Datsun Redi Go AMT Review – Office Run. On Point.

Price starts from Rs 3.8 lakh, ex-showroom.

Datsun India has launched AMT version of the Redi Go hatchback. To be available only on the 1000cc engine variant, the Automated Manual Transmission for the Redi Go is the same unit that is being offered on the Kwid 1.0. It is priced from Rs 3.8 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. Apart from getting an AMT, there is absolutely no other change in this entry-level offering.

We got a chance to test drive the new car on the busy, traffic-infested streets of New Delhi to sample the efficiency of the new gearbox. Our Datsun Redi-Go AMT review here will take you through all there’s to know about the new car.

Looks the Same!

There is no visual difference, not even an AMT badge to set it apart. Much like its manual sibling, the AMT is available only on the top trim levels. This means you do get some chrome accents and DRLs to jazz up the exterior a fair bit. Much like the manual version, the new model misses out on alloy wheels and comes with a rather trendy-looking set of wheel covers.

Unlike the Kwid 1.0, there are no body decals to denote the bigger engine this car comes with. On the flip side, the lack of any new styling features should help the manufacturer price the car competitively. The base design remains exactly the same, which means you get the same stylish crossover-ish design of the regular model.

Akin to the exterior, even the interior of the Redi Go AMT isn’t too different from that of the manual transmission variant. This means you get the same all-black colour theme, which looks more premium than the beige-black affair on the cabin of the 800cc models. Our favourite bits are the tasteful silver accents on the dashboard and the stylish three-spoke steering wheel that feels good to hold.

While the Redi Go is small on the outside, its cabin offers a lot of space for a car in this segment. There’s ample legroom at the front and even the rear passengers won’t complain of any lack of space. This is a pretty big advantage over the Redi Go’s best-selling rival, the Maruti Suzuki Alto. What’s more, at 222-litres, this hatchback offers the largest boot in its class.

Engine Specifications and Performance

Powering the new Datsun Redi Go AMT is the same 1.0-litre iSAT three-cylinder petrol engine that powers the manual transmission variant. This engine outputs a maximum power of 68 BHP along with a peak torque of 91 Nm. While there’s no additional power in comparison to the manual variant of the cheaper models, it’s definitely a good improvement over the 53 bhp and 72 Nm from the smaller 0.8-litre motor. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission.

The 1000 cc engine of this car definitely feels a lot peppier and eager than the 800 cc mill. We would have liked a bit more grunt in the lower rev-range, but a strong mid-range performance makes up for the slight lack of enthusiasm in lower revs. The AMT –equipped Redi Go isn’t as quick off the block as the Alto K10 AMT, but it can touch a speedo-indicated 140+ kmph on an open stretch of the road. As with the manual version, NVH levels are slightly on the higher side. The engine doesn’t feel as refined as the excellent K10 unit of the Alto but it is definitely no deal-breaker.

Driving Dynamics

It’s worth a mention here that there is absolutely no change in the suspension settings. No surprise then, that, the new car rides and handles exactly like its manual transmission-equipped sibling. This isn’t really a bad thing, especially when you consider that the Redi Go impresses with its ride quality. The small hatchback tackles all the craters and speed humps with quite an ease due to its long travel suspension and high profile tyres. There’s some body roll at high speeds but you will be hard pressed to note any sort of vertical movement when driving in the urban environment. High speed handling characteristics can be best described as average as the car doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence when pushing really hard through the corners. The steering is light and uninspiring but the lightness comes across as a boon when navigating through the congestion on city streets.

Should I Buy One?

We have always liked the Datsun Redi Go for its crossover-ish design, spacious cabin, and a segment-leading ground clearance of 185 mm. The new Datsun Redi Go 1.0 AMT retains all these traits whilst offering the additional convenience of an Automated Manual Transmission. Pricing would be the key but it should be safe to assume that the new AMT variants will launch at a really attractive price point. Yes, bits like lack of enough premium features and high NVH levels are a letdown but there’s only so much you can ask from an entry-level hatchback, no?

So, what’s your take on our Datsun Redi Go 1.0 AMT review? Do you think the new AMT version can help this small hatchback find more takers? Send in your views by commenting below.