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Datsun Go Plus
    Change Model
Customer Rating
: 4/5
Expert Rating
: 8/10
Warranty
: 2 Yrs / 1,00,000 Kms (Whichever is earlier)
Ex-showroom price in 
Delhi
 help (Rs.Lakhs)
    Change City
3.84 Lakhs-5.04 Lakhs

Strong Areas

  • Excellent value for money 
  • Fantastic fuel-efficiency 
  • Affordable price 
  • Good ride quality 
  • Attractive looks

Weak Areas

  • Poorly equipped 
  • Low safety provision
  • No diesel option 
  • Cramped interiors
  • Small Dealership network 
Datsun Go Plus
 
 

The Drive Experience of a Datsun Go+

With a price starting at Rs. 3.80 lakhs, the Go+ is an economical station wagon for those who want to upgrade from the hatchback segment without stretching their budget by a significant amount. Ecardlr reviews the features and performance of the compact MUV in depth.


Author

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ecardlr.com National

The multi-utility vehicles (MUVs) in Indian are becoming a prime choice of the joint families that travel together. And Datsun has brought in a compact MUV for those who want to do it on a smaller budget. So, after the Go, here comes the Go+ to India. The vehicle made its international debut at the 2013 Indonesian Motor Show and the market in Indonesia does welcome people carriers. In India, the Go+ is locally produced at Renault-Nissan’s plant in Oragadam, Chennai that has an annual production capacity of 4 lakh units.
 
           
 
An important aspect that MUV buyers are going to miss in the Go+ is the diesel. At least for now it comes in a petrol-only version with the 1.2 litre, 3 cylinder engine (of the hatchback Go) that churns out 67 bhp and 10.6 kgm of torque. However, being in a budget segment, it still has potential for sales in India and can be an alternative to larger utility vehicles. Go+ is more of an estate or station wagon than an MPV. It does not feel practical enough to seat 7 people so it is more apt to consider Datsun’s new vehicle a 5 seater with a larger boot. The brochure describes its layout as “extended, squared-off, estate like styling.” 
Let’s now delve into the design, engineering and performance aspects of the new vehicle:
 
The Exteriors 
 
We have seen the Go hatch and knew what to expect from its larger variation so the design does not really have anything extraordinary about it. The clean and inoffensive styling with curves and cuts at the right places look pleasant and will therefore be appreciated by the masses.  Viewed from the front, the Go+ is close replica of its smaller sibling. It has the same black hexagonal honeycomb grille with chrome surround. Datsun calls it “D-cut grille”.  The side air intakes also feature the same honeycomb pattern and there are no fog lamps on any trim.  With large, up-swept headlamps that have silver accents to garnish their housing, the Go+ gets a smart look and these lights also offer good visibility as we have seen earlier in the Go. Then there is that V kink on the bonnet that lends some more style to the frontal design. The hood of this car feels solid and the ample glass area of the windscreen offers a good view to the driver.  It comes with the same double arm, single blade wiper as with the Go but effectively sweeps a big portion of the windshield. There is a single washer nozzle that ejects three sprays of water.
 
           
 
It is from the sides that the wagon-like looks of Go+ become more evident. Not as big as the conventional MPVs in the Rs 6 lakh + segment (Honda Mobilio and Maruti Ertiga), the Go+ measures 3995 mm in length and this is just 210 mm longer than the Go. Interestingly, the width (1635 mm) and even the wheelbase (2450 mm) measure the same as the hatchback, and still the Go+ is a seven seater.  The wheel well gaps seem fairly large with the puny 155/70 R13 Strada tyres. There is no cladding for the wheel wells. The ORVMs are in black even for the top-end trim and as there are no internal adjustment stalks - adjusting the one on passenger’s door can be little tricky for the driver travelling alone.
 
What is appreciable is the way Datsun’s designers extended the hatchback on the same wheelbase. The slope of the roof, the pronounced waistline, the swage lines on the door panels, and the design of the D-pillar reflect good planning. 
 
