BIGGER AT HEART
It has been over a year since Datsun launched the redi-GO in India and the car has been selling in good numbers all this while. Though they had launched two other budget cars- the GO and GO+ earlier, none of them managed to sell much. This is when the redi-GO arrives as the ‘life-saver’ for the Japanese automaker in the country.
So, what has made the redi-GO so popular? Well, apparently the credit goes to the good looks, decent cabin space, tempting fuel economy and most importantly its aggressive pricing.
To celebrate the success of this model, Datsun had even launched a special limited edition in the meantime which also fared well in the market. Initially Datsun redi-GO was launched with an 800cc engine. Later it seemed inevitable for the company to introduce the same with a 1000cc engine, as the market demanded such engines from this particular segment. And so, redi-GO 1.0L was made. Now let us take a spin on this little hatchback to see how it responds.
The phiz remains unchanged. The large grille with those rich chrome surrounds, the large unique headlamps, the heavily sculpted front bumpers and the first in class LED DRLs (still exclusive to the fully loaded trim) have all been retained. The profile looks catchy enough with two bold bodylines and those 13 inchers that seem lost in their mammoth-sized wheel arches. If there is any bit of visible change, anywhere on the redi-GO 1.0L, it is at the rear. While the gorgeous tail lamps and the sculpted rear bumper with its faux scuff plates would all seem identical to the outgoing model, there is this '1.0' badging on the boot lid that distinguishes this car from its less capable siblings.
The cabin of the 1.0L redi-GO is as nice and airy as the 800cc car. The plastics are finished in a darker shade of grey. This has actually helped in concealing the panel gaps pretty well and also has made the cabin look more up-market. The seating is still high and nice, thus it’s as easy to get in and out as it was on the previous car. Plus, this improves the visibility as well. Also since there is a large glass area and the windows are broad, you don’t really get the feeling of sitting inside something minuscule.
The dashboard layout seems quite identical to the 800cc car. The music system, seen just beneath the AC vents, has a minimalistic layout. It cannot be called the best of the lot, but has just the right number of functions and controls to get a decent job done. At this point, one may also note that this player, without even the convenience of Bluetooth pairing is in sharp contrast to the navigation enabled touch screen infotainment system of Renault Kwid, the car’s French cousin. The bits of satin silver detailing at places inside the cabin like the AC vents, the lower spoke of the steering etc. accentuates the cabin's visual appeal.
Two other things that are new in this car and need special mention are the central locking button on the console and the key with the remote locking functions integrated into it. There are plenty of cup holders and storage spaces provided in the cabin. Seats are sporty and offer more legroom and headroom. However, the redi-GO does compromise on certain things to keep the costs under control. There are still bits of exposed body metal in the cabin, the mirrors lack internal adjustment, the wipers offer just two speeds of operation and the glove box is tiny by all standards!
The redi-GO borrows the 1.0 litre mill from the Renault Kwid. This three pot unit is capable of producing 68HP of power and 91Nm of torque; that undoubtedly is ample enough to get a decent job done. Being a car of this kind, the redi-GO doesn't put any wide grin on your face, but nor does it make you lose your nerve under any circumstance. You feel ample power at your toes at almost all RPMs, which means redi-GO excels equally in the cities and out on the highways. The car has a very smooth delivery of power. Unlike its sibling with a lighter heart, there are no pronounced jerks when you dab the throttle of the redi-GO 1.0, especially at lower revs. Though the engine gets a bit noisy at times, one would not blame the refinement of this mill in general.
As of now, the redi-GO 1.0l gets a 5 speed manual gearbox. However it would not be in vain if one expects the AMT box from the Kwid sometime soon. The steering lacks weight and the car has a very small turning radius. Thus all those tight parking and hectic city commutes seem no mess to the redi-GO 1.0.
No change has been made to the suspension of this car. The springs are still a bit on the stiffer side. Needless to say, the ride comfort of the redi-GO 1.0L seems identical to the smaller capacity model. Like its smaller sibling, the redi-GO 1.0l also gets a ground clearance of 18mm- a figure that would outshine those of many modern day crossovers. As obvious, the higher stance translates to a bit of body roll in the cabin of this 'URBAN CROSSOVER' (that’s how Datsun likes to call their youngest tall boy).
On the safety front, there is still no ABS on offer but the car gets a driver Airbag on its fully loaded trim. Returning 22.5 kms for every litre of fuel, redi-GO 1.0L seems to be a pocket-friendly pick, despite having a bigger heart. The car bears a price tag of 3.85 lakhs (Ex. showroom, Kochi).
The drawbacks of this car seem few in number and negligible when the long list of pros like the aggressive pricing, magnificent economy and impressive ride quality is taken into account. It is assured that this little hatchback will give nightmares to Maruti Alto K10, Renault Kwid 1.0L, 1000cc Hyundai Eon and many other cars belonging to the segment.