Performance – The biggest change in this car is the updated engine. This 1.0-litre engine is made from the same engine block and now delivers 68 PS of power at 5500 RPM and 91 Nm of twisting force at 4250 RPM. This 14 PS increase in power and 19 Nm increase in torque has made a huge difference in the driveability. The updated iSAT engine uses a very smart bit of tech which automatically adjusts spark timings based on quality of fuel and power requirement. This translates into a smoother power delivery with less knocking from the engine. Power delivery is linear and there is good grunt in the mid-range and high-end. NVH levels are improved with very little vibration seeping into the cabin. The 800cc motor vibrates quite a bit. Sound insulation is still the same which means the engine does get loud post 4000 RPM. As the driveability has improved, overtaking has become easier as in-gear acceleration is better. The engine now doesn’t feel strained when you want to urgently overtake. This car should return a fuel economy of 14-15 km/l in the real world.
With the higher power & torque figures, driveability is so much better now
Paired to this motor is the same 5-speed manual transmission which feels a tad bit notchy. This car hits the rev limiter in first gear at 40 km/hr, second gear at 70 km/hr and the third gear goes a little over 100 km/hr. While the competition has an option of an AMT gearbox, Datsun is only offering a manual on the 1.0-litre redi-GO. Datsun should have launched this car with an AMT but they say it will be coming later. Even the Terrano took a while to get the AMT.
Driving Dynamics – Ride quality is flat. At slow speeds the large bumps tend to seep in the cabin. Things are better at higher speeds. The tall boy design brings a certain amount of body-roll but it is well controlled. The steering is light and easy to manoeuvre in the city but offers very little feedback as the speeds build up. Certainly, this is not the car you would go corner craving with and it should satisfy the need of what a customer of this segment wants. The redi-GO has been under-tyred to improve fuel efficiency and these tyres do screech on hard cornering and braking. Datsun claims that the redi-GO offers the best braking in the segment but we found the brakes to be a bit spongy. With no ABS on offer, the tyres tend to lock up on heavy braking.