Datsun with dazzle!

Datsun with dazzle!

Compared with the predecessors, Datsun’s upgraded version of its Go range is a dazzling delight!


Buyers in the entry level sector of South Africa’s new car market have an expanded choice of smart-looking city cars now that Datsun has introduced a restyled and upgraded version of its popular five seat Go and seven-seat Go+ derivatives.


Originally launched in 2014, the vehicle was initially criticized by representatives of the motoring media for its looks – which were perceived in some quarters to be old-fashioned – and lack of safety features. However, introduction of the reworked versions sets to put right those shortcomings




The new edition benefits from driver and front passenger airbags as well as an anti-lock braking system, the features supplemented by additional safety items such as integrated daytime running lights on higher-spec Lux models, while follow-me-home headlights, side mirrors that include turn signal indicators and, at the rear, reverse parking sensors, are standard items across the range


On the styling front, the makeover includes a bigger grille, redesigned headlights, a sportier-looking front bumper and a revised tail end – the changes helping to modernize the vehicle’s appearance while still conforming to distinctive Datsun design cues 





As far as cabin updates are concerned, the introduction of a seven-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system – which includes Bluetooth, USB, MP3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability – along with a new-look dashboard, high-mounted gear lever and plenty of storage space in door pockets, centre console and glove box, help to make the interior far more user friendly than that of the predecessor




Vents for the standard air-conditioning system have also been restyled for a modern look, while Datsun’s spokesmen claim that by redesigning the shape of the front bucket seat backrests – and bolstering the sides of the squabs – occupant comfort has been enhanced


While most plastics in high traffic areas remain hard to the touch, there are elements within the cabin that help to lift perceptions of quality, among them silver- and carbon-look trim inserts on dashboard and doors, attractively styled upholstery and carpeting that appears expensive     







Standard features across the range include electrically powered windows front and rear, electrically adjustable outside mirrors, an on-board computer, windscreen wipers with an intermittent function, an audio system, central locking and a vehicle immobiliser. Lux derivatives add a rear windscreen wiper with washer, body coloured door handles and 14-inch alloy wheels instead of steel equivalents




“The improved versions of the Go and Go+ represent a new experience for consumers. With fresh looks, modern features and advanced technologies, the new vehicles are well-suited to progressive, ambitious customers possessed with a sense of style,” says Nissan SA Marketing Director, Kabelo Rabotho


He says that along with the improved safety features, the model’s low running costs and competitive pricing help to make it an attractive value proposition in the entry-level sector, while the inclusion of features not usually found in segment rivals contributes to the car’s allure






All models in the range are powered by a normally aspirated, petrol-fuelled, three-cylinder engine that displaces 1,2 litres to produce 50kW and 104Nm. The unit is paired with five-speed manual transmission and returns a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5,2 litres per 100km in the combined cycle




The engine is energetic and willing in character, easily able to keep the car – which in five-seat form weighs just over 800kg – moving along at the speed limit on the highway. In city traffic the vehicle’s lack of mass offers an advantage when accelerating through the gears – it feels nippier and more agile than its power output suggests it should


Further, ride quality is surprisingly good for a small car. On the road the vehicle feels refined, its MacPherson strut-based front suspension system – and torsion-beam configured rear – aided by what Datsun spokesmen describe as a double-pivot front arm and high-response dampers. The result is a vehicle which feels stable and comfortable even when coping with a series of bumps at speed




Though tyre roar remains apparent when traversing rough tarmac, overall the Go impresses for the manner in which it manages to suppress levels of noise, vibration and harshness in the cabin, revisions in this area having paid dividends compared with standards set by the predecessor 





The front ventilated brake discs – there are drums at the rear – are said by Datsun’s spokesmen to have provided in sustained tests consistent and effective stopping power, requiring less pedal effort when braking under normal city driving conditions. Other controls, too – clutch and steering, for instance – are as light and as easy to operate, the latter offering speed-sensitive electrical assistance for a firmer feel at higher velocities








Customisation options for the Go are available, Rabotho listing 15-inch alloy wheels along with rear spoilers, roof rails, body decals and more. Interestingly, each Go incorporates in its sticker price a one-year insurance policy, while a three-year service plan is optional. All models are sold with a three-year, 100 000km warranty








Go Mid    R144 500

Go Lux    R165 500

Go+ Mid    R154 200

GO+ Lux    R175 900

GO+ Panel Van    R155 200