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2020 Datsun redi-GO facelift: lighter clutch, improved looks, spacious cabin

Launched in 2016, the redi-GO was Datsun’s push into the entry-level hatchback segment. Now they have rolled out a facelift addressing many of the concerns of the outgoing model while upgrading to comply with the latest safety and emission norms. So how much has the redi-GO improved as a package?

The new redi-GO sports a more aggressive look that will split opinions. The trademark Datsun grille is now larger and the bumper sports sharp cuts and creases. Slimmer and more prominent L-shaped LED DRLs gives the redi-GO a contemporary look. Datsun badges on the front fenders, smart dual-tone wheel covers and body-coloured wing mirrors distinguishes the new redi-GO from the old. Datsun has also added LED fog lamps to the top-spec variant.

The redi-GO also maintains its basic profile and tall boy proportions; the standard 14-inch steel wheels with thicker 165/70 section rubber improves the overall stance. The posterior is largely unchanged, save for the addition of an LED signature in the tail-lamps. There are also structural upgrades under the skin.

The redi-GO’s CMF-A underpinnings have been beefed up in order to comply with the latest crash-test and pedestrian-protection norms.

The cabin is where the majority of visual upgrades appear. The asymmetrical dashboard design has made way for a more traditional, horizontal layout.

  • Length (mm) 3435mm
  • Width (mm) 1574mm
  • Height (mm) 1546mm
  • Wheelbase (mm) 2348mm
  • Ground Clearance (mm) 187mm
  • Boot Capacity 222 litres
  • Fuel tank size 28 litres
  • Engine 999cc, 3-cyl, petrol
  • Max Power 68hp at 5550rpm
  • Max Torque 91Nm at 4250rpm
  • Gearbox 5-speed manual

Taking the pride of place on the piano black-finished centre console is a new 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system which is slick and easy to operate.

Inside, Datsun has provided full door cladding and the black-grey textured upholstery is another premium touch. Some ergonomic flaws have been rectified: the appallingly compact glovebox has been replaced by a sizeable unit, the wing mirrors are now internally adjustable and the static reel seatbelts for outboard rear passengers have made way for retractable ones. Though the redi-GO is the shortest car in its class with the smallest wheelbase, its cabin space is quite good. Knee room for rear passengers is sufficient, and its tall boy proportions leaves a generous amount of headroom.

redi-GO’s equipment list includes power steering, air conditioner, remote locking, front power windows, ABS, rear parking sensors and a driver’s side airbag. Though Datsun has added a passenger airbag on the top-spec trim, it does not offer steering-mounted audio controls.

The redi-GO continues to be powered by either a 54hp, 0.8-litre petrol engine or a 68hp, 1.0-litre unit. Start up the engine, and the characteristic three-cylinder hum creeps into the cabin, though vibrations in the driving controls remain well contained. Step on the gas and there is a definite step up in power after 2,000rpm. However, by the time the engine builds up speed to 3,500-4,000rpm, the thrummy three-cylinder hum becomes quite prominent, so it is better to shift up early.

The allied 5-speed manual transmission is notchy, and slotting in the dog-leg reverse gear requires some effort. A narrow footwell also means that the left leg starts protesting on longer drives. The saving grace is the light clutch, which redeems the redi-GO’s city drivability.

Other factors that aid the Datsun’s urban manners are its compact footprint and a light steering. The lack of a sufficient self-centring action, however, marks the steering down. The brakes, too, have a sharp bite point, which takes some getting used to. Though not uncomfortable, the suspension is set-up a bit firm and you can feel the road surface. The high-set seating and large glasshouse provide a great view up front, but the thick C-pillars mar rear visibility. The rear-view camera on the range topping version, then, proves an excellent aid while parking.

Datsun has launched the 2020 redi-GO 0.8 in four trim levels — D, A, T and T(O) — priced from ₹2.83 to 4.16 lakh. The redi-GO 1.0 is available only in the range-topping T(O) variant, and is pegged at ₹4.44 lakh for the manual and ₹4.77 lakh for the AMT automatic version. While the previous model fell short on some counts, the facelift has come a long way. It is safer, gets sharper styling and packs in more kit with a fair few features, making it worth considering for budget hatchback buyers.

With the latest update, Datsun has definitely stepped up its game in the entry-level segment but then, so has the competition.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2021 5:30:35 PM |

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