On paper, a low cost brand seems just the right thing for India. Nissan with Datsun is trying to sell affordable cars to Indians and help them realize a long standing dream of owning a car. The sales figures of their already existing cars in the market haven’t done justice to the Japanese brands aspirations in India so the Redi-Go is their next big hope. In a segment which has a clear market leader, it will not be easy for Datsun however good the car is, but nevertheless a good car will definitely be a step in the right direction. The rigmaroles of the urban commuter is something most of us are familiar with and the city of Joy, Kolkata played an ideal host for us to take the Redi-go for a spin and understand it better.
The brave and bold Yukan design by Datsun surely works on the Redi-go. The compact proportions were a necessity looking at the segment the car comes in but designers at Datsun surely deserve compliments for a job well done. The two main character lines along the profile of the car do it a world of good. However when you see the Renault Kwid doing well in the market purely because its SUV like looks you do feel that Datsun has missed a trick by not going the cross way. At least a little bit of plastic cladding could have gone some way in making the Redi-Go look even more appealing. But that is somewhat compensated by a lot of stylish design cues which include the attractive headlamps, the big chrome grille and LEDs on the top variant. The hatch also is designed very well and almost the all angles the Redi-go looks the best designed car in the segment.
The space inside has to be one of the highlights on the car. Be it the first row, the second row or even the boot space of 222 litres, the Redi-go will surely impress you. Getting in and out is a breeze and a special mention needs to be made of the thigh support and head room on the second row. The top-end variant gets an audio system with radio, CD, MP3, USB and that’s a huge improvement when compared to the Go hatch. A smart innovation is the big centre AC vent in the centre of the dash that benefits the rear seat passengers more. A good thing is that the power window switches and the hand brake lever now find place between the two front seats, a clear and a well thought of departure from the inconvenient Go and Go+. But the hatch does come with its share of downsides. The sheet metal that’s left exposed in an apparent show of cost cutting doesn’t present a pretty picture. The car also comes without central locking or internal adjustment of ORVMs, even in the top variant.
A good thing is that the power window switches and the hand brake lever now find place between the two front seats, a clear and a well thought of departure from the inconvenient Go and Go+.
When compared to the earlier two hatches by Datsun in India, the Redi-go runs on a less powerful and smaller 3-cylinder 800 cc engine. This is the same 54 bhp motor powers the Renault Kwid as well, but the advantage here is that because of the reduced weight (25 kg lesser when compared to the Kwid) the engine is able to hold on to its own. This also translates into good mileage figures and the Japanese company is claiming a maximum fuel efficiency of 25.17 kmpl, the most for a petrol hatch in India. The gearshift is nice and smooth and the car can boast of just about adequate torque of 72 Nm to handle the different traffic and road conditions. The clutch is light and the gearshift is smooth. But Datsun could’ve done more about the noise levels of the car, as some engine sound gets inside the cabin, more so at higher speeds.
Ride & Handling
The Redi-go was an apparent head turner on the roads of Kolkata. It looks like a great tool for urban mobility that squeezes into tight parking spaces or take on the narrow alleys with ease. The ride quality is more on the softer side and the car takes the bumps with relative ease. And despite the tall boy dimensions, the Redi-go is an efficient handler. Datsun is also proudly talking about the acceleration and braking figures on the car saying It takes 15.98 seconds to go from 0-100 kph, while from 100 kph to zero it takes 32.3 metres to stop. Both these figures according to Datsun beat the Kwid handsomely. A high ground clearance, higher than even some SUVs is a huge advantage looking at our road conditions. An impressive turning radius of under 5 metres also works in its favour.
The Redi-go will be out on the roads in the next few days and the price will determine how it is able to take on the might of cars like the Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. Datsun has already given an indication that the prices will start at Rs. 2.5 lakh and that should work in its favour. What’s also good is that despite being in the entry hatch segment the redi-GO comes with active safety features like reinforced crash protection shell, energy-absorbing steering wheel and a driver’s airbag. The bookings for the car are already on and if you’re looking out to but your first car, or even the second, the Redi-go fits the bill quite well.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars