After launching its not very successful Go hatchback and Go + MPV, Datsun India has now driven in redi-Go in the Indian market. Like its French cousin, the biggest strength of this hatchback is its unique and flamboyant design. It looks anything but regular hatchback and you are sure to get noticed in the crowd of Marutis and Hyundais.
The cars follows no traditional hatchback template and this unique philosophy along with its ridiculously good value for money pricing, is that real trump card of this 5 door hatchback. Not to mention, the challenge in front of the car is very huge and enormous. Fighting it against the likes of Maruti and Hyundai, both of which are thoroughly entrenched into Indian customers psychology, required Datsun to play fully on its all strengths. Another dimension going into the favour of redi-Go is the fact that this car has been conceptualized from the very beginning. Unlike the Go Hatchback and Go + MPV which has been designed with the base of Nissan Micra, redi-Go has been driven to life from a clean slate. So how well the company is able to accomplish this herculean task, we find in this road test review.
Design, Style & Interiors
Despite the fact that design is a subjective matter and vary from person to person, we still believe that red Ego is one of the most beautiful hatchbacks in the country available for the sale now. The aggressive nose, large grill and shapely headlamps give a unique sense of design to this new Datsun. In profile, adopted tallboy design and advantages are sure to benefits in terms of great head room. The crisp lines and characters streaks flows to rear unobtrusively however the rear design presents itself in a very abrupt manner. Another differentiating aspect of redi-Go is it class leading 185 mm of ground clearance. Company calls it India's first urban crossover and we are no one to doubt this claim. Further in favour of style quotient Datsun has decided to forgo with the fog lamps and instead added daytime running lamps which is clearly a very clever decision.
Inside the cabin, redi-Go uses Dual tone combination to brighten up the things. It is indeed very welcome gesture as most of the cars in this category uses the entire beige colour which is although good for space feel, tends to get dirty very easily. Dashboard is nice and its flow from left to right is very neatly laid out. AC vents are circular on the sides but in the middle what you get is a fixed rent specifically located for cooling at the rear seat. Door pockets on the other hand are very slim and cannot hold any bottle even a small one. Company has provided although cup holder but the lack of storage and stowage spaces is clearly felt in the cabin. There is nothing to write home about the quality of the interiors and although redi-Go feels notch below the Hyundai Eon, it's certainly feels nicer than Maruti Alto.
Space inside the cabin is also good and especially the front seats are very spacious. Driving position is very commanding and even the average height driver will feel no difficulty in steering the car in stop start traffic. On the safety front, top model come equipped with driver side airbag however there is no ABS on offer. Boot space on offer is 222 litreS and although it is less than Kwid's 300 litres, still it is enough for carrying your usual stuff to the places.
Engine, Transmission & Driving Dynamics
Under the hood car is powered by 0.8-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine putting out 55 PS and 72 Nm off Max Power and max torque respectively. The engine refinement is within the acceptable limits however what troubles the most is kind of vibrations that creep into the cabin via steering once you crack fire the engine. This is indeed very annoying as this vibration keep on going as you push the car hard. That said, once you pick up the pace, these vibration starts dying away and won't bother you while you drive on the highway. The engine is mated with 5 speed manual transmission which for the first time comes with dogleg shift pattern for the reverse gear. It may be inconvenient for many of us although a great safety feature for the novices who are still struggling to handle the pressure behind the wheels. Gear shift are not very smooth and one can feel the pressure while changing the gears. Still the overall engine transmission combo falls within acceptable region all the company has to contain the vibrations part which could be a real distraction from the driving.
Driving dynamics of the car is on par with the standards. Redi-Go offers compliant suspension although the com pliability is not as good as we have witnessed in Renault Kwid. Stability on the highway, on the other hand, is really appreciable. By the standards of tallboy design, redi-Go offers good handling characteristics. The amount of roll is well contained within the limits and response of the steering is also communicative.
One of the biggest strengths of redi-Go if its Ultra competitive price stretching between Rs 2.39 lakh to Rs 3.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Undoubtedly this Datsun is the most cost efficient hatchbacks on the sale in the market today. There is lot of things riding on the shoulders of redi go and this time Datsun has made sure that its value proposition is really able to strike a chord with the customers. Redi go has a lot of things going for it - be it tallboy proportion, class leading ground clearance of 185 mm, spacious interiors and commanding driving position, and fuel efficient petrol engine. However, the car has its own share of faults, biggest of which is the vibration creeping into the cabin through steering Wheel. Still we feel customers of this segment can overlook these niggles as redi-Go is presenting itself as a tremendously good value for proposition. We can't just agree more.
Style & Substance 4/5 Ride & Handling 3/5
Interiors & Ergonomics: 3/5 Safety & Equipment 2/5
Power-Plant &Transmission 3/5 Fuel Efficiency 4/5
Value for Money 4/5