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Old 14th January 2015, 17:29   #1
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Default Datsun GO+ : Official Review

The Datsun GO+ has been launched in India at a price of between Rs. 3.80 - 4.61 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Neutral, inoffensive styling that will please all & offend none. Rear doesn't look like an afterthought
• Practicality of a station wagon at the price & size of a B2 hatchback
• 1.2L engine offers adequate driveability, pep & fuel economy
• Compliant urban ride quality
• Light driving controls, small turning radius & compact footprint make it well suited to the city
• Features such as follow me home headlamps, full MID & speed-sensitive wipers
• Usable as a 5-seater with an accommodating 347 liter boot

What you won't:

• Unusable 3rd row of seats; not a 7-seater! Ingress & egress are tricky too
• Cost cutting is obvious, inside-out
• Very noisy. Overall NVH levels are poor
• Light and flimsy build quality raises safety concerns
• Awful 155 mm Strada brand tyres lock easily. No ABS on any variant
• Datsun still lacks brand recall in India. Also, Nissan's after-sales service network is substandard
• Missing essentials (rear wash & wipe, glovebox lid, retractable rear seatbelts, ORVM adjustment stalks, day/night IRVM, proper head-unit)

This review has been jointly compiled with S2!!! Thanks to him for the expert observations & comments!

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 12:39.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:30   #2
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Prefix the word 'compact' to any body type these days, and it will sell. Compact SUVs are eating into the sales of C-segment saloons, while compact sedans fight it out with B-segment hatchbacks & 4+ meter sedans. However, one thing that doesn't seem to shrink is the size of the average Indian family. The Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) has been a mainstay for joint families since a while. With larger families looking to travel without spending too much money, Datsun sees an opportunity to top the GO hatchback with the GO+ compact MPV.

Since the Datsun brand's revival in March 2014, it has launched 4 models (GO, GO+, mi-Do & on-Do) across 4 markets (India, Indonesia, South Africa & Russia) and started production at 3 plants in 3 countries (India, Indonesia & Russia). The GO+ MPV made its global debut at the 2013 Indonesian Motor Show. The Indonesian market has a strong affinity for people carriers, and the GO+ was the first model to be produced at Nissan’s new plant in Purwakarta - Indonesia. Closer home, production of the GO+ has already begun at the Renault-Nissan factory in Oragadam - Chennai, which has a total capacity of 4 lakh units annually. We feel that Datsun missed an opportunity by not offering a diesel. This could have been a great differentiator and would definitely attract more customers to the showroom.

The GO is a larger alternative to small hatchbacks such as the Maruti Alto and Hyundai Eon. The GO+, on the other hand, is a compact alternative to larger MPVs. Despite the fact that the two models are similar in most ways, their positioning will be poles apart. On paper, the closest rivals of the GO+ are the Maruti Eeco & Tata Venture. However, the GO+ is more of an 'estate / station wagon' than 'MPV'. It wouldn't be out of place to call it a 5 seater with a large boot (vis a vis a proper 7-seater MPV). In fact, the GO+ brochure itself says the car features an "extended, squared off, estate car-like styling."

Datsun GO+ : Official Review-datsun-go-prices-specs.png

The design won't draw any superlatives and at this price point, no one expects it to either. The styling is inoffensive, simple and inconspicuous. On the outside, the GO+ is evidently a variation of the GO. Look at the face from down below and there's nothing to differentiate the duo. You get the same D-cut chrome surround grill with a black honeycomb mesh. The grill itself is partially clad in a Roman numeral '1' shape, while the air dam is also partly covered to the left. The fascia features a familiar set of sweptback headlamps, with silver accents that garnish the headlamp and indicator housing. The bonnet lines move from the upper corners of the front grill towards the A-pillar. The bonnet itself is quite heavy and feels solid. While the wide windshield will provide a good view to the driver, the plastic panel underneath is too small to cover its base and gaps are present all over. It comes with the same double arm, single blade wiper as the GO (actually sweeps a big portion of the windshield). There is also a single washer nozzle which ejects 3 water spouts.

The side profile is where the GO+'s inner wagon becomes evident. As an MPV, the GO+ doesn't have a large footprint. Yes, it is a small car. Despite being a 7-seater, the only difference between the GO and GO+ is the additional 210 mm of length. The width and wheelbase are the same. Your attention will be drawn to the huge wheel well gaps that are all the more highlighted by the small 155/70 R13 'Strada' tyres. At the back, this gap exposes everything from the fuel tank, torsion beam suspension to nearly the entire tail pipe assembly. Tail pipe vibrations are quite evident when the GO+ is idling. What also catches your eye is the large rear bumper. Given that Datsun has pulled the bumper further back, the rear overhang is prominent. The tailgate is extremely light & tinny (you can lift it with your little finger). There isn't a separate keyhole or lever. The boot is unlocked only through the driver's side release, and there's a little recess for grip. The number plate has been moved to the tail gate (it is housed in the rear bumper on the GO hatchback). The rear is clean and the overall styling doesn't look like an after-thought. The GO+ looks otherwise well-proportioned.

