Datsun redi-Go makes its world premiere in India

The Renault-Nissan alliance has had mixed fortunes in India so far. On one side, Nissan’s much-hyped budget brand Datsun that was expected to make it big against the Suzukis and Tatas of the world failed to create an impact. Both Datsuns thus far, the Go and Go+, have fared miserably. On the other side, Renault, supposedly the most premium brand of the Renault-Nissan-Datsun trio, hit jackpot with its budget car, the Kwid. In fact, Renault can’t make enough of them to satisfy the current demand!

Datsun wants to replicate that success and the car with which it aims to do so had its global premiere in India today. The 'redi-Go', as it is called, was first shown in concept form at the 2014 Auto Expo with the wraps taken off the production version today. Expected to be priced aggressively when it goes on sale in the coming weeks, the Datsun redi-Go would compete with the current market leader Maruti-Suzuki Alto, it’s alliance sibling Renault Kwid, Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano amongst others.

The redi-Go has retained most of the styling elements and proportions in its journey from concept to production. So, the tall and lean ‘micro crossover’ look is still intact! And, in case you haven't guessed it yet, Datsun calls the redi-Go an 'Urban Cross'. There just has to be a 'cross' mixed in the scheme of things these days.

All that marketing jargon aside, the trademark Datsun hexagonal grille with the thick chrome surround that we saw in the Go and the Go+ features prominently in the redi-Go too. On either sides are slim, swept-back headlamps. The flowing silhouette houses multiple creases but what’s remarkable is that none of them, including the wild swoosh running across the doors to the rear bumper, look out of place at first glance. The flared wheel arches, kinked-up windows and the contoured tailgate complements the bold fascia. The redi-Go looks smart no doubt but place it next to a Kwid and the latter would easily be the pick of the two. Having said that, Maruti-Suzuki sure has its work cut out when the time comes to design the next-generation Alto 800. 

Designed for the urban jungle with a fusion of hatchback and crossover attributes, Datsun claims the redi-Go has class-leading space, good all-round visibility and a ground clearance of 185 mm, high by segment standards. Based on the same ‘Common Module Family (CMF-A)’ as the Kwid, the redi-Go shares the platform, engines and transmissions with its Renault sibling. When it goes on sale, the redi-Go will have the same 0.8-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 5-speed manual transmission that does duty in the Kwid. The redi-Go would also receive the bigger 1.0-liter Smart Control Efficiency (SCe) engine and the option of an Automated Manual Transmission (Easy-R in Renault’s nomenclature) at a later stage.

From the pictures, the interiors appear to be bare-bones but are still noticeably better than Datsun's current offerings. The cabin seems to have prioritized practicality over aesthetics. This car is built to a cost and it is evident in the form of open recesses in the dashboard, exposed sheet metal in door pockets and the presence of a basic instrument cluster and music system.

Datsun has not revealed the dimensions or specifications of the redi-Go yet and they are expected to be available closer to the official launch date. Bookings for the redi-Go starts from the first week of May when the pricing is also expected to be announced while deliveries would start from June. With the Go and Go+ struggling in the market, the redi-Go is a crucial launch for Datsun in India. Will Nissan's budget brand be third time lucky with the redi-Go? We'll see shortly.


  1. Funky Styling is going to catch up good numbers, similar to sister KWID

    1. We're a bit skeptical. The Kwid had multiple USPs like SUV-ish styling, touchscreen infotainment system and spacious interiors. The redi-Go, at first glance, doesn't have two of those three USPs.