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REVIEW: Here’s why the Datsun Go sells huge volumes each month

2018-09-22 09:00

Janine Van der Post

Image: Motorpress

Datsun has a phenomenal history in South Africa, and its SSS is probably the most significant. The automaker was an affordable and reliable brand, and has returned to SA with most of those same principles.

Take the Datsun Go, it’s one of the most affordable new cars on the market. Despite its dubious safety rating it has become the go-to brand for first-time buyers, especially those with families. 

READ: Here's how Datsun SA uses flower power to make the country smile

Naamsa figures show sales of 400-plus without fail, each moth. Datsun has added a new ‘Flash’ version to its range as a limited-edition model with a price tag of R138 900.

With a 1.2-litre engine, 55kW and 140Nm, it gets the job done with minimal fuss.

What’s new on the Flash?

What you see is what you get with the Datsun Go Flash; changes to the exterior for includes custom body, bonnet and roof graphics, a silver polished exhaust tip, custom mud flaps, and its available in either white or grey body colours.

Inside, there’s Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary input, USB radio setup and silver contrast interior accents.



What’s to like?

It’s a basic car though fitted with a driver-side airbag, aircon and its super light on fuel with a claimed combined fuel consumption of 5.2-litres/100km. 

My average consumption was not too far off with an average of about 5.9-litres/100km. And, since it’s a small car, with an average-sized fuel tank, R150 can take you well beyond the halfway mark. 

It's relatively comfortable to drive and it won't feel like it's going to fall apart travelling beyond 120km/h on the highway. It has a claimed top speed of 161km/h, and is quite capable of overtaking.

It has 1.5-litre bottle holders in the doors and it has a nifty little shelf just below the steering wheel to keep your mobile phone or keys out of sight while driving. It has average fuel consumption readings, follow-me home lights and front power windows - it's a quite a lot of kit for an A-to-B kind of car. 

So the Go might be a far cry from the SSS of yesteryear, but it does have connected front seats in a cute little ode to its forebearers, along with the centre console hand brake lever.

I would only ask Datsun South Africa to please fix the rear-view mirror because its dinky ‘Barbie’ toy mirror is not working for anyone and is actually a hazard while driving; it makes traffic and objects look slightly distorted and larger than what they are.

Here’s the thing - it’s not a premium car but the majority of the average-Joe  motorist are seeking an affordable option. There’s a big-enough boot, it’s affordable and economical. It really is no surprise why the Japanese automaker has its foot in the door when it comes to an entry-level car.

According to Datsun South Africa, there’s something new headed our way pretty soon. I can’t help to think of the classic Datsuns which roamed the streets of SA. Imagine the automaker re-incarnating the legendary 240 Z Sports or a GX Coupe. 

I had to burst my own bubble and look at what’s new internationally, in other markets there’s a funky-looking Redi-Go, an On-Do and Mi-Do, along with a Cross model. My guess would be that it’s one of those.

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