We lust after fancy cars, but most of us can’t afford them. And the ones which we can, do not really possess the same pizzazz. But we drove something recently that comes close to delivering that oomph factor and happens to be one of the most affordable cars on sale in India! Introducing the Datsun rediGO. Wait, wasn’t this car launched last year?! Well it was, but the company is soon going to launch a more powerful version of the same, on the 26th of this month. So, without further ado let’s take a closer look the new Datsun rediGO 1.0L in detail.
When we mentioned the oomph factor, we were certainly referring to the exteriors of the new Datsun rediGO 1.0L. This car has been styled just perfectly according to us. The front looks futuristic with the Diamond front grille with the Datsun logo in the middle. The angular headlights look sharp and classy as well. The bumpers on this 1.0L version are body coloured, while there are LED DRLs too, on the lower portion of the bumper. The sides carry forward the stylish lines through its windowline towards the rear. The wheels are 13-inch steel rims and we feel the company could have offered alloys wheels on this version. The rear again at first glance looks quirky, but the design grows on you really well. You appreciate the boomerang shaped taillights and the large rear bumper. Overall, this car designed as an urban cross looks the part and is like nothing you will find in the market, especially in this price segment.
Jump inside and you will love the seating position on the Datsun rediGO 1.0L. You sit quite high and hence get an excellent view of the road ahead. The dashboard on this 1.0-litre variant is all black instead of the grey plastics available on the 0.8-litre version. The design isn’t extraordinary, but is very functional. The centre console gets a single DIN music system that supports only USB and AUX-in along with other features like a AM/FM receiver. The instrument cluster gets ananalog speedometer and a digital tachometer and fuel gauge. You also get a trip computer that shows you your tripmeter, average fuel efficiency, distance to empty etc. The steering wheel isn’t new but you do get a silver insert to liven things up. You also get central locking on the top variant. A neat touch on the inside is the central lock button that is conveniently placed on the dashboard within easy reach.
The front seats on the Datsun rediGO 1.0L are flat and offer decent support. Its only when go around corners you do feel the need for extra side bolstering. Similarly, the rear bench is flat. Also thanks to the narrow cabin it is best to seat two here. The test car we drove also came loaded with optional accessories like seat covers with the rediGO badging and sporty contrast red stitching, illuminated scuff plates with the car’s name and special fabric floor mats. Boot space is respectable at 222 litres. Overall, the interiors of the Datsun rediGO 1.0L complement the funky exteriors well (especially with the add-on accessories), although we did expect things like a different music system on this bigger hearted version.
The Datsun rediGO 1.0L is powered by a 999cc 3-cylinder engine that develops 68 PS and 91 Nm. The gearbox is a 5-speed manual unit. We had mixed reactions about this new engine. At slow city speeds you wouldn’t really be able to tell the added power of this 1.0-litre engine. It still feels tractable and easy to drive, but so does the 0.8-litre engine. The real dose of added power is felt out on the highway. You need to cross the 3000 RPM mark to feel that added power and it pulls strongly after that. It builds up speed quickly in an unusually calm manner. Datsun has also managed to somehow eliminate the jerky throttle responses that we didn’t really like on its sister concern the Renault Kwid 1.0L. The gearbox on the other hand still feels notchy to use and leaves room for improvement.
The Datsun rediGO 1.0L doesn’t get any upgrades to its suspension system. It still rides well, but you definitely notice the damper’s stiff side. This though, has resulted in excellent high speed straight line stability. But give the Datsun rediGO 1.0L a corner and it feels lost. The steering does not provide any feedback midway through a corner and that takes away from the confidence you gather from the rather predictable turn in. The steering though feels extremely easy to use at parking speeds. And these cars will be used in urban environments where manoeuvrability and ease of driving score higher than corner cutting ability. Also adding to its urban friendly credentials is the class leading 185mm of ground clearance which is for comparison sake more than even the Hyundai Creta. So the dynamics of the Datsun rediGO 1.0L feel very city friendly and can be taken out on long highways as well. Just don’t drive it enthusiastically up a twisty ghat section.
On the safety front, the Datsun rediGO 1.0L comes with a driver airbag, three point seat belts at the front and rear, and an immobilizer.
The Datsun rediGO 1.0L comes out at the top if you consider the design of the car. It feels very futuristic and this isn’t something that you will relate with an entry level hatchback. Last year when it was launched, we expected a bit more power from the 0.8-litre engine. The company has heard us well and based upon feedback, it is set to launch this new powerful version very soon. It is set to undercut the Renault Kwid 1.0L and also the Maruti Suzuki Alto in terms of pricing.Datsun is also offering service packages of up to 5 years that protects the customers from inflation of spare parts and consumables. The car feels more complete with this new engine and enhances its appeal further. This is a car for those who desire looks and power in a mini packet, at the same time being (the most) affordable to buy and run.