Ever since its arrival in 2013, Datsun has looked to provide Indian car owners with an affordable alternative to the nation's go-to brand Maruti Suzuki. The newest car from the revived Japanese brand, the Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT, looks to continue that trend by offering a clutchless car for first-time owners looking to avoid the constant gearshifts that come hand in hand with the daily grind of rush hour traffic.
So does the Datsun redi-GO have what it takes on the AMT might of the Maruti Alto AGS and its quirky dial-operated cousin the Renault Kwid Easy-R? We got behind the wheel of the all-new Datsun redi-GO AMT to find out.
Datsun redi-GO AMT Design & Features
In terms of design, the new Datsun redi-GO AMT is identical to the 800cc and 1.0-litre manual versions of the entry-level hatchback, with the new car not even getting a sticker or decal to differentiate it from its siblings.
Up front, the new Datsun redi-GO AMT like the other hatchbacks bearing the name sports a chrome lined hexagonal grille which is flanked on either side by swept back headlamps. The bonnet along with the front bumper are sculpted to evoke a muscular look. The LED daytime running lights sit on top of either edge of the front skid plate.
The sides of the redi-GO AMT continue with the sculpted look with the tall stance, character lines and the puffed up wheel arches combining together to give the Datsun hatchback a unique look in the segment. The wheel arches play host to 13-inch steel wheels which are shod with 155/80 R13 Ultima Neos from JK Tyres.
The rear end of the Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT also remains untouched in comparison to the manual. The vertically stacked tail lights along with the rest of the rear end features a small kink.
This is thanks to the slight angle at which the rear windscreen sits with respect to the lower section of the tailgate. The rear hatch opens up to allow access to the 222-litre boot which can handle a few small bags with ease.
Inside, the redi-GO AMT retains the black themed interior found on the regular 1.0-litre variant though there are two major changes that help distinguish it from its manual transmission sibling.
The first and most obvious one is the new shifter for the AMT gearbox which features a chrome strip running across the centre of the gear knob.
The other new feature is the revised infotainment system which now features Bluetooth and can be used to make and take calls as well. The new infotainment unit is connected to a dual-speaker audio system which is rather loud.
The Datsun redi-GO's seats are comfortable to sit on and the raised seating position up front gives the driver a commanding view. The rear seats can accommodate two adults and a child with ease.
The interiors of the redi-GO AMT offer ample head and knee room for the average Indian. However, taller individuals will find knee room a bit cramped at the rear. Also, the exposed sheet metal inside continuous to be an eye-sore.
Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT Engine, Gearbox & Specifications
The Datsun redi-GO AMT is powered by a 999cc, three-cylinder petrol engine that produces 67bhp @ 5,500rpm and 91Nm of torque @ 4,250rpm which is sent to the front wheels via an all-new five-speed AMT gearbox.
If you keep the throttle inputs smooth, the AMT shifts through gears seamlessly. However, if you are aggressive with the throttle, then the AMT's hesitation to shift between gears becomes rather noticeable.
Datsun claims that the redi-GO's 999cc engine combined with the new AMT gearbox delivers a mileage of 23kpl. While driving the new Datsun redi-GO in Kerala, the real-time mileage figure crept up to just around 20kpl which was rather impressive.
The AMT gearbox offers a creep function, labelled ‘rush hour mode' by Datsun, which seems a bit slow in traffic and requires the driver to push the accelerator to sneak in through the gaps. However, rush hour mode seems to be perfect for when the redi-GO AMT needs to be parked.
Datsun has also given the new gearbox a manual mode allowing the driver to take control of gear shifts whenever needed. If you wish to push the redi-GO AMT, then the manual mode is the one to switch to.
The addition of the new redi-GO 1.0 AMT to the redi-GO lineup makes the most affordable Datsun a more attractive option for first time buyers looking to avoid the hassles of shifting through the gears when stuck in a jam.
Dennis James Thinks!
With prices starting at Rs 3.80 lakhs, the new Datsun redi-GO 1.0 AMT is the most affordable AMT car on sale in India and for its price it offers good looks, a relaxed drive through the city and enough space for the family to make it a very attractive option for the first-time car buyer.