Datsun GO Review & First Drive

Datsun Go Test Drive in Mumbai

Datsun GO Overview

Datsun India has finally upped the ante of the GO badge in the country. This is a much-needed overhaul to the hatchback and its mini-MPV ever since they were introduced in India more than four years ago. At that time, these cars received a lacklustre response from Indian car buyers and were easily overlooked, largely due to a scant number of features. Fast forward to today and the GO and GO Plus have turned out to be far more desirable than their earlier versions. Now the pair packs in a decent feature list with sufficient standard equipment. And although under the skin, there isn’t any substantial change, the subtle styling updates have made the GO duo a significant alternative in the high volume entry-level segment.

Datsun GO Exterior & Look

The one thing that you immediately notice about the 2018 GO and GO+ is that both cars now look a whole lot better than before. It’s not a distinctive change, but just enough to make you appreciate it a little more. The grille is now bigger than before and, along with the strong creases on the bonnet, the car look more imposing. The headlamps too have been refreshed but continue to feature conventional bulbs. Complementing this look is the new bumper which features a lot of sharp creases towards the sides. It also houses new vertically stacked LED DRLs, which is further highlighted by the black surrounds.

From the side, both cars look almost identical to the previous versions. However, both cars get a couple of minor changes to make then easier on the eyes. The ORVMs now get a body-coloured casing, while the wheels are now dual-tone diamond-cut alloys. Not just that, they are bigger and wider – 165/70 R14 when compared to the older 155/70 R13 wheels – and look even better.

The Datsun GO and GO+ now look better from the rear as well. The creases on the bumper towards the edges help accentuate the width of the car. The bottom crease of the bumper, which looks like a lip extension, is a neat touch. Additionally, you also get a rear windscreen washer and wiper as well.Overall, there is a definite improvement in the way the duo looks. The updates make both cars appear more premium and will appeal to a larger majority.

Datsun GO Interior & Space

The insides of the GO and GO+ is a big step up over the old car. It actually gives you an impression of sitting inside a different car altogether. Gone is the crude dashboard of the old car and it is replaced by a thoroughly modern looking one. The hexagonal center console that is bordered by silver finish, looks attractive and the new 7-inch infotainment system lends it a modern look. The only difference between the Go and Go+ on the inside is the dual tone white and black dashboard on the latter which makes it feel even more airy. Welcome addition come in form of a glovebox (the old car had no closed storage) and they have also got rid of the old-school pull-type handbrake for a conventional one. There are plenty of storage spaces upfront – you get big door pockets, two cup holders, a big glovebox and two small cubbies next to the steering column. People sitting in the back aren’t that lucky as they only get slim seat back pockets as storage option. Surprisingly there isn’t a rear parcel shelf even in the top variant. Overall quality has improved drastically over the old car but you will still find some rough edges. You still find uneven panel gaps both in and out and stuff like the exposed metal lever for seat adjust doesn’t shout quality.

In terms of space, both cars remain unchanged. But thankfully they have ditched the bench seat upfront for two separate bucket seats. As a result they offer better bolstering and the lack of centre cushioning has also freed up some storage spaces. Although better, the seats are still a bit flat and don’t offer much lateral support. You also don’t get driver seat height adjust or steering adjust. Yet the driving position is quite good as you sit at a good height and the non-adjustable steering and the pedals are placed ideally for most heights. The large windows all-round gives good visibility, which is a boon while driving on crowded roads.

At the back you get the same flat yet wide bench, which can accommodate three in decent comfort but, what could have made it even better is a bit more knee-room. The bench itself offers good back support and there is more than enough headroom on offer. Like the front even at the rear you get fixed headrests, but they are placed low and won’t really help in avoiding whiplash injuries in case of a rear impact. Our test car came with faux leather seat covers which won’t be part of the standard equipment. The USP of the Go + is that its the cheapest seven seater you can buy. The third-row though is cramped and best used as added luggage space.

The Go offers generous boot space at 256 litres, while the bigger Go+ has 347 litres with the third-row folded. While the Go can easily take weekends worth of luggage, the Go+ offers practicality as good as some estates. You can also fold the middle-row on the Go+ which gives and a humongous loading bay that is good enough even when you are shifting houses.

