I was there four year ago when the first GO was revealed to eager South African journalists. I was impressed by the great value, I was satisfied with the buzzy engine, and intrigued by the umbrella-style handbrake lever and the front row bench. And I too was sad to discover its safety credentials were measured and the little GO was left seriously wanting. As a result it was very hard for me to recommend it to my readers, as my rule was if it's not good enough for my family, it's not good enough for you.
This new car then attempts to right a lot of the wrongs of that initial car, now with the inclusion of ABS and airbags. It's still not the car I'd want to be in, in a fender bender, but it's a step in the right direction and at this price point in the A segment at least on par with its peers.
The other new stuff
The first thing you’ll notice is that it looks a damn sight better, thanks to subtle restyling of the exterior and being lavished in a new metallic palette – that and bigger, shinier wheels in each corner this time around.
The mirrors are colour coded now as well as the door handles, and reverse parking sensors have been equipped, as well as intermittent (by design) wipers, central locking and an immobiliser. But the bit that will excite millennials most is the new touchscreen infotainment system that pairs to your mobile device via Apple Car Play or Android Auto.
New GO is better in every way, especially the interior
Fundamentally, the GO remains a series of models with the same engine at its heart, a 1.2-litre 3-cylinder petrol burner producing 50kW and 104Nm, mated to a five speed manual transmission. I drove it over 500km this week from Pretoria to Johannesburg to Soweto and again and again, faultlessly. This was at the reef during a very hot week, and I was pumping that AC the entire time. Still, I managed to spend the bulk of my time in the fast lane, albeit with quite a bit of rowing of the cogs.
I’d recommend the GO this time around, but it would come with a few caveats. Yes, it’s safety has been improved, especially at low speeds where the ABS and airbags will prove the most effective. But until the new safety crash test results I cannot tell you how it will fair in a high speed crash.
But that accusation can be levelled at most cars in this segment, not to mention many legacy vehicles still on the road. As a prospect for youngsters, students and such, the GO now represents a helluvalot of car for your cash. A good looking, competent and comfy city car that is probably best driven there.
New Datsun GO Pricing:
|Datsun GO Mid|| R144,500.00|
|Datsun GO Lux||R165,500.00|
|Datsun GO+ 7-seater Mid||R154,200.00|
|Datsun GO+ 7-seater Lux||R175,900.00|
|Datsun GO+ Panel Van||R155,200.00|