It’s no secret that more than 50% of total car sales come from the hatchback segment in our market. So, after failing to make much of an impact in this class with the Go, Datsun gave it another ‘go’ this year with the redi-GO. And the first thing that draws your attention is its design. By making it virtually identical to the concept, Datsun has ensured that the redi-GO moves away from convention and gravitates towards the contemporary. The large hexagonal grille, somewhat flared wheel arches and sharp character lines makes it look modern and unlike any other car in its class. The rear, however, is shaped uniquely and might not suit everyone’s taste.
As far as the interior is concerned, unlike the Go, the redi-GO comes with pilot seats up front – fortunately. Leg and knee room at the back is enough, but seating three at the rear might be a bit of a squeeze. But, while it is comfortable, the Datsun once again leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to quality. The plastic on the dashboard looks substandard and the exposed sheet metal on the door panels and the C-pillar make matters worse.
Under the hood, the redi-GO makes use of the same 800cc 3-pot unit that we’ve already experienced in the Kwid. The engine isn’t the most refined, and you can feel the vibrations inside the cabin, on the gear lever, and even on the steering wheel. Moreover, it shows its discomfort when revved, and only feels at home in the low to mid-range. The 5-speed gearbox is a bit clunky too. Ride quality is jittery over undulated roads, and the cabin isn’t insulated enough to filter road noise either. Whatever changes the Datsun engineers have made to the Kwid’s chassis don’t seem to have worked especially well in this case.
The only aspect in which the redi-GO scored well is in the value-for-money stakes. With prices starting at Rs. 2.38 lakhs, the redi-GO is affordable no doubt, but it’s hard to sign a cheque in favour of the Datsun when you have products like the Maruti Suzuki Alto and the Renault Kwid to choose from.