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DRIVEN: 2018 Datsun GO LUX

2019-01-28 09:30

Robin Classen

Datsun GO

Image: Muntasir Rose

When I think of Datsun the only picture my brain conjures up is that of boxed shaped 510 and Y-body coupes of the 60s and a similarly aged gentleman posing with wife.

That was the Brand's heyday.

Datsun pulled out of South Africa about 20 years ago and returned to the local market in 2014 with targeting the compact city car market with its Go hatchback.

Going forward

I had the opportunity to test the LUX specification during the holidays and I was pretty excited to have a go at the 'new school' Datsun seeing as the last one I drove was the Stanza SSS. Safe to say, a lot has changed since then.

GALLERY: 2018 Datsun Go and Go+

Seat and side-mirrors adjusted, I was on my merry way. Its first test was 4pm peak Cape Town traffic on a sweltering day.

I had experienced the GO before and I wasn't a big fan of the massive seat that almost serves as a barrier between the front and back. It reminds me of an old Hi-ace taxi so I was relieved that it wasn't present in this updated model.

What do you think of the refreshed Datsun GO? Email us

While the GO is not a rocket on wheels, its tiny 50kW 1.2 litre engine combined with a weight of just 820kg makes for surprisingly nippy little car. It does the job of accelerating when you need it without a huge amount of lag. It took some getting used to at first but the elevated ergonomically-located gear shift lever is actually very cool. Shifting is made easier and gives you a more controlled driving experience whether its a quick trip to the shops or just cruising about.

Datsun GO

                                                                         Image: Muntasir Rose

On a few occasions, I often found myself turning the aircon switch, forgetting that it has to be done via the cool 7" touchscreen infotainment screen. Connectivity features such as Bluetooth and Apple Carplay is available at the touch of a button, a real big tick in the box for someone like me who likes convenience while driving. Another neat touch was the 'Welcome' and 'Goodbye' message that displays on screen when you start and switch off the car.

READ: New Datsun Go, Go+ for SA: Improved safety, design tweaks and more

Suffice to say, it was a beauty to drive in traffic.

The long road is no problem for this little budget hatch as I took a leisurely drive to the Table View and Milnerton areas attempting to find a nice spot to do some skateboarding. I drove around for a good part of 2 hours in 30 degree plus heat with the aircon on and not once did I have to look at the fuel gauge. Its 5.2l /100km economy had me very impressed and all I wanted to do was drive it longer.

Datsun GO

                                                                              Image: Muntasir Rose

It really looks the part wherever you drive it. I wasn't at all surprised to find a bystander staring at the car and commenting that it looks "fresh and funky on a hot summers day'. I strongly agree with him. The blue decals on its white base coat and 14" wheels bode well with one another and the daytime running lights is another awesome feature that ticks the box for me in terms of modernity.

A well packaged deal

While it is blatantly obvious that the Go isn't made for tall people such as myself, it suits the those of average height and frame just fine.

While the car is packaged well overall, I have a few pet peeves. One of them was that buttons that don't automatically lock after driving for about 20km/h, this is crucial given SA's horrendous hijacking scourge. The AUX and USB points isn't immediately visible from the drivers seat as its placed awkwardly below the gear console.

Datsun GO

                                                                            Image: Muntasir Rose

What you see is what you get and what you get is value for money with pricing starting from R144 500.

The GO has strong competition in its segment with the likes of the Renault Kwid, Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Grand i10 all popular choices. The significant changes made over the last few years has noticeably improved its standing in the market.

Servicing takes place every 15 000km with a 3-year/100 000km warranty as standard while there are optional service and maintenance plan packages for you to choose from.

Read more on:    datsun  |  robin classen  |  south africa  |  new models

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