The Datsun brand was a very well known name worldwide before it was closed down in 1986. Ever since Nissan said that it would re-launch this brand to provide inexpensive cars to emerging automotive markets, there has been immense media frenzy and it was even more so in India because Nissan decided the conduct the resurrection here.
The car that Datsun launched first is the Datsun Go hatchback and the company has really come out with all guns blazing. Reportedly, the Go will be priced starting from under Rs. 4 lakhs which is sure to instantly woo potential customers and simultaneously, give the Maruti Suzuiki Alto 800 a proper headache. The car will be equipped with a 1.2 litre engine that has been specifically tuned to cope with driving conditions in India and it will be mated to a 5 speed manual transmission.
Open the doors, step inside the car and one is immediately aware of how spacious and airy the car is. We felt that it was noticeably roomier than any of its peers. Datsun has done some very clever engineering and design to maximise the interior space and one feature in particular stands out. Usually, what one sees in the front are 2 bucket seats and a gear lever and the parking brake in between. In the Go hatchback, the gear lever and parking brake have been moved forward into the centre console; thus making room for an additional, albeit smaller, middle seat as well. This middle seat cannot be used by adults but a child can use it with ease.
The idea farmers at Datsun have also thought of and implemented several nifty little features. For instance, instead of a bog standard audio system, the Datsun Go comes with a mobile docking station with aux and USB inputs so that one can plug in their own mobile device and play the songs stored in it straightaway. Generally, cars of this segment tend to have extremely dull and plain looks but clearly, a good amount of effort has gone in to designing the Go – the chrome front grille, crease lines along the sides and the angular headlamps all give the hatchback personality.
This car has been released with 2 primary purposes – to defeat the Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 and give Nissan the brand recognition and success it has always sought in India. The results of its rivalry with the Alto 800 have trickled into every aspect of the Datsun Go, including even the dimensions. The Go has a length of 3785mm, 1635mm width and its 1485mm tall; which makes it 145mm wider, 10mm taller and almost a whopping 400mm longer.
Also, to further entice customers in India, the Go will be sold through Nissan outlets directly. This means that sales and service of the hatchback will not be too much of a hassle. The car will be on sale in India right after the Delhi auto expo in February, 2014 and because of its pleasant looks, thoughtful features and low cost, we would advise everyone who’s looking to purchase a new small car to definitely include the Datsun Go in their shortlist.