By Khulekani Dumisa
The Datsun Go has been a success for Datsun. It has allowed the company to positively reintroduce itself into our market after a long absence. The revived brand has come in as a niche offering catering for clients who are looking for an affordable solution both on a personal level and business level.
The first attempt got some flak from the industry as people felt that the firm was cutting safety corners whilst attempting to offer a budget solution. Datsun has addressed these concerns and now offers two airbags and ABS. The jury is still out on the car’s performance in crash situations as previous tests weren’t too complimentary. Nonetheless, the improved safety features mean the Go improves on accident mitigation and avoidance.
The car has also matured in its offering with driver conveniences such as LED daytime running lights, parking sensors and follow-me-home headlamps. Inside, the Datsun Go offers a roomy cabin with a smart a 7-inch touch screen infotainment with support for Android Auto, Apple Car Play, Google Maps, App Support and Voice Recognition.
On practicality, the Go does score relatively well. The seats are supportive and doors large enough for tall adults to enter and exit without complaint. The 265l boot takes more luggage than what you would expect of a supermini car.
You do not struggle for power when driving the GO. The light weight of 829kg means the 1,2 engine making 50 kW and 104 Nm is able to cope without any complaint and also save you fuel averaging 5,5l/100km. The ride is also comfortable. The problem is the wind noise that you experience whilst driving the Go. This creates an illusion of instability which is unfortunate as the car actually manages to stay fairly planted when doing the national speed limit on national highways. The gear shifts aren’t as smooth as we would like for a car like the Go. This is something for Datsun engineers to consider in the next iteration.
The Datsun Go does manage to pull on costs associated with ownership and repairs. The trusted AA-Kinsey Report which looks into these issues awarded the Go overall winner of the City Cars & Entry Level category. This is because Datsun Go boasts a parts basket total of R63,310 and best servicing cost price at R2,047. Datsun Go repair basket is R8,846. Finally, in the crash parts section, the Go is third with R52,416 (just about R2,000 behind the leader).
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