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Datsun Go
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 7/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / 1,00,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
3.32 Lakhs-6.18 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Roomy interiors
  • Superior performance
  • Practicality redefined
  • Ergonomically sound cabin
  • Modern and contemporary styling
  • Good ride and handling capabilities

Weak Areas

  • Low brand equity
  • Sales and service reach
  • A bit high placed gear lever
  • Material Quality indicates cost cutting
Datsun Go
 
 

Datsun Go Expert Review By Ecardlr

Datsun Go is the new entrant in the budget hatch segment and its rhythmic, clean styling can find favour with the masses. But does it also meet the expectations of buyers with its performance, ride and handing? Ecarldr team does an in-depth assessment of the Go.


Author

By

ecardlr.com National

Even though compact sedans like Maruti Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Honda Amaze have now largely caught the fancy of car buyers in India and more people are opting for them, hatchbacks still constitute a large part of the models sold each month. Ease of maintenance and practicality for commuting amidst increasing traffic on roads keep budget hatchbacks popular. Maruti Alto continues to rule in the A segment and other players include Hyundai Eon, Santro, Chevrolet Spark and Tata Nano. And then arrived Datsun’s come-back car the Go.  
 
Nissan has revived its economy brand Datsun for Indian, Indonesian, Russian and South African markets. And the first car to go on sale is the hatchback Go that got launched in March 2014 at a starting price of 3.12 lakhs (ex showroom price Delhi). Nissan directly manages the sales and marketing for Datsun and the Go is sold at Nissan showrooms across India. 
 
Available in 4 variants (D, D1, A, and T) Datsun Go uses a 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder petrol engine that generates 67 bhp at 5000 rpm and has 10.6 kgm torque at 4000 rpm. 
 
The brand that was phased out in 1981 is not very familiar to most first-time buyers today. The name ‘Go’ springs from the first Datsun car – DATGO - of 1914. And a seven seater MPV version called Go Plus will also be launched by the company soon. 
 
With its small size and aggressive pricing, the hatch Go looks well customised for India. But is it really a good value-for-money proposition? How well can it convince us with its engine refinement, performance, cabin space and design? Here’s Ecardlr’s comprehensive review of the Go: 
 
The Exteriors and Engineering 
 
Based on Nissan’s V platform that also underpins the Micra, the Go is well proportioned and with a length of 3785 mm it is longer than competitors Maruti Alto K10, Wagon R, Hyundai Eon, and Santro. Looking at its dimensions it does not quite seem to be a ‘budget hatch’. The frontal styling also gives it a character and the chrome framed honeycomb radiator grille will appeal to mass market. The Datsun logo also sits on the grille. Fitting nicely into the design are the trapezoidal side air-intakes but there are no fog lamps even on the top-end (T) trim. The backswept headlamps have good detailing and incorporate follow-me-home feature which is not yet offered by any other hatch of the A segment. The duration for which the lamps stay lit depends on the number of times you pull the flasher. (one time – 30 seconds, two times – 60 seconds, three times – 90 seconds and 4 times – 120 seconds)
 
There is a pleasing balance observed in Go’s design when it is viewed from the side. Its door wing mirrors are blackened and not body coloured. And they cannot be adjusted from inside so you need to roll down the windows to set them as per your requirement – but this is a norm common to all current cars in this segment at least for their base an mid level variants. 
 
The dimensions of this hatch being larger than its competitors, the 155/70 R13 tyre size seems rather small. Indeed the wheel arches are also big for them. A design element that catches attention in profile look is the flow of the line that starts from the rear door and goes to the tail lamp. Go’s roof is ribbed to improve its structural strength. While the C pillar is blackened on all trims, the B pillars are blackened for the top 2 variants.  
 
At the rear the bulging tail lamps with single reversing light blend beautifully with the design. There is a stop lamp on the rear glass. The hatch door has nice surfacing and the central position is occupied by the Datsun crest. Go has a ground clearance of 170 mm. 
 
Unlike Hyundai Eon’s radical design, Datsun Go has cleaner and simpler lines but it still looks trendy. The colour array includes Blue, Red, Silver and White. Tipping the scales at just 788 kg, it is over 100 kg lighter than Micra Active. 
 
In the Cabin 
 
This car has flap type door handles. Getting inside you find yourself in a roomy cabin and the distinct seating configuration makes it a 5+1 seater car for Indian families. The additional ‘sixth’ seat is because of the broadened front passenger’s, seat the base and backrest of which get very close to the driver’s seat and create a sort of bench. Datsun calls it ‘connected seats’ and explains that the area in between can be used to keep handbags or knick-knacks (there is no seat belt here). But Indian users being more innovative in such things, may use it to seat little children.
 
Another unique feature is the gearlever placed high up on the centre console at a sharp angle to the floor. If the passenger seat is moved forward, there is not much space between it and the gear lever platform. You may find your elbow hitting the back support of this little ‘bench seat’ frequently while changing gears. If you push back the passenger seat, it will affect the leg room at rear. Nevertheless, these front seats with integrated headrests are quite comfortable. 
 
The three-spoke steering wheel with its placement and angle feels ergonomic to use and the fact that it does not have rake adjustment feature should not bother most people. As there is no space between the front seats, the handbrake is also placed on the raised centre console and has pull and twist functionality – a feature that was offered on the old Toyota Qualis. 
 
Even if it is a budget hatch, Go has a small digital tachometer, odometer, tripmeter, distance to empty counter, and data for average and instantaneous fuel consumption. The top end trim gets central locking and powered front windows but driver’s door does not have button to control the passenger’s window. 
 
