Datsun GO Hatchback First Drive Review

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Datsun GO Overview

The Go was the launch vehicle for Datsun’s rebirth. The model got a high-voltage launch in New Delhi and was pitched as the car that would upset the applecart in India’s budget hatchback segment. However, the response to the model was tepid and the zero-star crash test rating by Global NCAP early into the car’s life did it no favours either. Datsun has been tweaking the car over the years (including structural updates, we are told) but what you see here is the first big update to the model. It’s got revised styling, a redone cabin and more equipment, and Datsun has also upgraded the car’s safety suite. Impressively, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and rear parking sensors are now standard fit. That’s quite a step up from the outgoing model, which did not get ABS at all and only offered a driver’s side airbag as a paid option. Importantly, Datsun officials tell us the revamped Go meets India’s new crash test norms that come into effect from October 2019 on all cars on sale.

Datsun GO Look

The Go gets a series of visual updates and they do their job rather well. While the trademark hexagonal grille gets a new mesh, the talking point at the front is the new bumper. More angular and sportier, even more than the original Go’s, the bumper immediately gives the hatchback’s face more personality. Also, new to the Go are LED DRLs, though they are only unique to the new top-spec T(O) versions. At the sides, it’s the larger wheels that immediately distinguish the updated car – upsized to 14-inches and shod with 165/70 tyres, they enhance the Go’s stance. Diamond-cut alloy wheels, like the ones on the car pictured here, are exclusive to the T(O) variant. They do so much for the look that they are worth stretching your budget for. Of the other things, the body-coloured caps for the wing mirrors are also new. The roof rails you see on the pictured car are from Datsun’s accessories range and are just for show – they can’t lift any load.

The revised Go’s rear end is identifiable by the new bumper and a chrome lip at the base of the tail gate. While it is not a design detail, the rear wiper is also a fresh inclusion on the top-spec version. There’s no rear defogger, however. In all, the Go looks far more appealing than before, with the new Amber Orange colour also helping give the car a more youthful persona.

Datsun GO Comfort

The interiors have been given a heavy revision. The dashboard gets a new design which looks more appealing than the older cars. The GO gets a full black layout for the dash while the GO+ gets a dual-tone theme. Fit and finish has improved a lot and so has the quality of materials used in the cabin. The handbrake has been moved to its conventional location. The older GO came with only speakers and a port to mount your phone but now it gets a Blaupunkt touchscreen audio system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, etc. Sound quality is just average though. The USB port has been placed a bit inconveniently below the centre console. For more information on Datsun GO check Industrynewswire

Datsun claims that the vehicles come with anti-fatigue seats but honestly the front seats are quite thin and they lack proper support for the under-thigh while support for the back is good. Also the centre console which houses the gear lever is very large and it keeps hitting the knee of the driver and front passenger which gets really annoying because leg space is already very less. The seats aren’t very wide though. The rear seats offer average comfort but knee room is limited, more so when there’s a tall passenger sitting upfront. The GO has enough boot space for a couple of small bags while the GO+ comes with a third row which again has extremely limited space and isn’t suited to full-size adults. With the third row up, boot space in the GO+ is very negligible but with the last row folded, the cargo capacity gets increased drastically.

Datsun GO Gearbox

The Go uses the same 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine as before, and its 68hp and 104Nm power and torque figures, respectively, are par for the course for this class of car. Still, performance is more than adequate for town. Initial response is a bit meek, but by 2,000rpm the engine gets into its rhythm and makes the Go feel peppy and light on its feet. The Datsun is quite well-suited to the urban grind, though the 5-speed gearbox should have been smoother in its shifts.

The Go picks up pace smartly, but the engine runs out of steam at highway speeds. Cross 80kph and you’ll also sound off the speed buzzer – a new addition that will be required by law, come April 2019. The Go is not a car that you’d be inclined to drive much faster than needed, to begin with. The light body (it tips the scales at 846kg) tends to move about in crosswinds, and it isn’t as sure-footed under hard braking as we’d have liked either. Still, the inclusion of ABS makes a world of a difference to confidence behind the wheel. Ride quality is good, if on the firmer side, for the most part and what also comes handy on patchy surfaces is the 180mm of ground clearance.Check for car loan interest calculator.

An area where the Go has made an improvement is in refinement. There’s more cladding so you no longer hear pebbles and small stones, kicked up from the road, clunking around in the wheel wells. You hear less of the engine too. The three-cylinder engine does get thrummy when you extend it and you can feel vibrations on the gear lever at idle.Powered by the 1.2-litre petrol engine and linked to a 5-speed gearbox, the claimed Datsun GO mileage comes out to be an impressive 19.83 km/l.

Datsun GO Riding

The suspension set up on the GO is pliant for our roads. The ride isn’t very plush but it is comfy enough unless the roads get really bad. The suspension travel is long and the GO siblings have a significant amount of body roll, which feels even more pronounced in the GO+ and sudden lane changes aren’t confidence inspiring. The steering doesn’t provide much feedback and is kind of vague. Braking performance is also pretty average and pedal doesn’t have a sharp bite. Book Datsun GO  Test Drive

Datsun GO Safety

The Datsun GO features safety bits such as driver side airbag, vehicle dynamic control, co-passenger airbag, ABS with EBD and brake assist, rear parking sensors, central locking and driver seatbelt warning as standard across the line-up. It additionally comes with rear washer, rear defogger and rear wiper. Braking power on the entry-level hatchback is derived from disc front brakes and rear drum units.

Datsun GO Price in Pune

Datsun Go On-Road Price in Pune ranges from 4,15,686 to 5,97,762 for variants Go D and Go T Optional respectively. Datsun Go is available in 7 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Datsun Go variants price in Pune. Check for Datsun GO price in Pune at Autozhop.

Datsun GO Bottomline

The 2018 Datsun Go’s prices start at Rs 3.29 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the base D trim. The mid-spec A, A(O) and T trims come in at Rs 3.99 lakh, Rs 4.29 lakh and Rs 4.49 lakh, respectively, and cost about the same as corresponding versions of the old car. Factor in the additional kit on offer, and what is clear is that the Go packs in far more value than before. The top-spec T(O)’s Rs 4.89 lakh price is also competitive, when you see the equipment it comes with.

The changes to the Go make it feel significantly better than before. It feels like a more wholesome package and its appeal finally goes beyond the promise of low running and maintenance costs that Datsun has relied on to pull in buyers so far. While only a straight up comparison with the likes of the Tata Tiago and Maruti Suzuki WagonR will tell if it’s the best car for the money, the Go has certainly become far easier to recommend than ever before.

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