At the rear, the bumper appears too large although there is a cut in the design to tone down the slabby look. While the hatchback has its number plate on the bumper, this one gets it on the tailgate and the Datsun marque sits above the plate. There is no variant marking on the Go+. The number plate housing also has two lights and a slot to grasp the hatch door for opening it. Furthermore, it is pretty light and can be lifted effortlessly.  Design of the tail lamps is same as in the Go.
 
Spare wheel has been placed under the vehicle as there is hardly any room in or behind the third row of cabin. The vibrations in the tailpipe can be clearly noticed on idling. On the whole though, design of this car looks well planned and quality of the paint job is also pleasing. 
 
The Interiors 
 
Expectedly, the doors of Go+ feel light as with its hatch sibling. Getting inside you will find yourself in a literally compact vehicle.  The addition of the third row of seat differentiates it from the Go.  The dashboard in a tone of grey + beige has a design that feels basic but is functional. While the quality of plastics is not really premium, it does feel sturdy and that is acceptable for a car in this price bracket. The gaps between the doors and the dashboard are rather big and the design shows cost cutting.  You will see a smoother finish on the centre console as compared to the slightly grainy dashboard. The placing of dash mounted gear lever and pull-type handbrake features is guided by the plan to make maximum use of the limited space. As there is no music system again, you get the mobile docking case to stream it from your own phone. The set up includes Aux-in port and a USB slot but the latter is only for charging. There is a built-in amplifier too. The AC knobs have a clean matt silver finish but don’t feel tactile to operate. The system itself is basic with a four-speed blower and without any option for de-fogging and re-circulating .
 
           
 
The three-spoke steering wheel has contours for your thumbs. The stalks for headlights come from the Micra and quality feels durable. Datsun Go+ has a ‘Follow Me Home’ function – you pull the headlamp flasher to activate it; one pull for 30 seconds, two pulls for 60 seconds, three pulls for 90 seconds and four pulls for 120 seconds. There is no airbag in this car.
 
Instrument panel has a simple layout. The main position is taken only by the speedometer dial which is therefore easy to read. As in the Go, it also has upshift markings to guide for a fuel efficient driving style. The little MID on the right side of the speedo has a digital tachometer (limit of 5250 rpm), odometer, trip meter, distance to empty counter, average fuel economy and real-time fuel economy counter.
 
             
 
On the front door panels there are quite a few cuts and creases. They also get spacious bottle holders. The door handles have been taken from the Micra but are all plastic – no chrome as in the Nissan cars. You get the convenience of central locking on the top-end variant. Sun visors are provided for both driver and front passenger but come without vanity mirrors. Also, they are too small to offer adequate side shelter from the sun. The material used for the roof-lining feels smooth but somewhat flimsy. There is evident crunching and crinkling as you push the material spread into the roof.
 
Datsun Go and Go+’s seats are light and not cushiony but they feel sufficiently comfortable if you don’t fidget around too much. Because the cushioning is thin, at times you may be able to feel the metal frame if you push yourself too hard into the seat. Upholstered in grey fabric and with a plain / jacquard pattern (as per the variant), they have integrated headrests and the front seats stick close to each other – the peculiar  trait of Datsun’s two cars.  And the company calls is ‘Connected Seats’. While this place is officially meant to keep only some small things and is not meant for a person as there is no seat belt  provision, in India it may be often used to fit in at least a child and make full use of the MPV that the Go+ is supposed to be.  This middle bench seat is actually an extension of the front passenger seat (just about a centimetre of gap between driver’s seat and this one) and so when the passenger seat is shifted little ahead, the driver’s elbow will hit against the seat back while changing gears. If the seat is pushed back to its limit, it will decrease the legroom for the rear passenger. 
 
Second row of seat
 
The second row has a continuous bench seat (not 60:40).  There is enough of knee room as the front seats are thin. Admiringly, in the budget range that it comes in, the Go+ offers good legroom and there is space under the front seats if you wish to stretch your legs a little. As the width is same as that of Go hatchback, this middle row seat is more apt for two people to sit in ample comfort. But as the transmission tunnel hump is not high, the third passenger on this seat will not be uncomfortable.
 
