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Datsun Go, might not be 'mightier than the sword' but it fights its own battles!

Having launched in South Africa last year, it is targeted at younger, first time buyers or people looking for a vehicle that could be used as a comfortable, stylish and fuel efficient ‘urban runabout’, according to General Manager at Datsun SA- Des Fenner.

We took it for a ride, and must emphasise it was not easy at first glance considering the ‘unusual hand-brake and radio-less top’ but, despite all that we soldiered on…

It comes in two variations: Mid and Lux models, respectively.

The five-speed manual Datsun GO- weighs in at 1 152 kgs. It is powered by a DOHC 12-valve, three cylinder, fuel injected petrol engine with a displacement of 1 198cc. In conventional fashion, the engine drives the front wheels through a slick manual five-speed transmission.

Maximum power of 50kW is delivered at 5 000 rpm, Torque is a respectable
104 Nm produced at 4 000 rpm, fuel economy is 5.2 litres per 100 km in a combined urban and rural cycle.

Yes, with the drop of fuel having taken place, it was all joy to the nearest petrol station knowing fully aware that a full tank would take me a week. Add urban drives, village and remote areas runarounds it stood its test of time despite its small features, thanks to its long travel suspension set up and higher than average ground clearance.

Yes, it was labeled all superlatives you could think of, from ‘tractor’ to ‘kajibane’ but it fought its own battle!
 
   
Sporting distinctive white and blue colouring for the large speedometer, the combination meter also incorporates a Smart Meter comprising a digital tachometer and Gear Shift guide and Drive Computer.

The Gear Shift Guide, marked on the speedometer, shows the recommended timing for each gear change according to the vehicle speed, a handy aide for first time drivers and when the present price of fuel is considered.

But accelerating on a steep was a mission. So, don’t try this without being cautious.

Other features include the Smart Meter, Follow Me Homes lights, Intelligent Wipers, extended ‘Assist’ front seats and ventilated front disc brakes.

On hairpin-bends Datsun GO, is the slightest and it struggled a bit despite a tare mass of between 779 and 788kg.

Safety features include effective ventilated front disc brakes for shorter stopping distances and best in class lighting performance.

According to press info, Datsun engineers have shown that less pedal effort is needed in normal city driving to generate needed deceleration, while stopping distances are shorter than competitors.

This means, no airbags.

Reflecting the huge growth in smartphone ownership, Datsun has equipped Datsun GO with a system that does much more than a simple audio system can manage. The car comes with a unique Mobile Docking Station (MDS) that allows an owner to sync his or her smartphone directly with the car.

Instead of being restricted to a radio and, perhaps, a CD player, the new Datsun owner has access to satellite navigation, hands-free telephone, USB charger, music player and radio all accessed via the smartphone, etc… Ahem!

It also benefits from the latest Nissan developed technology including high response linear damping; spinal front seats and leather feel grain soft touch
plastics and the smart Mobile Docking Station.

The Datsun GO will be available through 44 dealerships across the country, with the aim of increasing this to 60 by the end of the fiscal in March 2015.

Yes, I wouldn’t mind getting it for my ‘side-dish’

It retails for an entry price of R89 500 and R99 500, respectively.

Verdict:

1-10 (Fuel) 9

1-10 (Performance) 5

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