One of the main factors why the redi-GO has done well in the market is because of its design. It surely is one of the better looking cars in the segment. When it comes to looks there’s nothing that separates this car from the 800cc variant apart from the 1.0 liter badge on the rear of the car. The bold design appeals and the big hexagonal grille along with swept back headlamps lend a sporty character. And down below are small yet effective LED lights. The tail gate has a chrome slat and the rear also has a nice looking bash plate. The wheel arches also add a bit of flair.
When compared to the 800 cc variant this new redi-GO also gets central locking and faux leather seats. The car also gets a sliver finish on the AC vents and the steering wheel. But it misses out on a touch screen that is one of the highlights inside the Renault Kwid. The quality of plastics isn’t the best but finish is of satisfactory levels. But the best part about the redi-GO is the amount of interior space it offers. Even tall passengers get ample headroom on both the rows. In terms of Ergonomics there’s a lot of space to store things all around the car. The power window switches find a place near the hand brake lever which unlike the Go is placed between the front two seats. Boot space at 220 liters is an acceptable number for the segment the car comes in.
Compared to the current 54 PS 800cc engine the redi-GO currently runs on, the 1.0 liter engine gives churns out 68 PS. At 91 Nm it also gives more torque. And you feel an instant difference as it is peppier than the 800 cc mill. The key to this better performing engine is what Datsun calls the i-SAT or intelligent spark Automated technology which ensures a superior performance. Depending on how much power is required and quality of the fuel i-Sat adjusts the spark timing and what you get is a pretty seamless power delivery. Once you get above 2000 rpm the redi-GO is even more fun to drive which makes it a good option of roads which are not really laden with slow moving traffic. But it’s a bit of a dampener that despite being petrol some of the engine noise creeps into the cabin. We’ve seen this engine earlier on the Renault Kwid but for the time being the redi-GO is just being launched with a 5-speed manual transmission. It can be a bit smoother but that is balanced out by a very light clutch that aids a lot in the city traffic. Also the need to change gears isn’t there as much as it is on the 800 cc variant. A claimed fuel efficiency of 22.5 kpml does no harm to this 1.0 liter variant. The fuel tank capacity of 28 litres means you will have to go to the fuel station only once every couple of weeks.
Bad roads, uneven speed breakers or big potholes, the redi-GO sails over them without too much difficulty. Another thing that comes to the advantage of the redi-GO is its precise steering wheel. It responds pretty well, and especially on the narrow roads.
Ride & Handling
The ground clearance of 185 mm is very impressive considering the segment the redi-GO comes in. Bad roads, uneven speed breakers or big potholes the redi-GO sails over them without too much difficulty. Another thing that comes to the advantage of the redi-GO is its precise steering wheel. It responds pretty well, and especially on the narrow roads of Goa the car impressed with its maneuverability. A kerb weight of just 680 kgs also aids in giving a car that rides well. Owing to the tall boy design, you can expect some bit of body roll in the redi-GO but not so much that can make your ride uncomfortable.
The more powerful 1.0 liter engine has certainly made the redi-GO more capable to take on the competition. Datsun would like to sell many more numbers and eat into some of the sales of Maruti Alto the segment leader. The 1.0 liter redi-GO is available in 2 variants and how much premium the Japanese brand charges over the 800 cc variant will only be revealed this week when the car is launched. But for the time being the company has already started taking bookings for the car for an amount Rs. 10,000.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars