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Old 14th December 2013, 16:53   #1
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Default Datsun GO: A Close Look

Mod Note: Team-BHP's Official Review of the Datsun Go has been taken live at this link (Datsun Go : Official Review). Please continue the discussion over on the review thread.

Datsun has kicked off a Roadshow campaign. Starting in New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, it will subsequently move to various towns and cities, all over India. The campaign will enable potential customers to get a close look at the GO hatchback. Datsun hopes to get opinions about the car from people across the country.

Here are some pictures of the GO from the Mumbai leg of the campaign.

In my opinion, the look of the car is simple and inoffensive.
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Panel gaps are huge.
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Single double-armed wiper.
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Black, manually operated door mirrors.
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Doors have thin rubber beading and close with a sound that reminded me of the Maruti 800 SS80.
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155/80 R13 tyres on steel wheels with full plastic wheel caps.
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Basic, but well laid-out dash.
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Steering wheel is nice to hold.
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Simple instrument console dominated by the speedometer with "shift-up" markings.
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Basic rear view mirror - no night setting.
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Open glove compartment.
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Dash-mounted gear lever.
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Parking brake has a pull-and-twist action.
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Low cost ICE system, features only an AUX-in. There is a mobile phone holder and a USB port for charging.
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Power windows at the front...
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Wind-ups at the rear
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Pedals appeared well spaced. Dead pedal is absent.
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Front seats have a two-way action.
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Nissan claims a three-abreast seating configuration for the front seats of the GO.
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Rear legroom is tight and even fairly tall people will sit in a "knees-up" position. The front passenger seat is not in its full-back position.
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Boot space is pretty good.
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It is evident that the car is built to a price. In some areas, it is more obvious than others.
Glaring gap between the door pocket and the door panel.
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Unclad tail gate and boot clamp.
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Opening for the steering-adjust lever, which is absent.
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Last edited by GTO : 19th March 2014 at 13:10. Reason: Link to review
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Old 14th December 2013, 20:40   #2
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Sure looks built to a price. The Hyundai Eon looks more impressive IMO esp the interiors. Wonder if the dimensions are similar. Will be priced below 4 lacs according to report on Business Line.


Last edited by wilful : 14th December 2013 at 20:42.
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Old 14th December 2013, 20:47   #3
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

It seems that car manufacturers do not learn from mistakes. Low cost stock ICE will not be liked by any one and it looks out of place. The non adjustable inside rear view mirror with no night adjustment is a basic feature that should have been added. Open glove box is an unwelcome idea and a very wired thing to do. Even Tata nano now has a covered glove box. It was added in Nissan Evalia. One in forced to think why do the car manufacturers need customer opinion to add basic things. Design engineers should keep these things in mind at the first stage itself.
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Old 14th December 2013, 22:43   #4
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

First things first, please bring out an AT or a CVT version. With A-Star priced up, there is essentially no AT car in India in the <500,000 bracket :(

And I liked the simplistic head unit concept. In this price range, it is a no-nonsense device. It can however do with better fit and finish.
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Old 14th December 2013, 22:59   #5
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

The Renault- Nissan Group is having big plans with Brand Datsun in many developing countries.
So far, only the Renault Duster has been accepted well by buyers from this group ever since it made its forays into the Indian market, with a slew of offerings.
The Logan was rejected by buyers in India. It was again designed with the economic price tag in mind and aimed at developing economies.The window glasses were straight and even the contours of the body shell were very less aesthetically appealing. It bombed. Even our very own Tata Nano bombed with its "cheap car" tag. Today no one is interested in such crap.
Seeing the quality of plastics and the interiors of this car that are mainly made with "price and economics" on their minds, I am sure it will not take off. It may just "GO" away from the scene.
Even Tata Ace owners can afford better music systems. The dash console compares with that of the Tata Ace however. What the hell? Does the Renault-Nissan Group think our car buyers are so poor that they will go for such cheap crap? It is better they concentrate in some other countries where buyers will go gaga and approve their cheap cars.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 14th December 2013 at 23:14.
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Old 14th December 2013, 23:01   #6
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Liked the simple utilitarian design, but how safe is a kid seated in the front middle when it has not got belts and the gear lever protrudes straight ahead? Built to a cost, okay. But pass on the cost reduction benefit to the end-user. Skimp on the profit too, if Datsun is eying volumes. And the fit and finish, not okay. The wheel well, they seem could accommodate a wheel double the size. Few long shots, front and side, would have been nice to judge the overall size of the car.
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Old 14th December 2013, 23:51   #7
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

What were they thinking when they designed a "Only Aux-in" ICE system? They expect every one to load songs in their mobiles / ipods before a drive? Even the ICE setup looks bare basic.

Three-people abreast seating in the front? First, I don't think its possible unless you make two kids sit in the passenger seat. Secondly, have they heard the term 'Safety' ?