The doors are of a thin variety (think Maruti Alto'ish), but still require a little effort to shut properly. Paint quality throughout the body is good and has a nice metallic sheen.

The inoffensive styling of the GO hatchback is carried forward on the GO+. Notice the sweptback headlamps and bonnet crease:

Front 3/4 is the best angle to view the GO+. In isolation, you can easily mistake its size for a larger MPV:

Parked next to the Innova, the GO+ looks tiny. That said, it appears to belong to the same clan:

Datsun's designers have done a good job of extending the hatchback - it looks well-proportioned, not like an afterthought. Don't miss the downward sloping roof and prominent waistlines. 13" wheels look too puny on this car:

Clearly more of a station wagon than MPV:

Rear bumper is too bulky. Still, the derriere of the GO+ looks a little better than that of the GO. Shockingly, no rear washer/wiper or defogger on any variant!!

Datsun calls this the "D-cut grille". It adds character to the face. Look closely and you'll see that not all of the honeycomb slots are see-through:

Sweptback headlamps offer good visibility at night:

Foglamps aren't available on any variant:

Bonnet kinks look nice:

Single, double-arm wiper & washer with 3 jet sprays. Together, they do a rather good job at keeping the windscreen clean. The wiper has a good spread:

As is now the norm with feather-light cars, the roof is ribbed for additional rigidity:

No rubber beading around the windscreen. Panel gap looks ugly:

No rubber beading here either! Ugly welds exposed:

155/70 R13 Strada tyres offer low grip levels. There is no cladding in the wheel wells. Sound insulation is poor:

The ORVMs are black, not body coloured. Reaching & adjusting the left ORVM is a pain for the driver. No internal adjustment stalks:

Keyhole not provided on the passenger side door:

Blackened B & C pillars:

Rear quarter glass appears large from the outside, but only ~50% is actually usable (rest is blackened):

2 bulges for the tailgate hinges. In other cars, you'd have spotted an antenna. Not the case here as there's no radio in the GO+!

Numberplate moves up to the tailgate (GO hatchback wears it on the bumper):

A close look at the tail-lamp:

Only a single reversing light. There is no variant badging anywhere:

2 numberplate lights and a slot (in the metal) to slip your fingers & open the feather-light hatch:

Spare wheel location is under the vehicle. Tail-pipe vibrates violently at idle:

Parting shots:

Last edited by GTO : 20th January 2015 at 10:18.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:33   #3
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Interiors - Front

The GO+ is a mixed bag on the inside. Shut the door and you'll be surprised at just how light & tinny it feels.

Save for the addition of the 3rd row seat, the interiors of the GO+ are identical to the GO hatchback. The dashboard will inevitably divide opinion; some will find it acceptable, others won't like the design. The dash & door panels use 'greige' (mix of grey + beige) coloured hard plastics. Though plastic quality is nothing to write home about, the parts feel sturdy and don't flex when pushed. Those gaps between the door and dashboard are quite large and cost cutting is evident. The black center console's finish is a lot smoother than the rest of the dashboard which is a tad grainy. The plastic panels of the doors are decent in terms of quality & the GO+ uses the same type of door handles as the Nissan Sunny (save for the chrome). Central locking is available on the top-end variant, but the GO+ uses old school 'stick' type locking knobs. Datsun has done a decent job of avoiding too many exposed screws (you won't find them unless you really hunt for them). The only ones we spotted easily were in the door armrests. The roof material is smooth, but push it slightly and it feels like handmade paper. There's a lot of crunching & crinkling, you can push the lining a few inches before hitting the roof. The sun visors (which don't get vanity mirrors) have been carried over from the GO and are too small to offer any side cover.

The seats feel more foamy than cushiony, and are acceptably comfortable. The grey fabric is thin, uses a plain or jacquard pattern (depending on the variant) and gets soiled easily. The seats get integrated headrests and the seat cushioning remains thin. Knees of taller passengers at the back can be felt through the seat. Push yourself hard into the seat and you can feel its metal frame!! The seats don't offer any notable lateral support.

In what is a unique proposition, the front seats are 'connected' to each other. The driver's chair has a conventional design, it's the front passenger's seat that has an extension to fill the gap. Datsun calls this 'almost bench' as 'Connect Seats', and claims that the area in between is useful for placing knick knacks & handbags. Apparently, it also helps drivers slide out from the passenger side when the car is parked in tight spots (although the LHS door doesn't have a keyhole). In India, you can expect the showroom salesperson to use this USP & sell the Go+ as an unofficial 8-seater. No, it's not possible for 3 adults to sit at the front. Bad idea to place a child there too as it won't be protected by a seatbelt. Ergonomically, if both seats are aligned together, the driver's elbow feels awkward. Move the passenger seat forward and it'll interfere with the driver's elbow when he is shifting gears. Pushing the passenger seat behind improves things, but at the cost of rear legroom.

The Go+'s wheelbase is longer than that of the Swift. As a result, legroom in the front seats is good. What's a bigger boon is the ample shoulder and headroom. Getting into the front seat was no hassle. The roofline is at its highest point at the front row and the dashboard is tucked in well enough at the points where your shins will be. The corners of the dashboard slope inward, so ingress and egress are convenient. Older drivers who sit first and then swing their legs in will find this design to be particularly thoughtful, though an adjustable steering would make it even better.

The driving position doesn't feel any different from the GO hatchback. Like a station wagon, you won't really be aware of the extension at the back unless you're reversing. The windshield is large and enables good visibility. The A-pillar isn't too intrusive and the driver gets a clear field of view. The driver gets a non-adjustable 3 spoke steering wheel with contours for his thumbs. The horn pad is too sensitive for my liking though. The control stalks have been lifted off the Micra and feel good to use. What's more, the wipers vary their sweep-rate based on the car's speed. The speedometer has 'ideal shift point' markings for max fuel economy (they aren't visible at night). You get an amber backlit digital MID that displays the tachometer, fuel gauge, instant & average fuel economy, distance to empty range, odometer and a single trip meter. The cluster is well illuminated at night. The tachometer should have been placed on the barren left section, as the digital font is too small and negatively affects readability.

The headlamp leveller is placed near the driver's right knee. This rotary leveller may be crude to use, yet it does the job faster than the electronic units you get on most other vehicles. The headlamps have an impressive reach too. The jack & other tools are placed underneath the driver's seat. The top end 'T' variant gets front power windows. The buttons aren't marked or illuminated, nor does the driver get a button for the passenger's window. Get ready to s-t-r-e-t-c-h at toll booths. The ORVMs are large enough for a good view of the sides. No internal adjustment stalks for them have been provided. Unlike the ORVMs, the slim cut IRVM is poor on functionality. The mirror's size is simply inadequate. It doesn't have a day/night function either. A little ahead of the IRVM is the front and only cabin light in the entire vehicle.

The gearshifter and handbrake are placed on the center console. The gear lever's position is ergonomic for some, not for all. Check in person if it works for you. The gear knob itself has poorly defined gates and it's tricky to tell what gear you're in. The box is notchy and no fun to use. The experience is further ruined by the handbrake lever's unconventional location (popping out of the center console). It has a 'pull & twist' design and feels very utilitarian to use. When engaged, it will definitely foul with your left knee. The foot pedals are decently spaced out. No dead pedal, and not much room to rest your left foot either.

You get the same silver accentuated circular A/C vents as the GO. These double-flap vents can be closed if you so wish (some air comes through anyway). We drove the GO+ in winter and will thus leave the verdict on its air-con to our ownership reports. It must be noted that there are no air-con vents provided for the 2nd row / 3rd row occupants.

The Go+'s music system is unique. It comprises of a cellphone docking station, AUX input (the only audio input available), a USB port to charge your phone (over and above a 12v power socket located not too far away) and 2 speakers on the front doors. Volume control is provided on the ICE, but there is no volume gauge, with the system giving out a high pitched beep when you max it out. You can play music or any content from your mobile phone. The AUX takes the music, you can make calls and even listen to voice navigation from your Google Maps. A simple, low cost solution that is future ready. If you want to upgrade your head-unit, satellite navigation or video player, simply buy a new mobile phone!! The only constraint is that the cellphone should weigh <160 gms. The dock can be swivelled horizontally or vertically. Its build quality doesn't inspire much confidence. Note: The driver's side speaker on our test car went kaput, albeit it worked on the other media cars.

In terms of storage, the glovebox is deep, but it doesn't have a cover! This error was eventually corrected in the Nissan Evalia, how much does a lid cost anyway? The front doors have 1L bottle holders & storage pockets. Then, there are two cubby holes to the right of the steering wheel.

