2021 Datsun redi-GO Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the 2021 Datsun redi-GO.
Car Tested: 2021 Datsun redi-GO 1.0 MT; Road Test No. 1349; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs 4.72 – 5.85 lakhs
Pleasing design, comfortable cabin and an easy to drive character make the Datsun redi-GO a decent small car
The small car segment in India consists of some top performers whose positions on the sales charts are untouchable, some tough rivals which have the guts to take on the top performers and some contenders which arrived late to the party. One of them is the Datsun redi-GO which arrived in India at a time when the Alto was the highest selling car in the country (it is the Swift now) while the Kwid was warming up for its stellar sales performance as well. The redi-GO didn’t really take off but that hasn’t deterred Nissan from updating the vehicle and giving it a rather major facelift.
Exteriors – We all know of the Datsun redi-GO as a cute little hatchback with a very small footprint. The vehicle looked quite clean actually but the automaker has revised the exteriors and made the car, should I say, a bit snazzy. It gets a very large and bold grille now, sleeker headlamps, long L-shaped DRLs, new wheel covers, tweaked tail lamps and redesigned bumpers. The car does look good from most angles but you can’t miss the resemblance to the Nissan Magnite (the redi-GO facelift was launched first though).
Interiors – The interior of the Datsun redi-GO has been completely revamped and that’s a good thing. The older vehicle had an off-white colour theme and the overall vibe in the cabin was very drab. With the facelift, the small car now gets an all-new dashboard and revised steering wheel. The dashboard features a dual-tone colour theme and you also get piano black inserts on the centre console. The vehicle gets a simple instrument cluster and an 8-inch touchscreen which is shared with the Renault Kwid but gets a different UI.
The redi-GO sports a decent equipment list, however, it misses out on rear power windows and day-night IRVM
The Datsun redi-GO also gets basic features like front power windows, power steering, central locking but surprisingly it misses out on rear power windows, something which is offered on the Renault Kwid. The redi-GO also skips out on a day-night IRVM. The vehicle gets a simple instrument cluster and most of the controls are also easily accessible. The redi-GO’s front seats are average in terms of comfort and while they won’t pose much of an issue in normal commutes, you might feel tired a bit early while on long drives. The driver seat also has very limited movement so you cannot push it back a lot which means you sit quite close to the steering wheel.
The rear seat experience is also decent. For a car of this size, legroom is fine and headspace is also good but the seat’s squab is very flat and doesn’t really offer a lot of support. The vehicle has a compact boot with a capacity of 222-litres. You do get a few bottle holders in the centre area but the front doors have very thin pockets which can barely take in a mobile phone while the rear doors get a 1-litre bottle holder each.
Performance – The Datsun redi-GO is offered with a choice of two petrol engines, both of which are shared with the Renault Kwid. The smaller 0.8-litre engine develops 54 PS and 71 Nm while the bigger 1.0-litre engine makes 68 PS and 91 Nm. Both the engines are offered with a 5-speed MT while the bigger engine also gets the option of an AMT. We got the 1.0 MT version to sample and were pretty satisfied with the performance.
The 1.0-litre engine, though not that refined, has adequate punch for daily city duties
The engine has a decent low-end punch, however, Maruti’s K10 engine feels more responsive and eager. The mid-range is a bit flat but the engine manages to keep the vehicle going, though you might feel some sluggishness if you’re really pushing the car or want to make fast overtakes. Drive it sedately and the redi-GO will do just fine. The manual gearbox is easy to use; shifts are a bit notchy while the clutch is very light. You definitely feel the performance to be a bit lower with a full load of passengers too. On the redi-GO 1.0 MT, we managed a 0-100 time of 15.59 seconds with just the driver in the car and 20.46 seconds with 4 passengers in the car.
Driving Dynamics – The redi-GO is a very compact car and this is felt when you drive it around. The vehicle is light enough, feels very easy to manoeuvre and park thanks to its dimensions and the light steering. At speeds of up to 80 km/hr, the vehicle’s stability feels fine but go any further and the experience might get a bit unnerving especially on roads where the tarmac isn’t levelled properly. The suspension is pliant and the ride quality is decent enough. It feels slightly stiffer than the Kwid and doesn’t mind taking on potholes. While the tyres are quite skinny, the redi-GO has pretty good ground clearance.
Safety & Service – The Datsun redi-GO comes with a basic safety kit like dual front airbags, ABS and reverse parking sensors. Do note that only the top variant gets two airbags while the entry and mid variants have to make do with just a driver-side airbag. The vehicle was crash tested in 2019 and it scored a dismal 1-star rating. Nissan’s after-sales service can be a hit or a miss depending on where you stay. The company has a dealership or two in most cities but in Tier-2 and Tier-3 regions, dealerships may be lacking so do check for this and speak to existing owners of Nissan cars in your city.
Verdict – The Datsun redi-GO rivals the Maruti Alto and Renault Kwid. The Alto is selling almost 20,000 units a month while the Kwid is doing decent too. The redi-GO isn’t performing as well as its rivals and that’s mostly got to do with past experiences faced by customers and lack of dealerships. The vehicle is nicely packaged though and also costs a bit less than its rivals so you should check it out if you’re looking for a small car.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Maruti Alto, Renault Kwid, Maruti S-Presso
Further Reading –