70,000 km with a Datsun Redi-Go AMT: Here’s my experience
Even the 60k service cost with changing of filters etc was about Rs. 5,000.
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Ownership Review and an itch to change- Datsun Redi-go AMT
A car that can ferry my father from hospital to hospital (being a doctor) in Thane City. Roughly 20-30 kms everyday. Priority list was simple- 1) Easy to Park and 2) Automatic. This was the first automatic car of our family.
My father is a diehard fan of either manuals (enjoys his Ecosport Diesel) or Dual Clutch Automatics (his friend’s Superb DSG) with no middle ground. However, back in 2018, with an on-road budget of 5 lakhs with the above priorities, we did not have much choice. It was either an Alto K10 or Renault Kwid or a Datsun Redi-go
Decision-making became very easy in a Maruti Showroom.SA: Sir, lets test-drive the Alto K10.
Myself: Sure. (Hands over the keys and we head to the showroom parking)
With 6 feet height and 100 kgs body weight, I could not sit comfortably with my left knee cramped in the steering-dashboard gap and right leg tight in an obtuse angle with no possible movement. We tried few seating adjustments but with no seat height adjust, there was limited we could do.
SA: Sir, please check out the Kwid
I wanted my father to stretch the budget and go for a Nissan Micra so he half-heartedly accompanied me to the Ritu Nissan showroom in Thane.
Bang at the entrance was a Datsun Redi-go and he was sold that this is the solution Indian metros need.
To top it off, the dealer passed on a discount of 65k and on-road price was about 4.12 Lakhs for the top spec AMT in 2018.
In the initial year of ownership, Dad was really happy with the car. With 20-22 kmpl in traffic on MMR roads and highly agile nature, it just did the job. In the meantime, I completed my medical education (after decades literally) and started working in Parel for a hospital set-up. The dynamics changed and Redigo became my daily driver with Thane-Dadar (roughly 27 kms each side) for over 2 years and then Thane-Fort (roughly 35 kms each side) for about a year.
For about 2 years, the negatives of Redigo were masked due to COVID. With nil traffic, I would commute at an average speed of 60 kmph easily. With normalcy kicking in and car crossing 45k on the ODO, the jerkiness of the AMT became worse. I hate AMTs. Period.
That aside, its been a fuss free ownership. Between 2018-2020 Nissan had a service center in Navi Mumbai but they would pick the car on time and drop it off at no charge. Rather they would ensure that the fuel is right up to the mark everytime.
Even the 60k service with changing of filters etc was about 5k.
As of today, the car has done 70k kms and completes 5 years. There is one thing that i enjoy about this car and that is how compact it is. We have always moved a couple of Activas here and there to create space and there she squeezes herself. No need of parking miles away from a shop on a busy Mumbai street. You can literally create parking where you want!!
Fast forward 2023
Things that bother us-
- The car ain’t safe; and build quality is poor. Basically we got what we paid for.
- How much is the life of this one? After Datsun’s exit, getting parts is taking time these days. Just spent 15k for the first time on 70k servicing and AC issue.
- Apart from the other cars in the garage, there is a need for occasional highway trips which this car cannot fulfill.
- Should I aim for 1.2L kms on this and do what needs to be done? Tyres, batteries etc
Is it time to switch given the current scenario to probably an Amaze S CVT?
We have always kept cars for over a decade. But somewhere the gut says, this baby elephant wont make it.
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