If style is what you are looking for at the lowest and most affordable prices, the Datsun GO is the perfect car for you. An ideal car for first time buyers, you get the feeling of buying something very classy when you choose the Datsun GO. You have the technological brilliance of the Japanese car giant, Nissan working in your favour. One of the few cars to have made their global debut in India, the Datsun GO has the Hyundai Eon and the Maruti Alto K10 as its main competitors.
One glance at the car and you will know that the GO is a fairly large hatchback. Based on the same V-platform as the Micra, the GO is longer, yet marginally narrower than its Nissan sibling. The styling is contemporary. Hexagonal grilles are the flavor of the season, but the Datsun grille has enough flair to stand out in the crowd. The chrome garnish isn’t too flashy and gels very well with the honeycomb type mesh design of the grille. The angular styling cues are seen in the headlamps and the air-dams as well.The side profile has four prominent creases. The shoulder line originates from the headlamps. A buttress flows over the rear door handle and cuts into the taillights. A crease runs from the front wheel arch into the tailgate. A crease at the lower part of the bodywork runs along the length of the doors and disappears into the rear wheel arch.While all these can make you perceive the design to be busy, it is not. The creases are subtle and are noticeable only when observed closely. The colour of choice also has a big part to play in this regard as the creases tend to disappear on a lighter shade. The 13-inch wheels with the 155/70 section tyres look a tad tiny for the Datsun GO.The tailgate looks smart and the buttresses we spoke of, look better from the hindquarter. The loading lip for the boot-lid is high and therefore, easily accessible. The taillights are squarish and the wrap around effect looks good.
All that size of the Go translates to a spacious cabin. But of course you will have to overcome the cheapness you will feel as soon as you enter. Don’t get us wrong, the build quality and the way things are put together are on par with the segment but the Hyundai Eon feels Eons better, pun intended. Apart from that, things like the non-retractable rear seat belts, thin seats and uncovered glove box open up the question of how much cost-cutting went in the car.The interiors get a grey layout with a lighter shade of grey for the bottom of the dashboard. The over design of the dashboard is very simple and many things like the indicator stalks, AC vents etc are borrowed from Nissan Micra.A very simple instrument cluster comprises of a very large speedometer (no tachometer) and a MID. The MID offers a wide range of information like tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, distance to empty and average fuel economy.
Though simple, the steering wheel is of nice size and feels light. The horn pad is big but the horn itself is a poor sounding single unit. The gear lever and the handbrake find their place on the dashboard instead of the conventional in-between the seats one. Though the gear lever is ergonomic once you get used to it, many will not like the placement of the gear lever and the old style pull and twist handbrake.The centre console gets two AC vents, an unusual audio setup and HVAC controls below. The switches and knobs are of good size and quality. The glove box is deep but comes without a closing lid. The same thing happened with the Nissan Evalia, which later got one, but the Go comes open only. Other storage spaces include smaller cubby holes under the steering wheel (none of them are closed) and bottle holders on the front doors.
Coming to the seat setup, the Datsun gets a connected seat, which is almost bench type seats you get in old HM Ambassadors. You can’t seat another person as there is neither the space nor any seatbelt. Datsun has said that this space can be used for storage space which sort of defeats the purpose of having a ‘seat’ and not usable cubby holes.Though the seats are thin, they offer good support. Having the longest wheelbase in its segment (longer than some in a segment above too), the Go offers excellent space, especially in the rear. Three adults can travel in reasonable comfort in the rear, when compared to the constricted space of the competition.
The Datsun GO is powered by a 3 cylinder, DOHC 12V, 1.2 litre engine which is mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox and which generates 68 Ps of maximum power at 5000 rpm and 104 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm which is at par with the other hatches of its class. It will carry an engine which will be produced at the Chennai facility in India in alliance with Nissan.The engine has been tuned to deliver more power which in turn helps in easy overtaking both in city traffic and highways. The Datsun Go engine also has been tuned to deliver an impressive fuel efficiency at the same time and Datsun claims that the GO will return about 20.63 Kilometers to a liter but it will be interesting to find out whether this three cylinder engine runs out of breathe when pushed to the limit.Now coming to the ride quality the Datsun Go has been provided with a Mcpherson struts at the front and Torsion beams at the rear which you will find in most of the other cars of its class, these suspension system handles Indian roads quite well however if the road condition turns worse some of the jerks and bits can be felt inside the cabin easily. The Go has been provided with an electric steering which specially comes in handy while driving within the city traffic, so is the 4.6 meters turning radius.
DRIVING DYNAMICS ;
The speed-sensitive power steering system enables easy Datsun GO handling. Though the steering can be a bit heavy as compared to the Hyundai vehicles, there is no compromise on the convenience factor. The 13-inch tubeless tyres enhance the Datsun GO performance levels a great deal. The Macpherson struts for the front wheels make riding over the toughest roads quite easy. The ground clearance is 170 mm thereby allowing it comfortable leeway whereas the turning radius of 4.6 metres makes the Datsun GO an easily manoeuvrable vehicle.
Safety is one of the main priorities of many Indian consumers especially when they are choosing a car for their entire family. For your information the Datsun GO will disappoint you once again here because quite frankly it lacks lot of safety features which you would normally expect out of your family hatch.The Go does not have any provision of a airbag in any of its variants. Although it has been provided with disc brakes at the front but there is no ABS option either in the car. So if you are concerned about all these safety measures then we are afraid that Datsun GO won’t provide you with any.
Were we to judge the Datsun Go relative to similarly sized hatchbacks, it would come across as a tad underwhelming. But you need to compare the Go to similarly priced competition; that’s when you’ll see it as a clever proposition. A spacious cabin and a big boot are two things you’ll rarely find in a budget hatchback, but it’s something you get with the Go. The car’s attractive styling, class-leading performance, ease of use and good fuel economy are also aspects that will interest buyers in the budget segment, the majority of whom are first-time car buyers. That’s not to say the Go doesn’t have its flaws. The ergonomics, for one, leave muchto be desired and there’s some essential kit missing. So there’s clearly a lot of room for improvement.