Same dash as the GO hatchback. Its design is basic, yet functional:

3-spoke steering wheel does have contours for your thumbs. Reaching the super sensitive hornpad isn't a stretch either. I felt that the material isn't suitable for drivers with sweaty palms as it becomes slippery:

Instrument cluster is very basic. The speedometer is easy to read. Like the GO, there are upshift markings to aid a fuel efficient driving style:

MID includes a digital tachometer (max 5,250 rpm), odometer, trip meter, distance to empty counter, average and real-time fuel efficiency data:

Micra stalks feel durable. The GO+ also comes with a 'Follow-Me-Home' function. Simply pull the headlamp flasher to activate (one pull=30 seconds, two pulls=60 seconds, three pulls=90 seconds, four pulls=120 seconds):

Door pad has its fair share of creases:

Door levers lifted off the Micra, feel solid to operate. However, no chrome like in the Micra:

A single power window control for the driver. The switch isn't backlit. The housing isn't integrated into the armrest, making it seem like an afterthought:

Antique pull-type door lock/unlock knobs. No auto-locking feature once you start driving (Alto K10 has it):

Door pocket with a large bottle holder which can easily accommodate a 1.5 liter bottle (or 2 small 500 ml bottles):

Seats are very thin, yet acceptably comfortable for a budget car. Integrated neck restraints. Lateral support is missing:

Even the top variant doesn't get a remote key:

Footwell space might not be adequate for those with large feet. No dead pedal, no room to rest your left foot. Notice the OBD port and ancient 'pull-type' bonnet release:

This rotary headlamp leveller may be crude to use, yet it does the job faster than the electronic units you get on most other vehicles:

The only way to open the tailgate (there is no keyhole on the hatch):

Quality of materials on the center console is acceptable. Doesn't feel cheap:

Gear lever is mounted to the dashboard like the Ritz and i10. However, it feels less ergonomic in comparison, due to the angle it's mounted at. Notice the ancient 'pull-type' handbrake (last car we saw it on was the Qualis):

Handbrake can foul with the left knee of taller drivers:

The "Mobile Docking Station" comprises of a smartphone holder, AUX-in slot, USB (charging only) and an inbuilt amplifier:

Air-con controls finished in matte silver look good, but feel cheap to use:

The driver's rearward view. Windscreen is small & faces upward, thereby making reversing difficult:

Absence of an adjustment stalk makes the left ORVM a pain to position right. At first, you have to reach out to the power window switch of the left door to open the window. Then, you have to stretch out to adjust the ORVM manually. Better to have the front passenger adjust it for you:

All 4 air-con vents can be closed completely. Although, some amount of air still filters through:

Recessed area above the dashboard is deep, suitable for placing loose items:

Open glovebox!! In fact, there isn't a single covered storage compartment in this cabin:

Cubby holes for the knick-knacks:

Panel missing, beneath the steering column. Notice the small storage slot to the left:

No grab handle for the front passenger:

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 11:27.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:35   #4
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Interiors - 2nd Row of Seats

The GO+ gets a bench seat at the back. The 1st row seatbacks haven't been scooped out, yet knee room is adequate. Compared to entry-level cars in this price range, the GO+ offers acceptable legroom. Even with the front seat set up for a 5'10" driver, there was just enough legroom to avoid feeling claustrophobic. There's also a good amount of space under the front seats to tuck your feet in. Under-thigh support is as expected from this price band (no major complaints). As is the case with most budget cars, the back seat is better for 2 than 3. Still, at the time that the GO+ is carrying 5, those passengers will be better off than in most cheap hatchbacks. The floor hump isn't too big, thus foot placement isn't an issue. 2 adults and a child can fit on the 2nd row seat in relative comfort. The GO+ has the same 170 mm ground clearance as its hatchback sibling; given this is more of a wagon than MPV, the vehicle sits at the right height.

On the flip side, the seat is flat and its cushioning soft. This is likeable over short trips, but not long highway journeys. Further, I didn't like the fact that the neck restraints (headrests) are actually bendable; they'll be of no use in avoiding whiplash injuries. There are no storage pockets or cubicles at all for rear passengers. Lighting in the second row is absent as well. Since Datsun hasn't given a 2nd cabin light, the one used up front should have been placed between the 1st and 2nd seat rows to be of better utility. The front 'connect' seats block some air-conditioner flow to the back, and the driver will have to adjust the air-vents higher than usual to keep rear passengers comfortable.