What may feel bothersome is the flat contouring and soft cushioning of this seat. It is fine for those short trips but can get little tiring on longer journeys.  Also, the integrated headrests here are pliable and a sudden jerk may cause sprain in the neck if the occupant is not careful. The doors for the rear passengers do not have any cubby holes and the windows are not powered. The glass cannot be rolled down fully and go about 90% of the total window area. Grab handles are provided here but are without coat hanging hooks. You don’t get separate lights for this part of the cabin. With the Connected front seats, the AC vents will also need some adjustment to keep the cabin uniformly cooled and provide comfort to the passengers on the second row.  The seat belts on the sides are 3 point, non retractable and for the middle passenger, there is a 2 point lap belt. 
 
The best part is that with all the features in such limited space, the cabin feels adequately airy. 
Third row of seat
     
It’s the addition of the third row of seats that turned Go into Go+ and so this should be the USP of the car. Before we check the usability of this part of the cabin, let’s see how to get on to the third row. There are two options for this –i) by dropping down only the backrest of the second row ii) by flipping the entire seat. While the second option will feel more practical to an adult trying to get there, both have certain shortcomings.  You need to unlock the seat backrest from two sides to drop it down as this is not a split-fold seat. While you don’t have to unlock both the points simultaneously, it is little tedious if just one person is doing the job as he/she would have to go to other side of the vehicle after unlocking one point. Also be a little careful while going on to the third row with just this backrest down because if you support yourself by putting a hand on its surface and exert too much pressure, it will bend inwards. A little agility on your part will be helpful for the whole activity. 
 
If you use the second method and flip the second row seat fully (i.e. the backrest and seatbase), it will be tad better but you still need to crouch and bend to get on the third row.  So occupying the third row of seats in Datsun Go+ is not really for unfit or elderly people. 
 
As for the review of the third row, there is obviously a lack of space because this 7 seater is a sub-4 meter car. The third row is not really a place to sit as legroom, shoulder room and headroom are all inadequate. Furthermore, the seat is literally on the floor and so you have to sit in a crouched position. The place is good just for little children or to keep some bags.  Even the glass area that seems big from outside is actually quite small when you’re actually on this seat. However, as this row officially has a seat, 2 point lap belts are provided. Safety can still be a concern (for fear of rear-end collision) because the backs of the two occupants get too close to the tailgate. It is good that Datsun has provided an emergency lock to release the tailgate. 
When all three rows are up, the storage space is merely 48 litres which is unusable. If you push down the backrest of third row (the whole seat cannot be folded), it becomes a 347 litres boot and this is more than what the hatchback version offers. So again, the Go+ is better as a 5 seater with a spacious boot. 
 
The Engine, Transmission and Performance 
 
It is not Nissan’s K9K 1.5 litre diesel engine that powers Datsun Go+. Instead, it has the same 3 cylinder 1.2 litre petrol unit that is also used in the Go and Micra Active. The engine generates 67 bhp at 5000 rpm and 10.6 kgm of torque at 4000 rpm. With that small size, fuel efficiency is a natural benefit and the kerb weight also helps. At 790 kg, the Go+ is only 21 kilos heavier than the hatch sibling.  Its Power to weight ratio is 85 bhp/tonne. And its torque to weight ratio of 13.4 kgm/tonne is higher not only when compared to 1.2 litre hatchbacks but also the Honda Mobilio (1.5 litre), Maruti Ertiga (1.4 litre) and Chevrolet Enjoy (1.4 litre). So it’s not underpowered.
 
          
 
Turn on the engine and as expected there is lot of vibration at idling. Cost cutting factors are evident here – if you open the door, you will clearly see the vibrations and the tail pipe of course shivers markedly at this stage. The good part is that these vibrations decrease as you accelerate and they do disappear when the Go+ starts moving. 
 
