More for less is what we always want and that is no different when it comes to cars. For instance, the concept of sub-four metre sedans and SUVs are strong evidence of that. If that was not enough, now Datsun will further certify the fact by launching the first sub-four metre MPV in India, the Go+, with seven-seating arrangement. What potential does it have? We tell you in detail.
Powertrain and Performance
Technically, the new Go+ remains the same as its hatchback sibling apart from the added weight of 38 kgs and to deal with it; Datsun has tuned the engine and suspension really well. It uses the same 1.2L, 3-cylinder petrol engine from the hatch sibling without any increase in power and torque output and yet, it feels quite lively even with a slight press of throttle.
Datsun has made sure that the low-speed grunt of the Go+ makes it an enjoyable car to drive. This engine churns out a power output of 67 bhp which arrives at 5000rpm. The engine is responsive and the car can be controlled very easily. You can shift gears without revving the engine hard. This is a DOHC engine and it truly feels so because it does not feel strained under hard acceleration and feels quite refined even at high RPMs. The torque output of this engine is 104 Nm which comes in a relaxed manner at 4000rpm and is well distributed by its five speed gearbox. The gearbox is also easy to work with and the light clutch makes shifting a breeze. There is always a positive response from the speed sensitive electronic power steering. It has substance when you go in a straight line and feels fairly light while parking in tight spaces. The overall visibility is quite good and the added boot does not feel intrusive once you get behind the wheels. In fact, the added length does not bother at all even around corners as Datsun has tuned the rear suspension to reduce the body roll.
The ride and handling could have been even better if Datsun used 14 inch wheels for the Go+, because the current R13 size tyres not only look tiny but also fails to provide grip when you try to play with this MPV. The suspension though, deals well with the broken roads and gives you a comfortable ride inside. The brakes can bring this MPV to a halt within a short amount of time without taking much of an effort from you. The company claims an ARAI fuel figure of 20.6 kpl which is quite impressive for a car of this size, especially when it runs on petrol.
Build and Styling
The new Go+ looks exactly the same as Go (apart from the boot) and takes some attention to be differentiated from its hatch sibling from the front. The headlamps, grille, bonnet and body panels look so familiar that it is hard to believe that it is a new car. In fact, it does not seem right to call the Go+ a new car because it is based on the same platform of the Go and even shares the same wheelbase. You would ask where the difference lies. Move to the side and the changes become evident. At first glance, it is hard to agree that the Go+ is less than four metres in length. It somehow manages to get that proper MPV look from the side. The third row can be occupied only by small children. The last bench is placed quite low and can be accessed by flipping the second row forward. The front and second row seating feels exactly the same as in the Go.
The interiors remind you of the Go and does not feel premium, but it is alright considering the asking price of this car. The seats are however comfortable enough to hold you for hours. The dashboard, instrument console, mobile docking station and three spoke steering wheel have all been taken straight from the Go, which is a hint of the cost cutting measures used in this car. Apart from the mobile docking station with aux compatibility, the Go+ offers power steering, front power windows, an engine immobilizer and an air conditioner. Looking at the accessory packages that Datsun offer for the Go, we can expect them to repeat it with the Go+ as well giving you options to further make your car look stylish and well specced.
Undoubtedly, Datsun has made a very good effort of turning a hatch into a spacious and practical five-seater car, if not a proper MPV. The performance comes without compromising on fuel efficiency and ride quality is also impressive. It has just been launched and the price difference between it and the Go hatchback is not so much that it feels unreasonable. On the contrary, Datsun has priced it lower than what many of us were expecting. This car should surely strengthen the position of Datsun in our crowded car market and its success may invite other competitors into the compact MPV segment as well.