A considerable number of prospective buyers in the domestic auto market have a penchant for the entry-level hatchbacks, chiefly due to their affordability, easy-maintenance and compactness. There are numerous global and domestic auto companies in India that are acknowledged for such cars. A latest addition to this extensive list is of the Japanese auto major, Nissan's low-cost brand Datsun. The company has marked its advent in the domestic market for the first time with its innovation called Datsun Go. This 5-door car faces a stiff competition from the likes of the ongoing Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon.
Datsun Go is based on the Nissan Micra's platform and has an overall dimension of approximately 3785 mm in length and 1635 mm in width. Its wheelbase is extended to 2450 mm and height measures at 1485 mm, with a decent ground clearance. From the exteriors, the car bears an aggressive outline and is built sturdily. The front bonnet, air-intake vents on lower bumper, side-flares and roofline have been designed in accordance with the most suitable aerodynamic configuration. From the back, the car looks solid and has its tail lights protruding slightly from the body. At the interiors, the car will be equipped with necessary features of air conditioner, entertainment unit, stylish odometer and finely-stitched fabric upholstery. The car can easily capacitate up to 5 passengers and has enough shoulder and legroom for people to enjoy a comfortable ride. The boot space is also sufficient to hold extra luggage.
The latest creation from Datsun will be available in 3 variants namely – Datsun Go D, Datsun Go A and Datsun Go T. All these variants will be incorporated with a 12-valve 1.2-litre petrol engine with Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) and Dual Variable Timing Valve Train (VTVT). This mill has a displacement of 1198 cc and is able to belt out a power output of over 67 bhp at 5000 rpm with a peak torque of 104 Nm at 4000 rpm. The engine will be mated with a standard 5-speed manual transmission, which will deliver all the energy to the front wheels. The company claims that during the testing phase, Datsun Go has been able to achieve a fuel economy statistic of 20.7 kmpl, which is quite efficient. The car is able to achieve the 0-100 kmph mark in around 13 seconds and its top speed is expected to be 160 kmph.
With a monocoque chassis and a lightweight, the car will be swift and agile on normal roads. The further assistance of McPherson strut front suspension and H-type torsion beam at the rear will help this hatchback engulf the potholes with ease. The speed sensitive electric power steering will help the driver manoeuvre this car on high-speeds. The disc brakes at the front and drum type brakes at the rear wheels will further help in avoiding any severe incident. Datsun Go will be bearing a price tag in the bracket of Rs. 3.10 lakh – Rs. 3.70 lakh and would provide the concerned consumers with a cost-effective choice to buy an automobile.
The front grille of this car is in a trapezoidal shape, outlined with a chrome strip and comprises a large honeycomb pattern, which further holds the company's iconic logo. The lower bonnet has air-intake vents for proper stability of the car at high-speed and further contributing to its aerodynamics. The front bonnet is steep due to which the visibility level of the driver increasing while driving the car. Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVMs) have been provided in the car and are covered in a shade of black. The roofline of this car bends gently to form the rear, which is pushed slightly inwards and is equipped with protruding tail lamps. The rear lower bonnet of the car will be holding the number plate.
The overall kerb weight of Datsun Go is expected to be under 800 kg that would mean the car will have the ability to move nimbly. The measured dimensions of this compact hatchback are 3785 mm at length, 1635 mm at width (including the ORVMs), 2450 mm at the wheelbase and 180 mm at the ground clearance. The standard 13-inch wheels with radial tyres will be provided in the car along with the option of 14-inch wheels with newly designed covers in higher models. This car will be available in the shades of white, aqua blue, red and silver.
This entry-level hatchback will be available in 3 version of Datsun Go D, Datsun Go A and Datsun Go T. The interiors will be slightly trimmed in all these variants and with higher models; people would be able to avail superior features. All these variants will be equipped with finely-stitched leather upholstery and small compartments for holding tiny luggage. Starting the car's line-up would the base version of Datsun Go A, which will be devoid of a power steering, power wheel, an air conditioner unit, entertainment unit and wheel covers.
The medium model – Datsun Go D will be incorporated with the basic dials and consoles. It will also bear the provision of an air conditioner unit with the absence of a power steering, audio system and power windows. The top-end version of this car, which is Datsun Go T, is provided with all the necessary features as per the modern day requirements of the passengers. In this model, buyers would be able to avail the features of air conditioner, integrated 2-speaker audio system with AUX/USB connectivity, power windows and power steering. Furthermore, stylish wheel covers will also be provided with the top model along with dual-tone beige and grey shaded interiors and engine immobiliser. Apart from these differentiations, the basic features of a digital tachometer, manual central locking and ORVMs will be available in all the versions.
