With the launch of the new Datsun redi-GO AMT, the Japanese carmaker has introduced the most affordable AMT model in its segment. Launched at a starting price of ₹ 3.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the new Datsun redi-GO AMT is offered with two of the car's top-end models the T (O) and the S. In India the car will take on the likes of the segment leader Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 AGS and the crowd favourite Renault Kwid AMT. Now, we recently drove the new redi-GO AMT and found the car to be easy and fun to drive around the city. But does that mean it's better than the other players in the market? Well, we put down everything on paper to see what the facts and numbers have to say.
Design and Dimensions:
Now, on paper, both the Datsun redi-GO and the Renault Kwid are the same cars under the skin. The cars are based on the same Renault-Nissan Alliance CMF-A platform so the mechanicals are the same. But that is not the case when it comes to design and dimensions. Now, in terms of looks both the cars looks modern and stylish and target the younger set of buyers. The Maruti Suzuki Alto K10, on the other hand, looks the most dated one among the lot.
While the Datsun redi-GO comes with a tall-boy design with sharp lines and subtle bulges, the Renault Kwid tries to mimic an SUV with its crossover styling and plummy features. The Alto K10 at the same time carries the long-standing small hatchback silhouette, which we have been seeing since the Alto nameplate was first introduced in India, only with a touch of modernity with some subtle character lines and bold colours. Having said that, when it comes to touch and feel, the Alto K10 is a tad bit better compared to the other two.
In terms of dimensions, the Renault Kwid is the longest and widest of all three at 3,679 mm and 1,579 mm respectively. Compared to it, the Alto K10 is 3,545 mm long and 1,515 mm wide, while the redi-GO is 3,429 mm in length and 1,560 mm in width. The redi-GO is the tallest at 1,541 mm, while the Kwid and the Alto K10 measure 1,478 mm and 1,475 mm in height respectively. The Kwid offers the longest wheelbase at 2,422 mm, followed by the Alto K10 at 2,360 mm and finally, we have the redi-GO with a wheelbase of 2,348 mm. This tells us that the Kwid and the redi-GO offer better cabin space. Having said that, though all three cars claim to be a 5-seater in real-world conditions, they are only suitable for four.
Interior and Features:
Coming to the cabin, right off the bat, let us tell you the Renault Kwid has the best looking cabin of them all. The black interior with grey accents and red patches for the seat cover give the cabin a nice appearance. The dashboard is also nicely designed with the centre stage taken by the touchscreen infotainment system with navigation and the digital instrument cluster (both first and the only ones in the class). Also unlike the other two cars, the Kwid gets a rotary dial instead of a conventional lever system, for shifting gears but there is no manual mode nor does the car offer creep function. The Kwid also offers the best-in-class boot space of 300 litres along with other features like - central air vents that are adjustable & closable, door mounted bottle holders, cubby holes, foldable rear seat backrest and more.
In comparison, the redi-GO also gets an all-black cabin with shades of grey on the dashboard. The car comes with a standard analogue instrument cluster with not even the Tachometer, but it does come with a gear position indicator. There is a new audio system as well, which now comes with the Bluetooth function for receiving calls and streaming music. The cabin now also comes with new silver accents for the door handle, non-adjustable central air-con vent and a gear lever for the AMT system. The door pockets are only good for papers or files but the centre console has a half-litre bottle holder. The glove box is also very small compared to the Kwid and the redi-GO only offers a boot space of 222 litre only, but the rear seat backrest is foldable like the Kwid so it can be expanded.
The Alto K10, on the other hand, gets beige interior with black plastic panels. The cabin design looks dated but the built quality is slightly better than the other two. The Alto K10 is also the only one to get a Tachometer. The music system is very basic and doesn't support Bluetooth as well, but supports AUX-IN and USB.
Engine and Transmission:
All three cars come with a 1-litre petrol engine mated to a 5-speed automated manual transmission (AMT) system. The Renault Kwid and the Datsun redi-GO, in particular, get the same 999 cc three-cylinder petrol engine that makes 68 bhp and 91 Nm of peak torque. Even the AMT unit is the same, with the hardware sourced from Bosch and the software from FEV. However, both Renault and Datsun have calibrated their units differently and it's the redi-GO that feels slightly better and fun to use, especially because of the creep function that goes missing in the Kwid.
On the other hand, the Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 get the 998 cc K-Series petrol engine that makes 67 bhp and 90 Nm of peak torque. Also, the AMT unit or as Maruti calls it Auto Gear Shift (AGS) unit is more responsive and offers better low-end torque. This makes the Alto K10 peppier that both the redi-GO and the Kwid and a slightly better performer.
Price and Verdict:
The Datsun redi-GO AMT is the most affordable of the lot with a starting price of ₹ 3.80 lakh, followed by the Renault Kwid AMT that comes with a starting price of ₹ 3.87 lakh. The Alto K10 is the most expensive at ₹ 4.18 lakh. (All prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
All three cars make the decent case for themselves. If compared purely on looks then the redi-GO takes the lead, on features front it's the Kwid that makes the most sense and when based only on built quality and engine performance, it's the Alto K10 that takes the lead. That said, the Alto is the oldest one in the market, and is in desperate need for a facelift and update, whereas, the Kwid and the redi-GO are fairly fresh in the market and offer a lot more than the Alto K10. And the engine makes more power and torque, albeit marginally. So, on paper, we would say the Renault Kwid AMT makes the most sense offering some of the best in class features at a price that is right between the redi-GO and the Alto K10.