The car in question of course, is the Datsun GO and apparently there
is such a gap in the market, because 406 new GOs found new homes in May
this year. To put that in perspective, a direct competitor such as the
Tata only managed to shift 23 Indica’s in the same period.
Global NCAP, the safety test company behind the public shaming of the
Datsun GO, have an agenda against Datsun and parent company Nissan?
Perhaps. What is of interest though is that the company tested similarly
budget models from Suzuki, VW and Ford, all of whom performed just as
poor with all of them getting zero stars (out of five).
models in question are price-cut budget beating models meant for third
world markets such as India, who are seemingly less concerned with
safety than other parts of the world. As such, Global NCAP has made it
their mission to test these entry-level cars, for good reason too.
Because, why should very cheap cars not be subjected to first world
Perhaps Datsun has come in for more flak than
the others due to the fact that they don’t even offer an airbag or ABS
as an optional paid extra in the one-model range. Of course, the Polo,
Figo and Swift models sold locally do have ABS and at least one airbag
and have passed the same Global NCAP test. It should also be noted that
South Africa’s cheapest car, the Chery QQ3 (R88 900.00), also snubs ABS
and airbags safety features yet has managed to avoid similar
It doesn’t look that bad. Or is this a ‘nice from far but far from nice’ situation?
to the Chery QQ3, Chevrolet Spark Lite, Geely LC or Tata Indica, all of
which are ‘worthy’ competition, the Datsun looks positively sexy (not
quite), or at least the most modern of the bunch.
Clearly most of
the development budget was spent on the exterior of the GO because on
face value it looks quite promising, look closer though and there are a
few cost saving measures, such as the large body gaps, and horrid
overspray, particularly under the bonnet.
This being the Lux model
you get body coloured door handles. The rear spoiler and go faster
stripes fitted to my test unit are aftermarket additions, although if
you speak to your friendly Dastun dealer I’m sure they’ll be willing to
‘make a deal’ for you, so to speak.
Sadly things don’t improve on
the inside either, if anything they get worse. The interior is not
particularly bad, rather, everything has a rather flimsy feel to it.
Will the Datsun GO live up to the harsh realities of South African life?
Well, time will tell.
Perusing the official Datsun South Africa
website in search of standard features on the GO and you’ll notice a
host of ‘features’ most of which you’d expect to be fitted as standard
on a car. The GO does have a drive computer which displays average and
instant fuel consumption as well as a digital tachometer. I’m not
entirely sure what ‘spinal support front seats’ or ‘intelligent wiper
with drop wipe function’ actually means. You do get air-conditioning as
standard though. However ‘follow me home headlamps’ seemed to be absent
on the car I drove.
The Lux model adds other, er, ‘luxury’
features such as 1.5-litre bottle holders in the front doors, electric
windows for the front, mobile docking station, amplifier, universal
mobile holder, auxiliary-in, USB port and manual central locking.
were a few other omissions on the test unit I drove. The ‘mobile
docking station’ was missing, as well as the option to connect your
smartphone up to the GO’s preinstalled sound system, along with the USB
charging function. Instead replaced by a retro-fitted Sony front-loading
CD/Radio player. However, what the aftermarket installers failed to
realise is that without a similarly retro-fitted aerial, the radio
function is all but redundant.