One facet that must be complimented is how airy the cabin feels. Aside from the driver getting a good view himself, the 2nd row seats get large squarish windows. They go down about 90% of the way. No power windows at the rear, you get manual rollers instead. The rollers encounter a little resistance when cranking the windows up. The GO+ gets grab handles only at the 2nd row. They are fixed and don't have coat hooks. You get 2 non-retractable 3-point seatbelts, while the middle passenger gets a 2-point lap belt.

Interiors - 3rd Row of Seats

Before we review the main addition of the GO+ i.e. the 3rd seat row, let's take a look at how you get in there. You can either drop only the backrest, or flip the entire 2nd row seat. The latter is the easier option of course, but there are certain brickbats to both methods. The seatback has to be unlocked from two points for it to drop (2nd row seat doesn't split). No, you don't have to do it simultaneously, but it's inconvenient nevertheless (if one person is doing it, he'll have to reach the other side to unlock both points). Be cautious when getting in with only the backrest down. If you support yourself by putting your hand on the flipped backrest, don't put any weight on the soft headrests as they'll bend downward. You need to be athletic to get in this way.

If you flip the entire 2nd seat row away (backrest & seatbase), it's better, but still f-a-r from easy. You need to crouch and bend to sit on the 3rd row. It's not for the unfit, overweight or elderly. Must be noted that the floor-mounted lap belt can slip out from the 2nd row seat when you flip it forward. You might need to bring it back in place.

The 3rd seat row is what makes the GO+ a unique offering. Being a 7-seater under the 4 meter mark results in an obvious lack of space. This barely qualifies as a seat, as anyone put in the back will empathize with luggage. Headroom, legroom and shoulder room are all poor. The seat is mounted low, meaning your knees point skyward. The gap between the seat and floor was just around the length of my index finger. If a tall adult sits in here, he will prefer to sit sideways. Thus, the rear seat is best for small children only. Passengers in the 3rd row will feel suffocated. Though their windows seem adequate from the outside, they're actually small from the inside.

3rd row passengers get 2-point lap belts. Occupant safety is a concern. Whoever sits out here, their backs will be right up against the lightweight tail-gate. The GO hatchback failed the NCAP crash tests, but at least in the event of a frontal accident, you have the bonnet to absorb the impact. Not so at the back if someone rear-ends you. One safety feature you do get is an emergency lock to release the tail gate.

With all three rows up, storage space is a measly 48 liters. Put the 3rd row backrest down and you get a 347 liter boot, which is a healthy 82 liters more than the GO hatchback. Choose between boot space or placing two relatives (that you aren't too fond of) at the back. In my opinion, the GO+ is best seen as a 5-seater with a spacious boot. Because it's only the backrest that folds down (and not the entire seat), I wouldn't be surprised if some owners prefer to remove the 3rd row seat entirely.

People with larger feet will have some trouble getting into the rear seat, due to the narrow gap between the seat and B-pillar. Notice how the opening has half plastic cover and half rubber beading:

No door pockets, power windows or speakers for rear occupants:

The backrest has integrated headrests. The seat lacks contours and is rather flat. However, it is fairly wide, hence a 5th passenger is more welcome than in most budget cars:

Legroom is satisfactory. In this image, the front seats are adjusted for maximum / minimum legroom:

Floor hump isn't too intrusive:

5'10" S2!!! is comfortable sitting behind his own driving position. Underthigh support is acceptable. The neck restraints are too small to be of any use:

If a tall rear passenger pushes his knees into the seat, the driver can feel it!

Rear window goes down ~95% of the way:

3rd row seat is the talking point of the GO+. It's too small and literally placed on the floor. Comfort levels for anyone over 3 feet tall are zilch:

S2!!! sitting in a foetal position. Notice the lack of headroom and underthigh support. With the 2nd row in place, it's not possible to sit straight; you'd have to sit diagonally for your legs to fit. The rear windscreen is too close to the passenger's head:

Rear quarter glass is tiny. Still, it ensures that the 3rd row isn't dark and dingy. Notice the hook of the non-retractable 3-point seatbelt:

Unclad tailgate:

Double gas struts to open the hatch. No slot for your hand to pull down the tailgate:

Hatch has an emergency unlock switch (for rear occupants):

48 liter boot with the 3rd row in position. Usable space is almost inexistent. Don't miss the unclad loading bay area. It's prone to scratches from loading & unloading:

With the 3rd row folded down, the GO+ has 347 liters of boot space. More than any hatchback in India. Remove the seat and capacity will only go up:

Generous cargo space with the 2nd and 3rd rows folded away:

There are no hooks/straps to hold the 2nd row in place (when folded), hence this warning message:

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 11:28.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:36   #5
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

1,198cc 3-cylinder petrol with 67 BHP (@ 5,000 rpm) and 104 Nm of torque (@ 4,000 rpm). It comes in the same state of tune as the Datsun GO hatchback:

Contrary to popular speculation, Nissan's K9K 1.5L diesel engine won't be offered on the Datsun GO+. The vehicle is powered by the familiar 3-cylinder, 1.2-liter petrol from the GO & Micra Active hatchbacks. It produces 67 BHP @ 5000 rpm & 104 Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. The ARAI puts its fuel economy at 20.62 km/l (0.01 km/l lower than the GO), while we saw ~14.5 km/l on our test (70:30 divide between sedate & spirited driving).

