Once you test drive the redi-GO made by Japanese carmaker Datsun, you will realise that small cars are not so ‘small’ any more. This car has a decent presence on the road, and enough cabin space for four large-sized adults. Now armed with an automated manual transmission (AMT), the redi-GO also makes good sense in case you primarily drive within your city. We drive the redi-GO Smart Drive Auto—that’s what Datsun calls the AMT variant—on Delhi’s congested roads.
Is it a looker?
It has a forward drooping styling. At the front, the large grille and the company logo makes it look similar to the Go and Go+. However, the rear tail-light cluster makes the car stand out. Its ground clearance of 185mm gives it a heightened stance.
Is it spacious?
It’s the most spacious car in its segment. Headroom and legroom is more than that in Maruti Suzuki Alto K10, Hyundai Eon and Renault Kwid, and rear legroom matches that of a certain compact sedan. The boot space is 222 litres.
What about storage?
While there is a large, open space above the lockable glovebox, the glovebox itself is too small to keep your basic stuff safely. The door pockets are too narrow to easily fit a thick magazine or a certain Sunday newspaper.
Is the cabin modern?
The drive computer shows you fuel-efficiency, distance-to-empty and other drive-assist information. It gets a Bluetooth audio system, with hands-free calling and audio streaming. Front power window switches are located between the front seats, which can take some getting used to. All-black interiors look good.
How good is the AC?
It’s one of the best in its segment. On the dashboard there are four AC vents, and the one right above the audio system—it cannot be closed, unlike other three vents—throws air directly towards rear seating area, making the AC more effective for rear passengers. However, it can be bothersome for front passengers as its airflow cannot be adjusted.
How does it drive?
The 999cc petrol motor produces a maximum power of 67bhp and torque of 91Nm. For your intracity travel needs, the performance is just right. Any AMT gearbox takes about half a second to change gears, but on congested city roads you won’t mind the lag as you don’t really have to do quick overtaking manoeuvres. The redi-GO Smart Drive Auto makes driving simpler compared to manual gearbox cars courtesy its dual-driving mode and rush-hour mode. Dual-driving mode: You can switch between automated and manual modes when you need more torque, in conditions such as overtaking or driving uphill or up a flyover. Rush-hour mode: In this mode the car will maintain a steady speed of 5-6kph; it comes handy in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions.
Is it a city slicker?
Its tight turning radius of 4.7 metres makes driving and turning around in narrow lanes easy. The claimed fuel-efficiency is 23kpl (we got 18-19kpl driving in Delhi, which is impressive).
How safe is it?
Datsun says the redi-GO has a lot of ‘active’ safety features—short braking distance, reinforced crash protection shell, high-strength body shell, high-mounted stop lamp, and a wide view of the road from the driver’s seat to minimise chances of an accident. It’s available in two variants—T(O) and S—and the latter gets the driver-side airbag. There’s central locking system with remote key for convenience.
Is it a good buy?
The T(O) variant is priced Rs 3,80,600 and the S variant is priced Rs 3,95,505 (ex-showroom, all-India). That doesn’t make the redi-GO Smart Drive Auto the most affordable AMT car in India (Tata Nano XTA is still the cheapest AMT, at Rs 3,22,706, but that’s a 624cc engine). In the 1.0-litre AMT segment, the redi-GO Smart Drive Auto is smartly priced. It’s cheaper than Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AGS (Rs 4,15,254), has comparatively more cabin space, and a feature or two extra. The Maruti might pip it on a highway, but on city roads both have almost similar performance. So, product-to-product, the redi-GO Smart Drive Auto might come across as a better buy, to some. Maruti, however, enjoys a better brand value and customer trust. Datsun is building on it.
(Prices are ex-showroom, Delhi, except where mentioned otherwise.)