Otherwise, the car looks okay. The exterior look is better than the old-styled Alto family.

Going to Express Avenue mall tomorrow. Let me get a glance of it first-hand!
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Old 15th December 2013, 01:24   #8
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

99% of us know by now that once the mould/die of the final design of the car is made, thats it, the car is going to look like that. I don't think they'll go back to the drawing board after all this testing just because people say things. Infact its all the more disappointing when people see the company not having made any/minimal changes after feedback. So, there seems to be NO point in this 'drive'.

It all depends on price and for this segment - the mileage, so I guess people will not know what to expect without those details.

Still, I'd list the following :

What I Liked :
  • Looks like a no-nonsense built to cost hatch.
  • Design. The front looks nice.
  • Chrome Datsun sign on steering & front grill.
  • The front bench(?) seat can seat 1 hefty built person comfortably.
  • Neat boot space.
  • Gear lever placement similar to i10
  • Gear markings on the speedo.
What I didn't Like :
  • The handbrake is like what used to be in Taxi's.
  • 3 People in the Front, wouldn't be easy for adults. Will probably result to children being made to sit in front. Not safe.
  • In car entertainment. IIRC Even Nano has Bluetooth, USB & Aux inputs for the music system.
  • Sorely miss the cigarette lighter type charging point. So many devices in the market run with that. (or is it there in front left of the gear lever & I didn't notice it?)
  • Single wiper. IMO This is an annoying thing companies have adopted. Even in Nano, this single wiper screams "Cheap".
  • Storage space in front seems very less. Glove compartment should've had a lid thats lockable.
  • 4th gear on 45 & 5th gear on 55? Who upshifts/downshifts at that speed within 10kmph difference? By the time you upshift at 55, you'll be back at ~50kmph and already on 5th!
  • Unclad areas mean the insulation will not be good.
Remarks :
  • Its petrol so CNG version should be kept as an option, theres no such news as of now.
  • When things are built to cost, it shows & glaringly so!
  • Car makers have not learnt to make cars, especially at the proper timing. IMO, at most, this can compete between the Nano & the Alto/Eon. If priced anything above Alto, I don't think people will seriously consider it.
  • Nissan needs many service centers before it can offer this to the mass market, which seemingly aren't in place, (as that would play a major role for a New company with a New product) and people don't like such things. Unless theres a significant advantage in price.
Edit : If its priced at 4L, then I'd rather they keep it wrapped unless they want to hand it a 'Flopped' tag OR unless it offers some excellent Fuel Economy figures.

Last edited by GrammarNazi : 15th December 2013 at 01:35.
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Old 15th December 2013, 02:16   #9
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Things I like about the car:
Non offensive styling on the outside
Non "quirky" styling on the inside
Steering does indeed look good to hold
Boot space
Things that really ought to be changed:
Three abreast seating does not seem possible here just do away with it
Basic HU looks like a detached one and is definitely an eye sore that people might take offense to
Day/Night mirror. I mean how expensive are those manual ones anyway
Open glove compartment? :O How expensive is it to make a thin plastic door?
Minimize the boot space for acceptable leg room
If possible also add adjustable steering
Definitely fix those panel gaps

If they are really taking consumer reaction seriously, then they ought to have a winner because I am sure many will raise the same points I did.

Last edited by IshaanIan : 15th December 2013 at 02:18.
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Old 15th December 2013, 05:38   #10
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Most of the times, its difficult to get a run-away hit, the Go seems to be a step in the right direction, but definitely not a hit. The first thing that everybody will be looking at is price, once that is known, the same people will shun this car because it is cheap. It happened with the Nano. One thing People won't complain about is the looks of the vehicle, it looks par for the course since I have heard a lot of people abhorring the Nano for its looks. What the market needs is a Go on the outside and a Nano on the inside

Having said that, good attempt by Nissan, you have to keep chipping away at the market with different models and combinations, something or the other will click with the consumer sometime or the other, its a much better strategy than having a single model like what Hindustan Motors did with the Ambassador
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Old 15th December 2013, 05:46   #11
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Seeing the more 'Go to market' version of the Datsun Go, this looks like they are aiming for a segment that is between the Tata Nano and the Alto or Eon. With wafer thin margins in this segment, it will be a bigger challenge for Datsun & team to meet volumes that will help them sustain this product.

Good luck to another attempt from a different manufacturer to break the Maruti monopoly in this segment!
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Old 15th December 2013, 10:03   #12
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Nano starts from 1.45 lac
Alto 800 from 2.46 lacs
Eon from 2.90 lacs
Alto K10 from 3.26 lacs
Estilo from 3.5 lacs
Spark from 3.34 lacs
Santro from 3.06 lacs
Micra Active from 3.5 lacs

All ex-showroom Delhi, taken from carwale site.

Now where does the Datsun Go sit? Though it could be surely below the Micra Active range, IMO with all the cost cutting and unknown brand value, the Go should be competing with Alto800:Eon:Santro, provided Datsun needs volume. Even though the Go gets a 1.2L engine and 76PS. What do you think guys?
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Old 15th December 2013, 14:29   #13
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

All the flopped cost-cut models have something in common - they LOOK cheap. That's the reason why Maruti and Hyundai sell well but others don't. Datsun Go is not going to be an exception by the looks of it. It does look big, that's the only positive for it. If that would have convinced a buyer to go for an otherwise cheap looking car, Etios Liva wouldn't have flopped in our market. Liva at least had a very strong brand value to back it up but clearly that wasn't enough.

Indians give a lot of importance for LOOKS. Maruti and Hyundai doesn't look cheap though they may feel cheap. That's okay with the status conscious Indian who is okay to drive a cheap car as long as others don't realize it. That's why you still see some folks buying the lower variants and sticking the variant logo of the higher variant and also the reason people ignore the safety kit if it is made optional - you can't show off the safety kit like a rear wiper or a spoiler or an alloy wheel.

For most of the international brands, "look and feel" is a common phrase they use everyday but the successful players in India are the ones who realized it is actually a combination of two things, one of which is a necessity for an Indian and the other is a luxury that he doesn't mind compromising.
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Old 15th December 2013, 14:46   #14
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

Thank you for the detailed pictures and report, Aditya!

Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Now where does the Datsun Go sit? Though it could be surely below the Micra Active range, IMO with all the cost cutting and unknown brand value, the Go should be competing with Alto800:Eon:Santro, provided Datsun needs volume. Even though the Go gets a 1.2L engine and 76PS. What do you think guys?
The Go is going to be powered by the detuned Micra petrol's 1.2 lit. 3 cyl engine which is found in the Micra Active. This engine produces 68PS and the same torque (104Nm). However, drivability has been boosted by an ECU remap which has significantly improved low end torque (and fuel efficiency). According to Autocar India's test figures, in-gear acceleration has shown a significant improvement.

The Micra Active has a kerb weight of 900 kg. The Go should have a kerb weight of ~ 775 kg, as the GO+ MPV (sub-4m 5+2 seater) weighs 794 kg according to the Indonesian Go+ brochure.

68PS powering a car of ~ 775 kg should give it a power-to-weight ratio of ~ 88 PS/ton, which is excellent for an entry level car. Performance should be as good as the Alto k10, if not better. (If the regular Micra's 76PS engine were to be used, the power-to-weight ration would be ~ 98 PS/ton or very close to the magical 100 horses per ton mark. ) I expect the potential pocket-rocket Datsun Go to become a cheap tuner's favourite.

The weight does raise safety concerns, though. The Nissan Micra has been proven to have good crash safety ratings (4* on the Euro-NCAP), and it weighs ~ 915 kg. The Micra Active, which loses several features, still weighs ~ 900 kg so it should be as safe as the regular Micra. However, the Datsun Go weighs much less (more than 125 kg less) than the Micra on which it is based. I wonder if it is going to be as safe as the Micra/Pulse/Micra Active?

The Go is going to be positioned below the Micra Active, that is for sure. The Micra Active's superbly priced XE variant may be discontinued (Nissan make and sell it only in very small numbers, in any case). The Datsun Go will be positioned in that space. My guess is, Carlos Ghosn's promise will be true and all variants of the car will cost less than 4 lac rupees. So, I expect a stunning price tag of Rs. 2.99 lacs to 3.99 lacs, ex-showroom introductory prices for the different variants.

Will it be successful? That's a completely different matter. At that price, the Datsun Go is going to be a (relatively) big and spacious car with a 1.2 lit. engine, great performance and fuel efficiency and it will compete with smaller 800cc cars like the Alto800 and Eon. I think more than the car itself, its sales numbers will depend on whether Datsun are able to market it well and provide good, inexpensive after sales support.

Personally, I'm a bit disappointed with the levels of cost-cutting seen on the Go. However, I think it does tick many of the right boxes for an entry level car. The expected performance is going to be a bonus! I'm planning to go and see the car in person later today.

Last edited by RSR : 15th December 2013 at 15:08.
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Old 15th December 2013, 15:43   #15
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Default re: Datsun GO: A Close Look

The car definetly looks good and is built in line or marginally better than the segment standards. For all of us who think it looks cheap, pls go and have a close look at the Alto interiors/fit/finish ! Having seen the Eon I still wonder why people have not given its due to this car which is very well made, looks good and has the traditional good quality Hyundai interiors. In that sense, we are a bunch of blind goats who will just go after what Maruti churns out.

I wonder what Nissan plans to do on the dealership side ? Will Datsun have its own network ? Thats going to take a long time to build. Neither is the Nissan network so good or trust worthy as of now for an average Indian entry level car buyer. Would be interesting to see how this car performs in the Indian market.
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