As compared to the earlier car, the new Datsun Go comes with additional features like Keyless entry, tachometer, a trip computer, a high-quality 7 inch capacitive touchscreen infotainment system that is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto enabled, all four power windows(old car just came with powered front windows)and electrically adjustable ORVMs in the T variant. In the top T option variant you get stuff like 14 inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lamps and rear wash and wipe over the T variant. The good news continues, as Datsun now is offering two airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist as standard across the range.

Datsun GO Engine & Gearbox

There as been no changes to the engine that powers both cars. They continue to be powered by the 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol unit which produces 68PS and 104Nm of torque. However, Datsun’s engineers have made revisions to the gear ratios of the 5-speed manual box, which could have been done to manage the higher kerb weight. As a result, the car still feels peppy, with the engine pulling strongly from 2000rpm onwards. Datsun claims the GO and GO+ can complete the 0-100kmph run in just 13.3seconds. Rest assured, we’ll soon put both cars under a thorough road test and verify these figures. To know more information on Datsun GO check Seepennywork

However, what’s been affected by the few extra kilos is the drivability of both cars. While they continue to pick up from 30kmph in fourth gear without the engine knocking, you will have to wait a bit for the speeds to climb. This becomes apparent when the car is running on a full load, forcing you to provide a heavy throttle input to get going. Out on the highway, the car settles at triple speeds with ease but runs out of breadth soon after, asking you to plan your overtakes in advance. The claimed fuel efficiency of both car is now slightly lower than before. The figure now stands at 19.83kmpl for both the cars.

Datsun GO Driving Dynamics

The ride quality of the Datsun GO and GO Plus is supple. Drive these cars in an easy-going manner and both of them feel well planted along with decent road manners. However, you can feel the sharp bumps in the entire cabin as the suspension tends to crash at high speeds. The dampers do a good job of keeping the car settled even on uneven road surfaces. But at highway speeds, it sometimes takes time to settle down while going over the undulating surfaces.

After the initial steering play – which is a lot – the response is decent and supportive both in high-speed lane changing or manoeuvring in a congested city driving. There is an apparent body roll (more so in the GO Plus) and Datsun eliminating the antiroll bar doesn’t help the cause either. So it is uninspiring to do enthusiastic cornering in both these cars.A high ground clearance of 180mm (same as the Kwid) helps going over anything the Indian roads (or the absence of them) have to throw at the Datsun pair. The brakes provide a good stopping power but a little more bite from them would have helped. The standard ABS with EBD boosts the confidence as well.

Datsun GO Safety & Security

Safety has been a major concern for buyers looking at the Datsun GO duo. After receiving dismal scores in crash tests, Global NCAP had deemed the structure of both cars unstable and unfit for further loading. However, Datsun seems to have pulled up its socks and has worked on improving the structural strength of the car, adding about 150kg of weight in the process. As a result, the updated models now meet the upcoming crash test norms in India. You even get dual front airbags, ABS (anti-lock brakes) with EBD (electronic brakeforce distribution), BA (brake assist), rear parking sensors and follow-me-home headlamps as standard throughout the range.

Datsun GO Price in Mumbai

Datsun Go On Road Price is 4,20,197/- and Ex-showroom Price is 3,44,000/- in Mumbai. Datsun Go comes in 6 colours, namely Ruby,Sky,Silver,Grey,White,Blue. Datsun Go comes with FWD with 1198 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 67 bhp@5000 rpm and Peak Torque 104 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at 13.3 seconds . Datsun Go comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .View offers on Datsun GO in Mumbai at Autozhop.

Datsun GO Verdict

The Datsun Go and Go+ should cost around Rs 30,000 more than the outgoing car and considering the amount of extra equipment on offer it comes across as a good deal. The fact that they have improved on the shortcomings of the old car and seem to have addressed safety issues thanks to structural changes and by giving airbags and ABS as standard, makes it a more peace of mind buy. The Go or Go+ works if you want a car that is well equipped, has a big boot and is more practical that any hatch at this price. But even now, it doesn’t feel as premium as some of its competitors like the Tata Tiago or the Maruti Celerio. Then there is the engine and gearbox combo, which doesn’t come across as well engineered as it should in a car that is coming out in 2018.

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