It’s no ordinary brand. It comes with a grand legacy. Datsun
is a world renowned brand and on March 19, 2014 the first Datsun will be sold
to customers in India in the 21st century. Datsun originated in Japan as DAT-GO
(the DAT-car) almost a century ago in 1914. The ‘Go’ will be taking on every
small hatch in India and in particular will take on the might of both Maruti
Suzuki and Hyundai Motor. Having driven the car from the Hyderabad Airport in
Samshabad along a route that had some
very good roads and excellent scenery coupled with tidy surroundings, the Go
drove like a breeze. The moment you set eyes on the car you are glad to notice
its contemporary styling and some modern design elements. For customers on the
lookout for something new and refreshing in the small car segment, the Datsun
Go is the answer.
You have got to be impressed by the face of the car. You
cannot miss the Datsun ‘D’ cut grille. The integrated bumper houses three air
intakes. Not to miss are the large fully
integrated three dimensional headlight assemblies. With the wheelbase at 2450mm, the Datsun Go
is 3785mm from bumper to bumper. Ideal for Indian roads, the Go has a ground
clearance of 170mm. That, simply put, has its own set of advantages, especially
on the sub-standard Indian roads with some very tricky speed breakers. The
driving position is higher than in some rival cars, which results in better
all-round visibility while driving.
It’s simple. That’s the best way to describe the interior of
the car. The moment you sit in the driver’s seat, you realise you are in a
commanding position and everything around you is just about perfect. The three
spoke steering wheel is a perfect fit in your hands. The single instrument
panel suggests that there is no ostentatious display of gadgetry. The
distinctive white and blue colour of the speedometer incorporates a digital
tachometer and a gear shift guide. One must remember the Go is a car that could
be a first purchase for a family and hence every bit of guidance can help the
driver save fuel.
The centre section of the dashboard houses two smart air
vents while two more are on either end of the dash. These could be closed if necessary. The distinctive features for the Go are the
gear lever and the brake handle that are mounted in the centre of the console.
This makes a lot of sense in India because now even in crowded areas one can
enter and exit with great ease, especially after parking in a tight spot. This positioning of the levers has resulted
in a ‘connected’ seat in front. Despite Datsun claiming that the long seat is
meant for only two people (a driver and co-passenger), one can expect to see an
entire Indian family travelling sitting in front! In India, they throw safety
out of the window the moment they are seated in a car! There are loads of areas
for storage, whether it is under the dash or by the side of the doors. Both for
the front passengers as well as rear passengers, there is enough head room as
well as leg room. As for the boot space, at 265 litres, it is the best in its
PERFORMANCE BASED ON ENGINEERING
The very fact that it took us a few seconds to reach a speed
of 160kmph, it signifies that the car is light and strong. We were three grown
up adults in the car, even then the car took a few fleeting moments to reach
that speed. The Datsun Go weighs 769kg. The good ride comfort and handling have
been the result of a sophisticated double pivoted lower arm front suspension
with a torsion beam rear suspension. The
Go is equipped with special high response linear dampers, which generate the
appropriate damping forces more accurately than conventional dampers. These designs have been borrowed from the
company’s luxury brand Infiniti where such dampers help reduce the body’s pitch
and squat movement over poor surfaces for added ride comfort.
The 1198cc three-cylinder petrol engine is an ideal match
for the small Datsun Go. The maximum power generated is a cool 67bhp@5000rpm
and a torque of 104Nm@4000rpm. It sprints to 100kmph in 13.3 seconds. We nudged
it further and it easily reached 160kmph and was ready for more. When driven
sensibly, the car does 20.63km to a litre of petrol.
INTERESTING FEATURES FOR A SMALL CAR
Not to be missed out, the Datsun Go comes with some very
interesting features for its segment. The car features an Intelligent Wiping
System. This system varies the wiping interval depending on the speed of the
The car does not come with an audio system but something
more innovative than such a system. It has a unique Mobile Docking Station
wherein a smartphone can be synced directly with the car. So everything your
smart phone can do, it can now be done through this docking station.
The new Datsun Go also features a segment first---a Follow
Me Home lights to ensure that the way ahead is illuminated even after the car
is switched off and locked at night. Interestingly, as the driver leaves the
car he or she simply pulls the headlamp flasher to illuminate the headlights
which automatically switch themselves off after a predetermined period: one
pull leaves the lights on for 30 seconds, two pulls for one minute, three for
90 seconds and four for two minutes.
That’s enough time for you to unlock your house and get inside safely.
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