Smalls cars are the forte of Japanese car makers. They produce the most number of small cars in the world. And they have succeeded by providing all the features of big luxury cars in smaller packages. Add lower price tags, lesser maintenance costs and durability and you have a sure-shot success plan.
Japanese car maker Nissan brought these success factors to India through their Datsun cars. Their small car line-up includes Datsun Go, Go Plus and RediGo that are powered by 800 cc to 1200 cc engines. These cars are available in India for the past few years. However, Go is back in the news with a new design, features that are similar to premium cars and better safety gear.
Datsun is a Nissan subsidiary producing cars since 1931. Datsun cars were mainly made for markets outside Japan. Nissan discontinued the brand in 1986 but relaunched it in 2013. It started selling small cars under the Datsun brand and bigger ones as Nissan from the same showroom. Now, Datsun has active presence in India, Russia, South Africa, Indonesia and several other countries.
Though entry-level hatchbacks and their premium siblings are unfairly compared these days, it was always felt that Datsun Go could do with some more features. Its lack of a decent music system, ABS and Airbags were all too obvious and made the going tough for Go.
Now, all these are old story. New Go has received a complete makeover. Even the platform has been modified to improve ride comfort, handling and safety. The inside looks premium. And, the new Go has no resemblance to the old version at all.
The exteriors have received plenty of changes. The new Go now gets new dynamic grille, LED daytime running lights, 14-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, follow me home headlamps, 180 mm ground clearance, and wing mirrors that can be adjusted from inside. The rear and sides have some resemblance to the old Go. At the rear, it gets a new bumper and a windscreen wiper. Additionally, it gets a new colour – amber orange.
The interiors too are brand new. Nothing from the old car finds its way into the new variant. New Go now has an all-black interior, gets chromium inserts on the dashboard and door trims and carbon fiber finish on the dashboard, centre console and door panels. The steering is also new. Another biggest addition is the seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Datsun has dumped the thin seats of old Go and added new, comfortable seats. The bench-like front seats of the pre-facelift version has been replaced with two push-back seats. A premium touch, overall.
The Datsun Go had received much flak when Global NCAP rated the car with zero stars in its crash test. The new car is fitted with more safety kit. Dual air bags, ABS- EBD and parking sensors are now standard. Together with changes in the body shell, the new Go is one of the safest cars in the segment.
There are no changes under the hood. The 1.2-litre three-pot petrol engine churns out 68 bhp of peak power and 104 Nm of peak torque. The five-speed manual gearbox closer to the dashboard is easy to use. Light steering, easy clutch and good visibility makes Go the king of city roads. With Go, parking could be child’s play. The engine is peppy and offers good driveability. The mileage that Datsun promises is 19.83 km per litre.
Price: Ex-showroom starts from Rs 3.42 lakh. Top model costs Rs 4.99 lakh.
Test drive: EVM Nissan 9567096666