Datsun Go comes without a conventional audio set up with radio and CD/MP3 player. The top end T trim has a ‘mobile docking station’ that lets you connect your cell phone to the two front speakers through Aux-in and a stand to hold the device. So you can play music from your phone and can also use voice navigation of Google maps if you have the feature. A USB port is given but that is only for charging purpose. This docking station will not clasp big, ‘phablet’ type smartphones and its capacity is limited to handsets that weigh less than 160 grams. Sound quality is ordinary. 
 
Air conditioner is provided with upper two variants and has been taken from the Micra. The fan is tad noisy at high speed. 
 
The dashboard of this car feels quite functional. It has an alcove on the top and there are stowage shelves on both (front passenger and driver) sides. However, because of these open pockets there is no lid-covered glove box. Front doors have bottle holders and small cubby holes. 
 
At rear you get a seat that offers the best legroom in its class and there is enough space for three adults. We just wish that it was not so flat and had larger headrests. And with connected seats in front, the flow of AC air will be restricted for rear passengers – manually adjusting the air vents will help. 
 
The boot space is wonderful at 265 litres and can take in a big suitcase placed flat. You can fold down the rear seat to enlarge the space. This boot can be opened only from inside the cabin and not outside. 
  
Overall, while cost cutting is evident in some areas – such as quality of seat fabric, rear seat belts that are not self-retracting, and no lid for the glovebox – the fit and finish is admirable and is better than competitor Alto’s cabin.  
 
Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
The 1.2 litre 3 cylinder petrol engine that does duty in Datsun Go also powers Nissan Micra, Micra Active and Renault Pulse. As in Micra Active, it is tuned for 67 bhp at 5000 rpm and its torque of 10.61 kgm is the same as in Micra and Pulse. Unlike most of its rivals Go gets an electronic throttle. 
 
As expected from a three cylinder motor, there is considerable vibration at idling and we noticed that the exhaust outlet also shakes a lot at this time. But this quivering stops when the car sets off. 
 
With good power and torque to weight ratios, Go’s engine is peppy at normal city speeds and it responds nicely to light throttle inputs. The driveability is admirable and this hatch hardly ever feels sluggish in the city. It also lets you pull away from low speeds in higher gears thus requiring lesser gearshifts. This is partially on account of well chosen gear ratios. 
 
To keep costs low, Datsun Go did not get the Renault sourced gearbox that is used in Micra. Nissan has used an older five speed unit for this hatch. The shifts are notchy but do not call for much effort. Thanks to the well defined ratios you won’t have a problem getting into the desired gear. The hydraulic clutch is light to operate and has very little play. 
 
This engine is not quite rev happy and starts to feel strained at high rpms although you may like the exhaust noise then. The thrum so typical of 3 cylinder mills is obvious as the rpms begin to rise. It gets gruff under heavy acceleration. Poor NVH and cabin insulation is also evident at high speeds. But Go has a 0-100 km/hour time of 14.55 seconds which is better than Hyundai Eon and Maruti Wagon R. It can also reach its top speed of 120 km/hour easily but it is not wise to push this small car to its limits and in trying to go beyond that. 
 
Ride and Handling 
 
The suspension is absorbent and makes for a fine ride when put against other cars in this segment. It may not be cushy but is compliant. Datsun Go has good ground clearance that helps on bad stretches of tarmac. Except for big potholes it can endure most road conditions satisfactorily. It is also the small wheels that crash through larger potholes and you can hear the suspension. 
 
The ride is composed at higher speeds, at least for front seat occupants and even if there is some bouncing on rear seat, the overall experience is better than other hatchbacks in this category. Poor sound insulation is an irritant at highway speeds where roads and wind noise also get disturbing. 
 
Thanks to light controls, the Go is easy to drive in the city and its steering wheel turning radius of 4.6 metres aids in maneuverability in jams. Another good thing is that the steering weighs up sufficiently with increase in speeds on open roads. It will not make you nervous even as you touch 100 km/hour. Straight line stability is also admirable but strong crosswinds can disturb the composure of this light car. 
 
There is a fair bit of body roll when Go is pushed hard around the corners but it anyways it not supposed to be a corner carver. Even a quick lane change can cause its rear to slide around a little but it regains its composure soon enough. You need to drive this car in a real prudent and calm style to make the most of its impressive performance and enjoy the ride. 
 
There is no ABS even on the top-end variant and the tyre response to emergency braking is accompanied by some squealing and writhing. As we mentioned earlier, the tyres are too small and even an upgrade to 175 mm rubber will help in improving both ride and handling quality.
 
Fuel Efficiency  
 
One of the highs of the frugal three cylinder engine is its fuel efficient nature. The ARAI rating for Datsun Go is 20.63 km/litre. And in our test we also got a fuel economy of 12.7 km/litre in the city and 17.5 km/litre on the highways. Newbie drivers will also like the gear shift marking suggestions on the speedometer that helps in maintaining good economy. The fuel tank capacity of 35 litres is slightly smaller than that of Micra.
 
Verdict  
 
While the signs of cost cutting especially in cabin, and poor insulation are obvious in this entry level budget hatch, there are some distinct qualities that make the Go likable. Its clean and stylish design will please most people. The cabin is more spacious than other cars of the category and the boot with 265 litres of volume adds to practicality. With regards to ride quality particularly in the city, the Go delights us. 
 
Datsun is largely an unknown brand for new buyers but if Nissan improves its sales and service network, they can make the Go quite successful in the sub-continent.  
 
The four variants of Datsun Go are priced between Rs. 3.12 lakhs and Rs. 3.79 lakhs (ex showroom price, Delhi). 
 
Comfort:  3.5/5
 
Refinement: 3.5/5
 
Safety: 3/5 
 
Ride: 4/5
 
Handling: 3.5/5
 
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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