How is it that the added size drops the efficiency by such a meagre amount? Remember that lightweight tail gate mentioned earlier? Well, the kerb weight goes up by just 21 kilos (790 kgs versus the GO hatchback's 769). The light kerb weight lends it a healthy power to weight ratio of 85 BHP / tonne. That's better than cars like the Elite i20 & Polo 1.2s. It's a similar story with its 132 Nm / tonne torque to weight ratio. Forget the 1.2L hatchbacks, the torque-to-weight is even higher than the Mobilio 1.5L, Ertiga 1.4L and Enjoy 1.4L. As you might have guessed, the GO+ isn't an underpowered car.

Typical of 3-cylinder engines, there is a lot of shake & vibration at idle. It's nowhere as refined as the Micra facelift 1.2L. The cost cutting of the Datsun GO+ is terribly evident here. Everything shakes when the car is idling; keep the door open and you'll see it shivering. Even the tail-pipe does quite the dance! Important to note that these vibrations reduce with accelerator input. They disappear once you start moving.

Thanks to the healthy power & torque to weight ratios, the engine feels reasonably peppy and the throttle is responsive too. Driveability is competent & few owners will have a complaint in this area. The GO+ aims at lugging a higher payload at economy speeds, without inducing too much downshifting. It doesn't feel sluggish, although you'll need to stick to lower gears for spirited acceleration. The GO+ is reasonably quick in a dash to 100 kph and able to easily attain & sustain 120 kph. Due to the car's basic mechanicals though, we don't recommend going over that speed.

On the flip side, the 1.2L isn't very revv happy. The engine maxes out at just around 5250 rpm (no redline indicated on the digital tachometer). That translates the driving experience to a combination of higher gears and low - medium speeds only. It sounds strained & trashy at high rpm. The typical 3-cylinder thrum is also evident as you climb up the revv counter. The engine sounds rough and heavy acceleration makes it worse.

The gearbox's throws are short and that's always a good thing. However, it has a notchy side to it. Plus, the pentagonal shape of the console makes it confusing to tell what gear you're in. The gearbox doesn't like fast shifts either. Change gears slowly, stick to lower revvs and stay easy on the A-pedal to enjoy the best of its behaviour. The hydraulic clutch is a delight in traffic; it has very little play and is light to operate.

Cost cutting in the NVH & insulation department is obvious. Engine as well as wind noise permeate through the cabin, drowning out the ICE too! The suspension is noisy, accompanied by excessive tyre noise on imperfect roads. The naked wheel wells have you experiencing the "mixer grinder" background score on loose gravel. There is no noise insulation in the engine bay, but the motor's gruff note is still bearable. What is overbearing is the fact that the exhaust can be heard the front row! Move closer to the back and the noise becomes all the more evident. We must add that vibrations on the move are in control (but not at idle, as mentioned earlier). On the go, there is hardly any vibration or harshness felt on the pedals, steering and gear lever.

The ride quality of the GO+ is compliant (not plush). The car glides over rough patches at speeds of 60-80 km/h acceptably well. The GO+ handles all road conditions - save for the largest of potholes & bumps - decently for a vehicle in this price range. Datsun claims that the GO+ has a long travel suspension with 'high response' linear dampers. This observation however, is limited up to the 2nd row. 3rd row occupants - because of their seating position relative to the axle - will get roughed up. 3rd row passengers will feel even smaller road undulations. As the ol' saying goes, preferred passengers sit 'within' the wheelbase, not 'outside' it.

The light controls make the GO+ a breeze to drive within the city. The small turning radius of 4.6 meters helps maneuverability in crowded areas. The steering is light enough at low speeds, weighing up when you hit the highway. It doesn't feel too nervous or unsure at 100 kph, as some electronic steerings do. Handling is as expected of a light Japanese car. It's neutral under regular driving conditions. No, the GO+ isn't a corner carver and wasn't meant to be one either. At higher speeds, the car feels wafty and, on uneven highways, becomes bouncy at the rear. Aggressive steering input can make the rear slide. We strongly recommend driving this Datsun sedately. Those 155 mm tyres are too puny for the GO+. Also, they are manufactured by an unknown Strada brand. Upgrading them to a 175 size from a reputable manufacturer will probably be the best investment you make in 2015.

