A stylish hatch which drives high above the road

value for money With new-age styling and a peppy engine, the Datsun redi-GO 1.0 is a revelationin the hatchback segment

A stylish hatch which drives high above the road

Datsun cars have been on Indian roads for a while now. Even after launching a couple of budget cars for the middle-class buyer, the company is yet to gain traction. Though its previous products the Datsun Go and Go Plus were well-priced and value for money, they didn’t help the company gain any mark in the Indian market. But things changed a little with the frugal, yet stylish red-GO, with which Datsun is expected to bet big on the compact and budget car market.

Now quick on the heels of the 800 cc model, Datsun has zoomed in its redi-GO 1.0, in a bid to grab a greater share from respective segments.

Design quotient

If there was something that has made the red-GO stand out, it is its design - sporty and trendy to say the least. Carrying from its smaller sibling, the 1.0-litre car adds minimal touches to look different. The only visible exterior difference is the ‘1.0’ badging that helps in basically distinguishing this car with its 800-cc sibling.

From the front, the car has a dashing grill with glowing logo of the company. The Daytime Running Lamps (DRLs) which are embedded on the bumper looks cool. This is said to be the first special feature in this class. The side looks a little bulky, with the curves and lines. If one sees the car from behind, it looks high off the ground. Overall with slight changes makes the redi-GO different from other cars.

Roomy cabin

While the grey interior cabin of the 800 cc red-GO gave a sense of roominess and space, the 1.0-litre car adds a hint of premiumness to the same, thanks to its black interiors.

From the drivers seat, the higher-seating position gives a nice view of the road. Space in between the front seats could’ve been made use of in a better way, rather than just reserving a lot of space for the hand brake. The smartly designed dashboard with sufficient utility spaces are appreciable.

The shelf running under the dashboard promises us more storage options inside the car. Besides the front, the rear seat features are not been compromised.

However, there is no extra special feature in the passenger seat, but the airiness and the leg space in the rear seat gets a thumbs up. An irritating part of the rear seat, which carmakers can afford to fix, is the non-retractable seat belt.

The glass area and high roof also gives enough head space even for a tall person to sit comfortably. But the makers have surely compromised in providing more boot space, which is at 222 litres. As the wheelbase is 2,348 mm and overall length is 3,429mm, the makers have managed to give more attention to the passengers inside.

What we didn’t like is the music system, which has a rather old-school design. Though the in-built system has all the options such as CD, USB, Radio and AUX, Bluetooth connectivity, which is now the basic feature in all cars, is not seen.

There are instances of cost-cutting with the Datsun redi-GO, as we can see plenty of plastic exposure inside.

Even the door pockets lack plastic inserts meant to hide the sheet metal. Another special feature inside the car is the LED display of the brand that can be seen once the door is opened. The makers have made the best to place the brand inside the car too.

Instead of the product placement, they would have worked little more on covering the plastics inside the car that would made the design more appealing.

Single wiper, manually-operated mirrors, flap-type door handles, static seat belts for rear passengers and only three retaining nuts in the wheels have added more to the cost-cutting mission.

Ready to Go

Firstly, engine noise is where the makers have to really work. Even though they are betting big on the red-GO, more work is needed. As the car owners like more a smooth car, they would be surely bothered by a noisy engine.

Even though we tried the redi-GO’s petrol engine, the engine noise needed a little getting used to. As we hit the road, the 1,000 cc engine, with 68 ps/5,500 rpm of power and 91 Nm of torque@4,250 rpm gives the feel of driving a light car. Compared with the competitors, the Datsun red-GO is nearly 30 kg lighter as claimed by the makers. With a 5-speed manual gear transmission, the car gets enough power and doesn’t disappoint on city drives.

The throttle response would have tuned, which makes the car dull, especially when the driver is overtaking another vehicle. To really get going, the driver is forced to shift down the gear and get enough speed to pick up.

However, it’s up to the driver to make the best use of the car. But with this task, the engine noise will be audible inside the cabin, and doesn’t feel that we are driving a smooth car.

Yes, it’s tall with 1,541 mm height and 185 mm of ground clearance. The main plus-point in the driving aspect of the redi-GO lies in taking the car on tough roads. It can actually do many things that its competitors cannot. The deadly and deep potholes were crossed with some tricks without the body coming into contact with the floor. However with some weight, it was disappointing. As a small car, it tackles the rough areas with a fair maturity.

Though the seating position is high, the passengers inside the vehicle can feel the surface inside, when we cross the hard and rough surface on the road.

However going around the corner, the Datsun red-GO will not go out of track. The power steering will feel very light in lower speeds, almost giving the feel of driving an electric or a toy car. This will be a more lovable feature, especially when you are driving in the city.

If the steering was more substantial, the driver would have felt more confident to go on higher speeds. When we tested the braking, the car did not promise to come to a halt as expected in high speeds. The disc brake in the front and drum brakes in the rear can only effectively halt the car if it’s below 80kmph. As there is no effective road grip, the car can drift on smooth areas if it’s tried to be halted at higher speeds. When we tested the top speed, the car effortlessly reached 100 kmph in over 10 seconds. However, the light weight of the vehicle is not fit to bear the wind speed, and we noticed some imbalance. On the safety front, the car offers a single driver-side airbag.

The red-GO is quite an attractive package for a customer, who will be willing to upgrade himself to a four-wheeler. It offers a really attractive price tag (priced from Rs 3,57,333) for customers, where it gives an immense pleasure to have budget car with value for money.

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