Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT Review
Dhruv Saxena, Mechanical engineer trying to find his place in the world of automobile journalism.
Since its launch in June 2016, the Datsun Redi-GO has been the primary sales driver for Nissan in India. However, its chief rivals Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid still lead in terms of sales by a considerable margin. In order to capture a bigger share of the market, last year in July, the Datsun Redi-GO 1.0 armed with a 999 cc i-SAT three-cylinder petrol engine arrived in showrooms. Until January, the Datsun redi-GO 1.0 was only available with a manual transmission. Now, buyers can opt for a 5-speed AMT as well. We took the Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT variant for a short spin to find out more about the newest member of the redi-GO lineup.
Visually, it remains identical to the existing variants of the redi-GO. Unlike the Renault Kwid (Easy-R), with which the redi-GO shares most of its mechanicals, Datsun has opted against using a suffix to denote the 5-speed AMT it comes equipped with. There is a simple ‘1.0’ badge on the bootlid to distinguish the 999 cc variant from the smaller 799 cc model.
Datsun has opted for a conventional stick gear selector for the redi-GO AMT. Apart from that obvious change in the cabin, there are a couple more minor updates. The audio unit has been replaced with one that supports Bluetooth smartphone pairing and the display in the instrument console shows the gear in place of engine RPM.
What’s it like to drive?
As mentioned earlier, the 5-speed AMT unit mates with the 999 cc i-SAT 3-cylinder petrol engine producing 68 PS @ 5,500 RPM and 91 Nm @ 4,250 RPM. Our course comprised a mix of city, highway, and slightly hilly twisties, which gave us a chance to analyze the redi-GO AMT in almost every environment it is likely to be subjected to. Through busy city streets, where it will be spending most of its time, the transmission impressed with its refined gear changes. The upshifts we smooth and the characteristic ‘head-nod’ associated with AMTs is almost non-existent. Adding to the convenience is the creep mode or, as Datsun like to call it, 'Rush Hour' mode. Simply put, this ensures the car crawls forward when in gear without any throttle input. So, in bumper to bumper traffic, all you have to do is take your foot off the brake and the car will move forward at about 5-6 km/h.
The 5-speed AMT does struggle to cope when driven aggressively or uphill, but that will hardly be a matter of concern for most users. Besides, there is always manual mode in case the driver wishes to take gear changing duties into his/her own hands. The rest of the ride and handling aspects have already been spoken about in great detail in reports published previously. You can check out our first drive and review reports by following the links here and here respectively.
Should I buy one?
Perhaps the best bit about the redi-GO AMT, priced at INR 3,80,600 (ex-showroom Delhi), is that it costs just about INR 18,000 more than the manual gearbox’ed variant. Buyers will appreciate the high set seating, headroom and ample ground clearance on offer. As a compact city runabout, it checks all the right boxes and the addition of the AMT has sweetened the deal further.
Competition Check –
|Datsun redi-GO AMT||Renault Kwid AMT||Maruti Alto K10 AMT|
|T(O)||INR 3,80,600||RXL||INR 3,87,900||VXI(O)||INR 4,15,254|
Datsun redi-GO AMT Specifications
|Maximum Power||68 PS @ 5,500 RPM|
|Maximum Torque||91 Nm @ 4,250 RPM|
|Ground Clearance||185 mm|
|Turning Radius||4.7 m|
|Capacity||Boot Space||222 L|
|Transmission||5 speed AMT|
|Steering||Speed sensitive electric power steering|