2019 Datsun GO & GO+ CVT Automatic Roadtest Review

The Datsun GO was the first car released by the Japanese automaker Nissan under the Datsun brand since it was discontinued in 1986. Named after the “Dat-GO”, Datsun’s first car launched in the early 20th century, the GO & GO+ is available in developing markets such as India, South Africa, and Indonesia.

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It is based on the same Nissan V platform as the Micra/ March. The GO & GO+ (estate 7-seater car) was launched in the already crowded affordable hatchback segment way back in late 2014. Now with the CVT gearbox – will it help Datsun penetrate the AMT market?

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The overall design of the GO and GO+ is the same which was updated in October 2018. The same vertically placed DRL’s are accentuated by black carbon-fibre looking plastics. The most significant thing is the large dual-tone diamond cut 14-inch wheels which now comes shod with bigger 165/70 tyres which was a change made in the 2018 update.

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The GO+ is exactly the same as the GO in terms of design. Everything from the hexagonal grille, the V in the bonnet to the wrap-around headlights with metal inserts and the windscreen are the same. It also continues to get the super responsive 7-inch multi-touch Blaupunkt infotainment system which also supports Android AUTO & Apple CarPlay. The output is impressive to be honest for a car in this segment.

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The only downside is the all touch functionality and the omission of any physical switches on the steering wheel which makes it slightly difficult to control the audio system. Not to forget the USB and the 3.5mm audio-in is hidden and placed under the gear lever which makes it difficult to access.

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It gets the same old naturally aspirated three-cylinder 1.2l engine which pushes out 68PS at 5000RPM and churns out 104NM of torque at 4000RPM. The highlight of the 2019 GO & GO+ update is the CVT gearbox; however, it also continues to get the 5-speed manual transmission.

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On the go, the car never felt underpowered especially at the lower end of the rev band, the engine is peppy throughout the rev-range thanks to the evenly spread out torque. CVT has the same rubber band effect. What that essentially means is that when you dab the throttle, there is barely any push to get you moving faster. Having said that, the best part of the CVT is that the gear shifts are super smooth and almost goes unnoticed unlike cars with AMT gearboxes which have an apparent head nod with every shift.

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Additionally, Datsun decided to give a sport mode switch which is placed on the gear lever. This ensures faster and swifter acceleration which is a welcome change. The car remained stable throughout our not so spirited session; however, got wobbly at high speeds. The brakes were good enough to bring the car to a complete halt whenever necessary. The Chennai traffic was enough to make our blood boil but the powerful aircon kept us and our heads cool.

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The suspension is slightly on the stiffer side but when the going gets tough the GO & GO+ gets tougher and tackles most surfaces with ease. Adding to its rough surface tackling prowess is the 180mm of ground clearance. A worthy mention is the car’s impressive fuel efficiency -20kmpl for the GO and 19kmpl for the GO+ as rightfully claimed by the company.

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Datsun seems to have released the 2018 version of the GO and GO+ with a CVT gearbox and a few safety updates such as the Side Crash & Pedestrian Protection Regulation and Speed Sensing Auto Door lock along with first in segment VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control).

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Datsun has proclaimed that the GO and GO+ will be the most affordable car with CVT gearbox; however, the prices are unrevealed. We expect the cars to be priced around 6-7 lakhs. Datsun has come a long way and is evidently preparing for a leap with the right marketing strategy, clever product design and product placement.

Words – Amit Shelar
Photography – Govind Gadekar

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