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Datsun GO: One of the best entry-level cars

March 07, 2014 08:31 IST

Datsun GO: One of the best entry-level cars

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Faisal Ali Khan

The Datsun GO is a well suited car for first time car buyers in India, writes Faisal Ali Khan of MotorBeam.com

Nissan has been present in India since a long time now but the company hasn't been able to crack the volume segment.

The Japanese automaker has brought back its Datsun brand with which it intends to target emerging markets like India.

The first offering from Nissan under the Datsun brand is the GO hatchback, which is an entry-level car aimed at first time car buyers.

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Photographs: Courtesy, Motorbeam

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Datsun GO: One of the best entry-level cars

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When one talks about entry-level cars, an appealing design is never expected but with the GO you won't be disappointed.

For starters, the Datsun GO is quite big in size and it doesn't look cheap in anyway. The clean lines work well to give the GO an appealing flavour.

The front has a large hexagonal grille, the largest in the segment while the side reveals the smooth lines and the rear is very simply laid out. This is one car which appears costlier than it is.

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Step inside and you will find the dashboard quite quirky because the gear lever and the handbrake are mounted on the dashboard while the front seat appears like a bench.

Quite a few parts are lifted from the Micra so quality is good in certain areas but cost cutting is evident in certain places like the lack of power windows at the rear, rear view mirrors not having internal adjustment and audio system is completely reliant on your phone (called the Mobile Docking System, it only works once you plug in your smart phone via AUX).

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Datsun GO: One of the best entry-level cars

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The Datsun GO has the longest wheelbase in its class and is underpinned by the Micra's V-Platform. Thus the cabin is quite spacious and five people can comfortably sit inside the car.

There is good legroom and headroom although under-thigh support is a bit lacking. The big front seats hamper visibility from the rear.

There are quite a few storage bins inside the cabin including a large door pocket at the front, there are however no door pockets for the rear doors. The boot is the biggest in the class, offering 265-litres of storage capacity.

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Datsun GO: One of the best entry-level cars

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Powering the Datsun GO is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, which is the same unit which also does duty on the Micra. However Nissan has detuned the engine to 68 PS from 76 PS while torque output is the same 104 Nm.

The new tuning has worked well as the Datsun GO is a very peppy car to drive. There is plenty of low-end grunt which makes city driving effortless.

The mid-range is also strong and 0-100 km/hr takes just 14 seconds. It's only at the top-end does this motor feel a bit out of sync and redline comes in at just 5200 RPM.

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Being a 3-cylinder engine, NVH levels at start-up is poor and there is quite a lot of vibrations but as you get going, the NVH is good but due to poor damping, wind noise is plenty at expressway speeds.

The 5-speed gearbox is a bit notchy but the clutch is light. The ARAI claimed mileage is 20.6 km/l but expect 15 km/l in real world driving conditions.

The brakes are strong but the tyres don't support and heavy braking results in the tyres screeching. ABS isn't offered, not even as an option, nor are airbags on the list.

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The Datsun GO has neutral dynamics. Handling is decent and the steering weighs up nicely as speeds increase.

The biggest chink in the GO's armour are the puny tyres which lack grip when you corner enthusiastically.

Ride quality is excellent with the GO absorbing most of the bad roads in its stride without a hiccup. The car remains stable at high speeds but the wind noise at such speeds is too much.

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The Datsun GO will be priced under Rs 400,000 (ex-showroom) in India which is an attractive price for a car which offers an engine which has ample grunt for both city and highway driving.

The GO also has ample amount of space on the inside and ride quality is very good too. Thus, the Datsun GO ticks most boxes for first time car buyers and is a vehicle which is sure to be popular in India.




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