Nissan Datsun Go: A lot of car for little money

Aug 31 2013, 10:02 IST
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Nissan thinks it has the answer with Datsun, its new brand of budget vehicles, and the Go, the first car to wear this new badge. Nissan thinks it has the answer with Datsun, its new brand of budget vehicles, and the Go, the first car to wear this new badge.
SummaryWill launching a new brand like Datsun really work? Judging by the Go, Nissan has a good chance.

the flat, featureless body panels of other budget cars like, say, the Mahindra Verito. The front is dominated by the smart hexagonal grille, which will be a defining characteristic of all Datsun models. The angular headlamps rake back across the V-shaped bonnet, and have very nice detailing inside. The lines from the contoured front bumper extend into the doors and continue down the car.

Even the boot hatch and rear bumper have nice contours on it. Perhaps the only thing that looks out of place on this car are the small, 13-inch wheels. However, upsizing to 14-inch or even 15-inch wheels should not be a problem, as the wheel arches are really large; this car was designed to have good ground clearance. There’s no denying the youthful appeal that Datsun was aiming for with the styling of this car.

The big news is in the interior, where the Go ticks almost all the boxes Indian buyers want in their hatchback. First, there’s space, and lots of it. This is further enhanced by the big windows and the two-tone, beige-brown colour scheme of the cabin. Here, too, there are bits borrowed from the Micra that you might recognise—most notably the air-con vents and the door handles. The instrument cluster has an electronic trip meter and a single dial (there’s no tachometer, only a speedometer), but that can be expected in a car at this price. The single-DIN audio system cleverly omits a CD player and even its own display, instead giving you a mount for your mobile phone and USB and aux-in ports, which will be sufficient for many. The steering wheel looks good, too.

However, there are a few missteps in the cabin. For one, although there are two recesses in the dashboard and one above it, as well as bottle holders in the doors, there is no glovebox. And as we’ve seen with cars like the Tata Nano, which was recently given gloveboxes, it’s a must-have feature for Indians. The other thing is the ‘twist-and-pull’ handbrake, which is mounted on the dashboard and might be seen as too cheap and utilitarian—the Toyota Qualis had one.

But there’s a reason the handbrake, as well as the gearlever, is mounted on the dashboard rather than the floor. That’s because Datsun has put a small bench and backrest between the front seats, effectively making for a three-seater bench in the front as well. There’s no seat

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