The GO+ has ventilated discs at the front. The brakes are adequate for the most part. Under hard braking though, the car feels nervous. Thin tyres & no ABS means the tyres lock up easily under pressure. Again, drive the GO+ calmly & upgrade the cheap, puny tyres.

Due to its light kerb weight of 790 kgs, the GO+ has an ARAI rating of 20.62 kmpl which is higher than the Micra Active (19.49 kmpl), Micra (18.44 kmpl), Pulse (18.06 kmpl) and only 0.01 kmpl lower than the GO hatchback. Notice that the inner panels of the engine bay aren't painted; it's just the run off spray from paint used on the outer parts. This is why it looks faded & has an uneven spread:

Large battery tray, small battery. The ECU is properly parked in the black box, unlike the Alto K10 where it is exposed:

No damping/insulation material on the firewall:

The bonnet's sheet metal feels much heavier than the flimsy tailgate or 4 doors. No insulation under the bonnet, but few petrol cars have it here:

Lots of 'Nissan' in here. The GO+ is manufactured at the Nissan-Renault plant in Chennai:

170 mm of ground clearance seems adequate for Indian road conditions:

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 11:28.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:38   #6
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Other Points:

• The GO+ will be Datsun's 2nd offering in India.

• Inevitably, there will be cross-shopping between the GO hatchback & GO+. Whether that 60K difference is worth it or not depends on how much you want a significantly larger boot, or that 3rd row seat for children.

• They don't intend to offer ABS or Airbags, citing the lack of demand .

• 80% of all bookings for the GO hatchback have been for the top-end 'T' variant. What's with cheap cars & higher variants? Even the Nano had over 50% of its bookings for the top LX trim level.

• Important to understand that our comments on the performance & driveability were with 3 adults onboard. If you somehow manage to fit 7, the 1.2L engine might get stressed.

• The management has no plans to promote Datsun in the taxi market; they feel it will kill the brand.

• The GO+ has the same 35 liter fuel tank as the GO, which is 6 liters short of the Micra & 5 liters short of the Eeco.

• 1.2L engine utilises an electronic throttle (drive-by-wire).

• The hydraulic fluid for the clutch uses the same reservoir as that of the brake fluid.

• The GO+ will be available in 5 colour options - red, gold, white, silver and bronze-grey. The red & golden shades are available only in India, while Indonesia gets black and bronze options instead. The GO+ isn't available in South Africa or Russia yet.

• Datsun recommends a run-in period of 1,600 kms - related article.

• The GO+ is in a segment of its own. It has rivals spread across multiple categories = other sub 4-meter MPVs (e.g. Eeco), B1 segment hatchbacks, compact sedans etc.

• Datsun's mi-Do hatchback is a rebadged Lada Kalina! Has a poor reputation for quality. Good that it isn't being considered for India.

• Datsun showcased an accessory package that had seat covers, piano black center console + instrument cluster surround, music system with USB/AUX/CD (No MDS), chrome door handles, body side moulding and window deflectors. They plan to push & promote this accessory kit here.

Disclaimer: Datsun invited Team-BHP for the GO+ test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 12:42.
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Old 14th January 2015, 17:40   #7
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

The Smaller yet Significant Things:

3rd brake light illumination is too prominent from the inside. Can get distracting at night:

This is the bronze-grey...err, only grey! Why the 'bronze' in the name?

GO+ in gold looked the best. This unique colour offering is definitely a stand-out from the range:

Large panel gaps. This one can easily hold a double-folded brochure:

Some on the inside as well. An unusually large gap between the rear carpeting & interior plastic panel:

Small rims & tyres don't fill up the wheel arches at all. They appear at least 2 sizes too small:

Not a pretty sight inside the rear wheel well...

...muffler & spare wheel easily visible:

Needs 35 PSI at all times. With load = 44 PSI:

You'll find the jack & tool kit under the driver's seat:

Cost cutting might be evident, yet no compromises in this area. The tools come in a nice faux-leather case:

Datsun had a GO+ with accessories on display. The next 5 pictures cover the extras available at an additional cost. Chrome door handles, body side moulding and window visors:

Piano black center console and a 'Datsun' branded CD player with radio, USB and AUX:

Piano black panel around the instrument cluster too:

GO+ seat covers...

...with seatback pockets. Brings some storage space for rear passengers:

Last edited by GTO : 15th January 2015 at 11:29.
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Old 15th January 2015, 12:44   #8
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing.