Engine and Transmission
All the versions of Datsun Go will be incorporated with a 12-valve DOHC Dual VTVT 1.2-litre petrol engine. This 3-cylinder mill is able to churn out a power output of over 67 bhp at 5000 rpm and a maximum torque of 104 Nm at 4000 rpm. This mill will be melded with a 5-speed manual transmission, which will transfer all the power to the front axle. The company's strenuous efforts have made this engine to produce a decent power output and let the passengers enjoy a comfy ride at high-speeds too. Furthermore, the company claims that Datsun Go has an Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) tested mileage of 20.7 kmpl. This figure seems impressive and is sure to tempt the Indian buyers as a fuel economical car is always lauded by the passengers.
Performance and Handling
The provision of upgraded McPherson strut suspension at the front axle and H-type torsion beam at the rear will offer a smooth ride to the people on uneven turfs. The monocoque chassis will further enhance the overall driving experience of this hatchback and the lightweight body will make it agile on tracks. The car can cross the 0-100 kmph mark in about 13-14 seconds and will further have the capacity to achieve a top speed, which is expected to be 160 kmph. Auto experts believe that such figures of this car are excellent considering the fact that it is a compact hatchback.
The braking system of this car will be jointly contributed by the ventilated disc type brakes at the front wheel and drum type brakes at the rear. The company has not provided the features of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) in the car that were earlier expected. However, the traction will be controlled by the highly responsive power steering and the overall structure of the car.
Datsun Go performs commendably in the fuel economy statistics and delivers a mileage of 20.7 kmpl, tested by the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI). Such a figure comes from the highly efficient 3-cylinder Dual Overhead Camshaft (DOHC) and Dual Variable Timing Valve Train (VTVT) type petrol engine with 1.2-litre capacity. The same engine is tapped under the hood of the ongoing Nissan Micra and the auto maker has returned it to provide better mileage. The car maker's astute strategy has resulted in a better mileage outcome from the car and the same will be the highlighting factor to intrigue the buyers.
The basic safety features of seatbelts, engine immobiliser, front wheels with ventilated disc brakes and rear wheels with drum type brakes are provided in this car. However, the absence of ABS, EBD, airbags and traction control can be witnessed even in the higher models.
The compact hatchback from Datsun is a suitable buying option keeping in mind its cost and its current competitors. At a price range of Rs. 3.10 lakh – Rs. 3.70 lakh, Datsun Go offers some unique features to keep the prospective buyers fully content. There are a few minor flaws in the car relating to the safety aspect and the entertainment of passengers. Only the top-end version is equipped with all the provisions of air conditioner, power steering, power windows and audio system. Keeping in mind all these absent features, auto experts still believe that Datsun Go is capable of becoming a decent on-road performer in the time ahead. The heavy capacity engine and the mileage factor of the car are expected to turn around much heads.
Datsun Go will be facing a stiff competition from the likes of Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon. Among all these three models, Datsun Go has a higher engine capacity, whereas the other two are incorporated with an engine range of 0.8-litre and 0.9-litre. The hatchback from Maruti Suzuki delivers a power output of 47 bhp with a peak torque of 69 Nm, whereas, the same figure is 55 bhp and 77 Nm in Hyundai Eon. In terms of fuel economy statistics, Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon record their figures as 22.74 kmpl and 21.1 kmpl, respectively. Apart from the mileage aspect, Datsun Go seems an undisputed winner of the segment with a high-powered engine and stable driving experience.
At exteriors, both Alto 800 and Eon are smaller than Datsun Go in terms of length, width and wheelbase. This means that Datsun Go will bear more space at the inside and will be able to accommodate a full capacity of 5 people much conveniently than its rivals. At the interiors, a similar pattern can be witnessed in Datsun Go's contenders, which offer standard features in the base versions and extra provisions in top-end models. The fuel tank capacity of Datsun Go and Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 are the same at 35 litres, whereas, in Hyundai Eon, it is 32 litres. The engines of all these cars are mated with a basic 5-speed manual gearbox, which delivers the energy to the front wheels.
Pros and Cons
Monocoque lightweight chassis
Commendable fuel economy statistics
Absence of safety features, such as ABS, EBD, Airbags