engines in the Maruti and Hyundai rivals. That said, I appreciate its ability to cruise effortlessly at speeds of 80-90kmph in fifth gear. The engine refinement is impressive for this class, but at higher speeds, the motor noise starts seeping inside the cabin.

With two passengers, the redi-Go’s motor doesn’t feel stressed but with four, the motor demands frequent shifts within the lower gears. This was felt especially while climbing flyovers. Speaking of the transmission, the unit is not the best in the business and the shifts feel rubbery. We believe that the AMT unit, which will debut in the Kwid by June-July 2016, could make a lot of sense on the redi-Go as well.

Datsun redi GO Driving

The first thing that you notice while driving the redi-GO 1.0 AMT is the transmission’s eagerness to upshift. Feather the throttle and it shifts from first gear to second at around 15kmph, which is okay. It shifts to third at around 25kmph and to fourth between 30kmph and 40kmph; the shift from third to fourth being sooner than what an experienced driver would anticipate. It’s a great strategy for extracting the best economy from the engine but does hamper drivability in certain situations like fast-moving traffic – typical of a metro city like Delhi, where you want the engine to remain in its sweet spot. But more often than not, in D (automatic) mode the transmission tends to be in a gear too high to maintain pace with the car in front.

So, unless you’re driving in fast-moving traffic, the D-mode shift logic seems to be spot on. The redi-GO, then, is at its best in the fully automatic mode when driven in a relaxed manner; when you don’t mind a hurried driver overtaking you with just a car’s distance between you and the car in front. The downshifts and the upshifts happen with negligible head jerk and the engine turning over at a relaxed rpm.Since there are no mechanical changes compared to the redi-GO 1.0, the redi-GO AMT continues to offer a comfortable ride at city speeds. The steering is feather light at slow speeds which makes it easy to park and turn in the city. However, it feels a bit too light as speeds exceed 60kmph-70kmph.

Datsun redi GO Safety

The top-end variant of New Datsun Redi-GO features driver side airbags as well, which makes for a very good offer in this segment. Along with this, the car gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear to give the driver a confident drive.

Datsun redi GO Price in Bangalore

Datsun Redi GO On Road Price is 3,17,231/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,61,300/- in Bangalore. Datsun Redi GO comes in 8 colours, namely Red Sport,Lime,White,Grey,Grey Gold,Ruby,Silver,Silver Gold. Datsun Redi GO comes with FWD with 799 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 53 bhp@5678 rpm and Peak Torque 72 Nm@4386 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Datsun Redi GO comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Datsun redi GO Bottomline

The AMT in the Redigo gives prospective buyers yet another reason to consider this car. It remains a smartly-styled, practical car which is amply spacious for its size and due to its tall stance, is very user-friendly, too. The high ground clearance, light steering and nice frontal visibility make it very easy to drive; and now this automatic only makes it easier. Datsun may be making its moves very late in the segment, as compared to rivals like the Maruti Alto and the Renault Kwid, however, this Redigo does pack in a lot of strengths. For city commuting, then, the Redigo offers buyers in this segment almost everything they’re looking for – space, style, practicality and ease of driving. The Redigo 1.0-litre AMT is pegged rather aggressively to begin with, at prices ranging from Rs 3.81-3.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The AMT’s price is about Rs 20,000 more than the subsequent 1.0-litre manual transmission; this makes it the most affordable AMT in its segment.

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