Kolkatta: A city of dirty streets and bungalow type colonies. At the same time, a city of grand residential “palaces” and skyscrapers . City of yellow-painted Ambassador taxis. It was at the last stage of a drive from Kochi to Bhutan that we landed in Kolkatta. The route to Bhutan was from Kochi to Kolkatta-Siliguri-Jaigaon.
This time, the visit to Kolkatta was with a different purpose. The purpose was to test drive the small hatchback DATSUN Redi-GO. This is the vehicle segment that sells most in India. The land of Maruti Alto 800, Hyundai Eon and Reno Quid. Into this market enters DATSUN Redi-Go. The earlier models of DATSUN were GO and GO+. Lack of standard was the reason for their failure. The Indian prefers a vehicle of high standard even if somewhat more costly. The cost-reduction focus was the undoing of GO and GO+. While driving Redi-GO, one felt that DATSUN had learned the lessons from these failures. Here follows a detailed Test Drive Report.
Redi-GO has taken shape on the platform of Reno Quid. The suspension, gear box and engine are the same in both the offerings. But in appearance, Redi-GO beats Quid easily. The shape conceptualization is beautiful. Slightly smaller than Quid, but to the eye, it does not seem so. It is also to be noted that Redi-GO is taller than quid: Redi-GO has the tall look of SUVs. Due to this reason, DATSUN calls Redi-GO as “Urban Cross”, not “Small Hatch”. Supporting this nomenclature is another feature: ground clearance. The ground clearance of 185mm puts even SUVs in the shade.
The front appearance is enhanced by the big grill. Around it there is a chromium line. Flowing downward are big headlamps. Well-sculpted bumper. A small air dam in it. A scuff plate with aluminum finish. Oh! And we almost forgot: Daytime running lamps have been provided above the scuff plate! This is the first time that daytime running lamps are appearing in vehicles catering to this segment. A bonnet with power bulge completes the description of the front. Looking from the side, one is reminded of the tall boy design of the now defunct Hyundai Santro. Body lines emanate from below the headlamp and from the middle of the doors, ending in various places.
The backside is very beautiful. L-shaped tail lamps start from the sides. There are sharp breaks and folds ornament many places in the boot. Below may be seen the bumper with aluminum finish. One thing is for sure: In beauty and in prominence, Redi-GO surely stands well ahead of other models in this segment.
Inside we have ash colour and beige. This gives a pleasant appearance to the interior. However, the standard of plastic is not very satisfactory. Naturally, some compromises have been made to make the model economical. The instrument cluster is the same as in GO. There is an orange coloured digital screen with trip meter and tachometer and a blue analog speedometer. It is interesting that of the three AC vents, one has been fixed so as to ensure circulation in the back.
In the dashboard, there is open storage space. The glow box is small. Some smaller things can be stored also below the hand brake. With a view to economy, central locking has been dispensed with. Driver airbag is optional. ABS is absent. There are radio, CD player and USB connectivity in the Audio System. Only BlueTooth is missing.
There is ample leg space in both the front seats and the back seats. The seating position too is admirable. Upholstery provides adequate thigh support. The boot space is 222 liters. But since the boot is a little high, there will be some difficulty in loading luggage. There is also a parcel tray.
Redi-GO has the same 799cc, 3 cylinder petrol engine as in Reno Quid. Engine is 54 BHP. Torque 72 Newton Liter. 5 speeds. Gearbox is manual. The weight of the engine is 25 kgs less than of Quid. Mileage is accordingly more. The three cylinder engine, slow in the range of 1000 to 1200 RPM, is able to accelerate quickly thereafter. This is maintained up to 4500 RPM. One did not experience the noise and vibration that one usually expects in 3 cylinder engines. The gearbox and clutch are very light. Since the seating position is high, Redi-GO offers an outstanding driving experience.
Special mention must also be made of the travel comfort due to higher ground clearance and good suspension setup. The turn radius of this car is 9.46 metres. The certified mileage of 25.17 kms per liter is a strong point of Redi-GO. Furthermore, Redi-GO would definitely earn the reputation of the most graceful car with best ground clearance.