2 min read.Updated: 08 Apr 2014, 04:09 PM IST
( with inputs from Autocar India )
Nissan has resurrected its brand Datsun, which was phased out in 1981. And for India, the carmaker has positioned the brand at the budget end of the spectrum. Its first car, the made-for-India Go, has just gone on sale.
With a 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol motor already doing duty in the Micra and Micra Active, its carmaker didn't have to look too far for an engine. In brief, it's an all-aluminium unit that produces 67bhp at 5,000rpm. And with just 788kg to hurl around, it does a rather impressive job of giving the Go some real go. A bit of hesitation at low revs apart, it feels very peppy at typical city speeds and responds well to light throttle inputs. You can also pull away from low engine speeds in higher gears with ease, which means fewer gearshifts. Part of the credit for this goes to the smartly chosen (if slightly tall) gear ratios. Interestingly, it doesn't use the Micra's Renault-sourced gearbox (code: JH), because it was too expensive. Instead, Nissan has dusted off an older five-speed unit (code: FY) and pressed it into service here. This is not the most modern of gearboxes and there's a noticeable whine at all times. The gearshift is slightly notchy too, but doesn't require much effort. Neither does the clutch, which is light and progressive.
Were we to judge the Datsun Go relative to similarly sized hatchbacks, it would come across as a tad underwhelming. But you need to compare the Go to similarly priced competition; that's when you'll see it as a clever proposition. A spacious cabin and a big boot are two things you'll rarely find in a budget hatchback, but it's something you get with the Go. The car's attractive styling, class-leading performance, ease of use and good fuel economy are also aspects that will interest buyers in the budget segment, the majority of whom are first-time car buyers. That's not to say the Go doesn't have its flaws. The ergonomics, for one, leave much to be desired and there's some essential kit missing. So there's clearly a lot of room for improvement. But, given the ₹3.69 lakh price tag for the top-spec T version, the Go is hard to beat for affordability. All Datsun needs to do now is bolster its sales and service network to unlock the true potential of its budget car.
Fact File What it costs Ex-showroom (Delhi) ₹ 3.12 lakh Warranty 2 years / unlimited km Engine Fuel Petrol Installation Front, transverse Type 3 cyls, 1198cc Bore/stroke 78.0 / 83.6mm Compression ratio 9.8:1 Valve gear 4 valves per cylinder, DOHC Power 67bhp at 5000rpm Torque 10.61kgm at 4000rpm Power to weight 85.02bhp per tonne Torque to weight 55.92bhp per tonne Transmission Type front-wheel drive Gearbox 5-speed, manual Dimensions Length 3785mm Width 1635mm Height 1485mm Wheel base 2450mm Boot volume 265 litres Chassis & Body Construction Five-door, hatchback, monocoque Weight 788kg Wheels 13-inch pressed steel Tyres 155/70 R13 Spare Full size Suspension Front Independent, MacPherson struts, coil springs Rear Non-independent, Torsion beam, coil springs Steering Type Rack and pinion Type of power assist Electric Turning circle 9.2m Brakes Front Ventilated Discs Rear Drums Anti-lock NA Performance 0-20 1.21 sec 0-40 2.86 sec 0-60 5.53 sec 0-80 9.15 sec 0-100 14.54 sec 0-120 20.80 sec 0-140 34.08 sec Economy City 12.8kpl Highway 17.9 kpl Tank size 35 litres