Superb review, rating it a fully-deserved 5 stars!
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Old 15th January 2015, 12:56   #9
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

An excellent review.

Would be very interesting to see this car parked next to hatchbacks like i20 and Sail U/VA.
Same length but this can theoretically carry more passengers.

This is the funniest picture I have ever seen in a car.
Originally Posted by Tushar View Post
There are no hooks/straps to hold the 2nd row in place (when folded), hence this warning message:
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Old 15th January 2015, 13:14   #10
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

The car's USP or the factor which adds the '+' to the Go, the third seat bench is useless. Totally impractical. It is not only uncomfortable but outright dangerous too. There is no under-thigh support, no legroom & no headroom. The proximity of head to the roof and the rear windshield makes the proposition highly dangerous too. I have a sure shot feeling that sitting there will be highly claustrophobic too, esp. with the second row unfolded.

Cost cutting is expected for a segment Datsun is targeting but exposed weld joints on roof look ugly. What needs a special mention is the size of the wheel. The wheels look awfully small for this vehicle, especially for the rear wheel well. The car would look better with bigger, fuller wheels. Omitting the passenger door & boot locks and absence of wheel cladding in totality leads to another level of cost cutting.

Rest is on expected lines. Nevertheless, a great review and nice to see the increasing participation in official reviews.

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Old 15th January 2015, 13:20   #11
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

After reading this review all I remember is 'No', 'Not' and 'Cheap'!!
Lack of safety features proves that Datsun has accepted the fact that safety features are of no use considering weak structure.
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Old 15th January 2015, 13:34   #12
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Excellent review. Thread rated 5 *****.

Datsun GO has failed to attract the Indian market miserably. It is a huge puzzle when we see GO+ on the roads. What kind of market strategy it is? May be, the pricing is a bit competetive and attractive to the rural customers. But overall, I don't see this car being a HIT in the Indian market.
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Old 15th January 2015, 13:52   #13
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

An excellent review with excellent photos only to be let down by the miserable car itself!

Datsun entered India with the Go and saw the limited success it achieved. So what makes them think that the Go+ will be received any better? If not anything else, the product will reinforce the public's belief that Datsun should not bother investing in India.
With abysmal structural rigidity and safety, many buyers will be put off. The remaining will shy away due to sub standard after sales support.
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Old 15th January 2015, 13:57   #14
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Default Datsun Go+ launched at INR 3.79 lakhs

Nissan India today launched the second product from the budget brand, Datsun. The Datsun Go+ was launched with prices starting at INR 3.79 lakhs, ex-Showroom, Delhi. Following are the variant-wise prices of the car.
  1. Datsun Go+ D – INR 3.79 lakhs
  2. Datsun Go+ D1 – INR 3.82 lakhs
  3. Datsun Go+ A – INR 4.15 lakhs
  4. Datsun Go+ T – INR 4.61 lakhs
Note: All prices are ex-Showroom, Delhi.

The Go+, based on the Go hatchback, is powered by a 1.2-liter three-cylinder petrol engine capable of 68 PS (67 bhp) at 5,000 rpm and 104 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, matched to a 5-speed manual gearbox. A diesel engine is not available. Nissan claims a fuel efficiency of 20.62 km/l.
Specification wise, the Go+ measures 3,995 mm in length, 1,635 mm in width, 1,490 mm in height and 2,450 mm in wheelbase. The car features a ground clearance of 170 mm. With all seats in place, the Go+ can accommodate 48 liters of luggage, while with the last row seats folded, boot space is a generous 347 liters.

Only the top-end variant of the Go+ will get even basic features like AC and power steering (the A variant will get only AC). For the first time on the Datsun brand, a driver-side airbag will be optional on the T variant.
Other features that will be seen on the top-end variant include front power windows, follow-me home headlights, central locking and a mobile docking station with speakers.

Pricing is killer but not sure how this car will perform. I am sure with this pricing also they will not be able to attract the customers. Its a cheap product for sure. Such products getting launched is not good IMO. Indian automobile market is maturing but with such products again we have doubts :(

Last edited by aniketi : 15th January 2015 at 14:04.
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Old 15th January 2015, 14:13   #15
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Default Re: Datsun GO+ : Official Review

Thanks Tushar for a very detailed review. You have extracted a lot of information out of nothing!

I will say 'NO+' in case someone ask me for recommendation for this car. It seems to be alright as a replacement of Omni cabs for city commuting at most. I would also like to salute the courage of the people in Datsun Management for their audacity to launch such a product with their kind of market presence.
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