Datsun Go – All about the facelift model

The Go hatchback was Datsun’s first model for our market. When it was launched some years ago, the little car whipped up a storm, putting fear in rivaling car manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki and Renault, among other brands. However, the response to the Go wasn’t all that convincing – its zero-crash test rating by the Global NCAP being one of the primary reasons. However, that hasn’t seen the brand pull the plug on the model; in fact, they’ve been giving the Go as many tweaks possible to help it appeal to the Indian audience. The 2018 model gets updates in the form of reworked exterior styling, a revised cabin and added features. It also came with more safety equipment, like rear parking sensors, ABS with EBD, dual airbags and brake assist. This is clearly a step-up compared to the pre-facelift model, which came fitted only with a driver’s side airbag. What you ought to know, is that Datsun has stated that the refreshed model meets all the necessary crash test norms in India.

Something new

On the outside, the Datsun Cars facelift looks that bit more ‘sportier’. Up-front, it gets the signature hexagonal grille sporting a new mesh. But what stares you in the face is the redesigned front bumper. It gives the car an aggressive face; you also get LED DRLs. Move to the sides and you will see bigger wheels that give the Go a better stance. Then there are the diamond-cut alloys, giving the car a premium personality. Also, the wing mirrors and their body colour-matching caps are new, plus you get to fit on a pair of roof rails as additional accessory. However, the roof rails are basically just for style. At the rear too, the bumper is new; so is the chrome strip at the base of the tail gate. There’s even a rear wiper available on the top-of-the-line model. What’s not available though, is a rear defogger. However, by and large, the Go looks like it is aiming at younger prospective buyers and the new Go comes in a new shade, called Amber Orange.

The cabin story

We’re happy to report the cabin of the refreshed Go is very welcoming. It gets a new dashboard and front seats among a raft of small but important alterations, giving the interior an upmarket look and feel. The glovebox gets a proper lid and there are buttons for the power windows on the driver’s side. You also get an electric adjust function for the rear-view mirrors. The instrument cluster looks newer and now includes an analogue tachometer. The most prominent of changes, is the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, which is available solely on the T(O) variant. This obviously gives the cabin a modern look. There’s a Blaupunkt system that works smoothly and gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. You also end up adjusting the volume on the screen, while the USB and aux input are found beneath the gear lever.

The front seats offer good comfort and the individual chairs replace the joined front seat design. So you get a handbrake, but there’s still no seat height or steering adjust, restricting the comfort of the driver. At the rear, space is decent but tall occupants will have their knees grazing the seat backs of the front seats. Another point that has to be highlighted is the flat seat base that gets no bolstering and looks made keeping budget constraints in mind. Also, the headrests aren’t big enough. Boot space, at 265-litres, is spacious enough to take in airport luggage. There is no parcel shelf though.

Let’s Go then

Under the bonnet of the Datsun Go face-lift lies a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol motor, producing 67bhp and 104Nm of torque – numbers that seem fitting for a car of this type. Performance is good, for as long as you’re driving within the city. Throttle response isn’t great initially, but once you’re past 2000rpm, the engine picks up pace, resulting in peppiness. For the urban conditions, the Datsun Go is a perfect runabout, but we didn’t like the manner in which the 5-speed ‘box shifted. Now while the car does seem sprightly at first, the engine runs out of breath once you start pushing hard. Firstly, it’s not a car you’d like to drive enthusiastically because of its light body frame that gets unsettled in crosswinds. Also, braking hard doesn’t inspire confidence, but the addition of ABS does comfort the mind a bit.

In terms of how the Datsun Go rides – well, the suspension have been setup on the firm side, but the ground clearance, at 180mm, helps dealing with undulations. The other notable improvement comes in the form of refinement, and since there’s more cladding, you barely hear anything from outside, inside. The engine is less audible but the three-cylinder thrum is evident. Vibrations can be felt through the gear lever. Datsun Cars have certainly worked hard on their product. Also, grab the latest info on the upcoming cars, only at autoX.