This here is the Datsun Redi-GO 1.0 armed with a 999 cc i-SAT three-cylinder petrol engine. Since its launch more than a year ago in June, the Datsun Redi-GO has been the primary sales driver for Nissan in India. That said, it still lags behind its chief rivals Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid by a considerable margin, which has necessitated the introduction of the bigger motor to help reach out to a wider audience. I headed to Goa for a test drive of the new variant to figure out if the bigger heart has given the Datsun RediGO the shot in the arm it needed.
What Does it Look Like?
I won’t delve much into the design as there is nothing new to talk about here. The only thing that sets the variant apart from its 799 cc sibling is the discreet 1.0 badge on the boot lid. It has the same striking exterior design that continues to polarize opinions. I, for one, quite like the head turning exterior of the redi-GO. This particular example finished in white looked rather pretty against Goa’s lush green overcast backdrop. Datsun insists on calling it an “Urban Cross”, perhaps in a bid to appeal to Indian buyers who seem to lap up anything even remotely resembling an SUV, but this is more of a tall boy hatchback design.
While I like the design, for the most part, there are certain styling elements that I take issue with. For instance, the DRLs placed in the bumper look like cheap aftermarket units and the intensity is way too low for the LEDs to be noticeable. The uncovered tow hook and the gap next to it is a bit of an eyesore and could have been concealed better. Also, it would’ve been nice if Datsun had thrown in alloy wheels or at least given a different looking wheel cover, but I am really just nitpicking here.
What’s it like on the Inside?
One of the main advantages of a tall boy design is it aids ingress and egress and also ensures sufficient headroom for tall occupants. As a result, the redi-GO feels roomier than its competitors. Legroom, however, is just about ample and rear seat occupants might get uncomfortable over long journeys. Unlike its smaller engined variant, the RediGO 1.0 gets an all-black cabin, similar to the one on the Sport. Datsun has added silver accents around the air conditioning vents and piano black finish to the centre console. However, the black-red seat upholstery you see here is only offered as an accessory and is not part of the standard package. The RediGO with the 999 cc engine is only available in the top two T(O) and S trims, with the latter featuring a single driver side airbag and central locking.
It continues with the single DIN audio unit, which rather annoyingly, does without Bluetooth connectivity. It also means installing an aftermarket touchscreen is not an option. The glovebox is too small and the door pockets can only hold a few sheets of paper at best. That said, there are a couple of useful cubby holes around and you might be able to squeeze a 1-litre bottle into the cup holder placed in front of the gear lever. Speaking of squeezing stuff in, at 222 L, the boot space isn’t very generous. Also, the loading lip is a bit too high, which means you will have to put your back into getting heavy pieces of cargo in.
What’s Under the Hood?
Powering the redi-GO 1.0 is the same 999 cc three-cylinder petrol engine that made its debut on the Renault Kwid in August 2016. It puts out 68 PS @ 5,500 RPM and 91 Nm @ 4,250 RPM and comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a 5-speed AMT expected to arrive sometime in the future. Datsun is claiming an over fuel efficiency of 22.5 KMPL, which is almost the same as 0.8 L’s figure of 22.7 KMPL, but real world figures could be even closer.
Turn the key and the first thing you notice is the gruffness from the engine while idling. It certainly does not feel as refined as its competitors, but things improve once it’s on the move. The new unit has made the redi-GO a more eager performer as it now gathers speed with greater aplomb, relatively speaking of course. This engine, combined with the short throw 5-speed gearbox, does well in urban confines. While the extra power on offer has made overtaking easier, the redi-GO still feels out of breathe on highways. My advice would be to keep it revving in the mid range to extract the most out of this motor, but that will make it ever harder to match the claimed fuel consumption figure.
What About Ride and Handling?
Datsun says since the weight gain due to the bigger engine is negligible the suspension setup has not been tinkered with. This means there is no discernable difference between the ride and handling characteristics of the 1.0 L and 0.8 L variants. The ride quality of the Datsun redi-GO at low speeds is rather commendable. The suspension manages to iron out bumps and potholes well despite being on the stiffer side. That quality, however, quickly fades with the build up of pace as bumps taken at average driving speeds tend to unsettle the car. Also, the tall boy design, coupled with the skinny 155/80 R13 tires, does not inspire confidence while attacking corners.
One of the USPs of the redi-GO is the high seating positioning, which gives a commanding view of the road ahead making it easier to carve through busy streets. At city speeds, the steering is light making it easy to move in and out of traffic and does weigh up a bit as speeds rise, but never quite enough. Let’s face it, though. You would hardly be indulging in any form of spirited driving with this car. The city is its natural habitat and the RediGO offers enough in terms of performance and ride comfort to keep most owners satisfied. Ample 185 mm ground clearance, a tight turning radius of 4.7 m and a tiny footprint of just 3,429 x 1,560 mm make the RediGO very well suited to the urban environment.
Should I Buy One?
It is difficult to give a definite answer to that question at this point in time as prices are yet to be revealed. However, our estimates suggest it will cost around INR 50,000 more than the 799 cc variants, which will make it decent value for money. That will also make it cheaper than the Renault Kwid and significantly cheaper than the Hyundai Eon.
Sure, it may not be the most feature-rich or the most refined, but it does do certain things really well. As a compact city runabout, it checks all the right boxes and the extra punch it packs thanks to the introduction of the 1.0 L variant has sweetened the deal further.
Datsun redi-GO 1.0 Specifications
|Maximum Power||68 PS @ 5,500 RPM|
|Maximum Torque||91 Nm @ 4,250 RPM|
|Fuel Economy||22.5 KMPL|
|Ground Clearance||185 mm|
|Turning Radius||4.7 m|
|Capacity||Boot Space||222 L|
|Transmission||5 speed MT|
|Steering||Speed sensitive electric power steering|