Datsun redi-GO was launched around a couple of years with a strong value proposition aiming to lure the young buyers in emerging markets like India. At its launch, a three cylinder 800cc i-SAT engine promised a decent performance with good fuel efficiency. A more powerful 1.0L engine was introduced later in July 2017, at the upper end of the range to satisfy more demanding customers asking for a peppier street performance. Within a short period of 20 months of its existence, Datsun redi-GO offered many big and small improvements in the car. And the latest addition to the list is an Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) mated to the 1.0L engine. Does it now qualify to be your favourite everyday city car? Read on to find out while we share our experience on Datsun rediGo AMT from a recent pre-launch test drive.
From the exterior, the new rediGO looks exactly the same as the earlier car. So much so that even the rear doesn’t sport an AMT badging to differentiate it from other versions in the range. The tall stance with 185mm ground clearance and a curvaceous overall design with a bold front grille is the same as before. We wish Datsun had introduced some new external body colours to bring in some more excitement in the entry hatchback segment.
On the inside again, you won’t notice any major changes. The all black interiors introduced last year looks neat. A few silver accents around the air vents, central console, steering and the door handles makes the interiors look a little richer. Some key redi-GO characteristics like the tall boy design, large windows and high seating coupled with an easy ingress and egress makes it a convenient place to be.
The tall boy stance improves headroom missing in most of the entry-level cars
While all round visibility from inside the cabin is appreciable, a driver seat height adjust may be point of grouse for some drivers. Even the seats are nothing to talk home about, this perhaps is the only area not addressed very well so far. Otherwise the space in front & rear is adequate for a car of this size and one doesn’t feel cramped inside as may be the case in some other cars operating in the same segment. Launch of AMT also coincides improved NVH characteristics of the car making it more silent from inside than before.
Also the music system now has bluetooth connectivity, which makes it a new feature. The music system can be used to answer calls and even stream music. The rediGo’s AMT even has indicator on the instrument cluster for the current gear position.
NVH is a major issue in this segment and rediGo’s improvement makes it a good option
An entry level compact city car with decent cabin space and an automatic transmission sounds like a good idea. What’s even better is the fact that its mated to the more powerful 1.0L engine that churns out 68PS of power and 91Nm of torque. The automatic is a clear boon while driving through thick stop-and-go traffic during rush hours, we witness invariably in all cities across the country. Absence of clutch is one thing you would love the most if you already have your eyes set on this Datsun. The car doesn’t boast of the most advanced automatic transmission technology, however like its rivals in the segment, it promises an unbeatable convenience in typical city driving conditions without burning a big hole in your pocket.
What we liked the best about Datsun rediGo is that it allows the user to decide which mode to drive in – Manual or Automatic. A chunky new gear knob with chrome finish lets you do the job neatly. The automatic gear shifts are fairly pronounced and you may find the drive a bit jerky, if you decide to push the accelerator to its limit. We suggest switch to manual mode if looking for a peppier performance and reserve AMT usage to the traffic crawling purpose mostly. In that sense, redi-GO AMT gives you the best of both and therefore is a very practical choice.
The ease of driving factor makes it a good option for daily city driving
Further, the car manages its way through bad roads and pot holes without a complaint. Thanks to a robust chassis and a nicely tunes suspension, you may feel it slightly stiffer than the others but overall ride quality is fairly good. In terms of fuel efficiency, it is likely to return a mileage in the range of 12-15 km/l in city, based on your exact driving conditions.
Datsun rediGo AMT – Should you buy?
Datsun rediGO has its own share of advantages over the other choices available in the segment. Launch of AMT has made rediGO a well-rounded package, much better equipped to counter city driving conditions than ever before. Datsun is yet to announce the number of versions with AMT scheduled to be launched however, we expect the base AMT version to be priced well under Rs 4 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). So, if you are looking for a city car that’s as much fun to drive as it’s functionally competent, Datsun rediGo can be the answer.