With those strong power and torque ratios, the engine is sufficiently peppy and the throttle is also responsive. The Go+ offers good driveability from the word ‘go’ and we don’t have any complaints in this area. It works to pull a bigger load at fuel-efficient speeds and does not require frequent downshifts. The engine response will certainly be little different when the car has all its seats occupied. While it does not feel lethargic, you will have to stick to lower gears for more spirited acceleration. The 0-100 km/hour comes in 15 seconds and the car is capable of reaching and staying at 120 km/hour on open roads. Speeding up beyond this limit is not recommended because of the basic mechanicals and lack of safety features. 
 
As for the negatives, this engine is not rev-happy and runs out of breath as you touch the max limit of 5250 rpm – there is no redline on the digital rev counter. So that will make your overall driving experience a blend of higher gears and low to medium speeds. It will sound stressed at high rpm and the thrum that is natural in a 3 cylinder unit becomes evident. A sedate driving style will be more suitable for this car. 
 
The 5 speed manual gearbox of Go+ has short throws and that is nice. The shifts however feel notchy. This ‘box does not like fast shifts. But if you change the gears softly, use the engine in its lower revs and don’t accelerate aggressively, you will get the best performance of the Datsun Go+. The light, hydraulic clutch is pleasing to use in stop & go traffic and it has very little play. 
 
As we mentioned earlier, cost cutting with regards to NVH is obvious. Both engine and wind noises permeate through the cabin although the small engine’s noise can be endured. The suspension is also noisy and on poor roads, there is lot of tyre noise. It is the noise from the exhaust that is heard most easily in the cabin. But with all this din, the vibrations are quite in control – on the go, not at idling!
 
The Ride and Handling 
 
The Go+ has a pliant but not plush ride quality. It can glide well over rough tarmac at speeds of 60 to 80 km/hour. When compared to cars in its price range this Datsun MPV can handle most road conditions well and you feel the jerks only on those very large potholes. The company claims that the Go+ has a long travel suspension with 'high response' linear dampers. But this will hold true just for the occupants on the second row as the last row people sitting on the outer edge of the wheelbase will feel even the smaller road ripples. 
 
With its light controls, the car is easy to handle. The turning radius of 4.6 metres makes maneuvering through cramped areas simpler. This steering, light at low speeds, also weighs up sufficiently when you accelerate on the highway. It does not feel edgy at 100 km/hour but again, it is not wise to speed up excessively in the Go+ because it begins to feels floaty on uneven roads and get bouncy at the rear. And it is obviously not a corner carver. With high ground clearance, soft springs and lack of anti-roll bars, there is considerable roll. 
 
Datsun’s new MPV has ventilated disc brakes at front and these work well for most part. It’s only under hard braking that the vehicle feels little nervous. There is no ABS on offer. As the 155/70 R13 tyres are rather puny, you can upgrade them for a better grip. 
 
Fuel Economy 
 
The ARAI rating for Datsun Go+ stands at 20.62 km/litre. You can expect up to 15.5 km/litre in the city and 19 km/litre on open highways. The actual figures will depend upon the driving conditions and the load of passengers and luggage in the car. 
 
Verdict 
 
Datsun’s second offering in India can compete with some sub-4 meter sedans to which many of the hatchback owners upgrade. With the price bracket that it fits in, the closer rivals are Maruti Eeco, Wagon R and Hyundai i10. The pricing starts from Rs 3.80 lakhs for the base variant D and goes up to 4.61 lakhs for top end trim T (prices ex-showroom, Delhi). 
 
Evident cost cutting and poor NVH factors can be some of the setbacks and Datsun is still not a well known brand in India.  As the third row is good to accommodate only small kids or luggage, it is not even a seven-seater. Nevertheless, as a five- seater with adequate luggage space, it is still a good option for families. The fuel economy, pliant urban ride quality and light driving controls are the other plus factors. With more stylish looks than the boxy Eeco, it also has the design factor to its advantage as a family car. 
 
Comfort:  3.5/5
 
Refinement: 3/5
 
Safety: 3/5 
 
Ride: 3.5/5
 
Handling: 4/5
 
Value for Money: 3.5/5

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