Datsun GO+ Review & First Drive

 Datsun GO Plus Overview

Dastun Go+ MPV is the first ever compact MPV from Datsun in India. This car comes in a total of four trim levels with a petrol engine under the hood. GO+ is a stretched version of the GO hatchback that aims to provide more style, more seats, better power and more practicality. The multipurpose vehicle (MPV) segment is one of the most looked after segment in India. Most of the vehicles in this segment come with 7-8 seater options, which sadly, Go+ doesn’t provide. Go+ MPV is essentially a 5+2 seater vehicle, with the rear 2 seats essentially being child seats. View offers on Datsun Cars from Datsun  dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop.

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Datsun GO Plus Look

Similar is the case with the Indian car market. The sub 4-metre and the small size engine duty have made the business a bit too complicated for car manufacturers. Compact-size sedans and even SUVs are making their way, with some compromise. However, Datsun has introduced a larger hatch called as the Datsun GO+. It is being marketed as a compact utility vehicle and does it do that? We take it for a weekend camping trip and find out how much of the addition exists.

The PLUS stands for the larger boot and additional third row of seating. The Datsun GO+ is based on the GO, and it shows the striking resemblance. The fascia’s of both are the same and the body design is the same till the rear door. After which the belt line rises as you move towards the rear and even the wheel haunches are protuberant. The blacked-out door pillar after the rear door (C-pillar) has a lesser glass area and this makes it very prominent. The roof also gently slopes downwards towards the rear. The boot lid of the Datsun GO+ is a new body part and the tail lamps are the same as the GO. The rear bumper looks stylish and does look muscular.

The length of the Datsun GO+ is under 4 metres, so it is as long as the Honda Amaze and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire. However, what this offers is extra flexibility with another row of seating or a humongous boot, when compared to the compact sedans and SUVs. As the ground clearance is the same, it drives like any other compact car and is easy to manoeuvre through tight city lanes with a turning radius of 4.6 metres.

Datsun GO Plus Comfort

While the exterior received a few minor updates, the interior has been heavily revamped. The plastic quality remains more or less the same as it was before, but it now sports an all-new, dual-tone dashboard. Not only is the layout here a lot cleaner, it does feel like the in-cabin experience has been uplifted. The centre AC vent design has been changed as well and they are now a part of the the top layer of the dashboard.

Unfortunately, the steering still isn’t adjustable for rake or reach but is now finished in a better-looking black colour. There is a brushed aluminium-like plastic cladding, which makes it look more premium. A value addition that’s been missed here is steering-mounted audio and telephony controls. Including at least one of the functions would’ve added a great deal of convenience, especially since the GO+ now gets a serious upgrade when it comes to in-car entertainment.

The instrument cluster is new as well, but may look familiar as it is borrowed from the Micra. When compared to the outgoing models, the new versions get an analog tachometer on the left. The small orange-backlit MID (multi-info display) at the bottom displays the odometer, tripmeter, distance-to-empty, time and fuel level. Strangely, there is no lane change indicator, which is a very basic yet useful feature.

Now, we come to a major highlight of the new GO+: the in-car entertainment. The centre console now features a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Nope, it’s not the same unit we’ve seen in other Renault cars like the Kwid or even the Captur. This new system is responsive to use and features crisp graphics for menus. Yes, it also supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity apart from the usual USB, Bluetooth and Aux inputs. The screen itself is compatible with a rear camera, although you will have to buy the camera separately as it’s not included in the GO+ features list. Sadly, the sound system itself hasn’t seen a corresponding upgrade.

The two-speaker setup offers disappointing audio quality, which doesn’t complement the experience you get with the touchscreen. Below the touchscreen are knobs for the manual AC. The USB and Aux-in ports are placed a bit oddly on the panel below the gear shifter, away from the line of sight. The gear lever is no longer a ‘floating’ unit as there is the centre console compartment going all the way to the bottom. Thankfully, following customer feedback, the dash-mounted handbrake lever has been removed, replaced with a conventional lever between the seats.

The seats themselves have been reworked. Datsun has added what it calls ‘Anti-Fatigue Seats’ which aim to deliver better comfort, especially for long drives. This is an important touch, since Datsun’s cars are quite popular in hilly regions, where the tough terrain can turn short journeys into long ones. Fortunately, these seats feel well cushioned and support your back even quite well. However, much like the steering, the seat is not adjustable, which can make finding the right driving position a little tricky. On the plus side, you now get electrically adjustable ORVMs, which add a much needed dose of convenience.Check for Datsun GO Plus in iiitdm.in

Although the rear seat offers adequate headroom and legroom, you sit a bit low with your knees pointing upwards, which gives you the impression that the seats lack under-thigh support. That said, the shoulder room feels wider than cars in its category and is just enough to squeeze three average-sized adults, albeit for shorter journeys. A few little misses remain, though. The headrests, for example, are fairly small and non-adjustable. There’s no rear armrest either, nor do you get seatback pockets.

With the 2018 GO+, the third row experience remains exactly the same as before. There is no way adults can fit in there comfortably and it is best suited for small children. An expected compromise when you try to fit 7 people in a car that’s no larger than a family hatchback. It lacks headrests and AC vents too. Also, you only get lap belts here. In our opinion, it’s best to fold or completely remove the third row and use the additional boot space (347 litres with third row folded) it offers.

Datsun GO Plus Gearbox

Despite the same motor churning out the exact same number of horses as in the Go and with an added 20 kilograms to pull, the torque helps the Go+ MPV take off with quite some eagerness. The motor has been re-tuned and made more responsive and, as a result, the Datsun responds when you put your foot down. The Go+ is even comfortable cruising around in a high gear in city traffic. What’s nice is that you don’t even need to go to a lower gear most of the time.

The gearbox and light clutch work well enough if you work with a firm hand. Other things that make driving easy are the well-metered brakes and the light steering. While the sound insulation is still quite poor with plenty of road and tyre noise filtering in, it is definitely a step ahead of the Go hatchback. Also, if you rev the motor to 5000rpm, it starts to sound quite noisy. It rides well too, the suspension has been upgraded to deal with the greater load at the rear, but it is very pliant and absorbent and really silent when going over rough patches and there isn’t too much pitching or nose-bobbing. It does roll when cornered hard though, owing to the high ground clearance, soft springs and lack of anti-roll bars. And the slim tyres don’t offer too much grip either.

Datsun GO Plus Rideing

The Datsun GO+ gets a 10mm bump in ground clearance (now 180mm) thanks to the larger 14-inch wheels. To account for the different wheels and subsequent clearance, the suspension has also received some tweaking, and we’re happy to report, the tinkering has worked for the better. The suspension takes on speed breakers and undulations with ease, and cushions you well.

This characteristic is even retained at highway speeds as the car remains stable over broken roads, undulations and bad patches. What impresses most, though, is that the car is quick to settle down after hitting a pothole or bump. None of the bouncy aftershock you’d expect in comfort-set suspension. At triple-digit speeds though, it does feel a bit bouncy, hinting that whether it’s the engine or suspension, the Go+ prefers low to medium speeds. Test drive for Datsun GO Plus.

Another improvement can be noted in engine noise insulation. The motor isn’t as audible as it was before. However, the floorboard insulation still feels lacking as even the smallest pebble hit makes a sharp noise inside the cabin, something you will get annoyed by over roads that are still under construction. But overall, the NVH levels have improved to a point where it is now acceptable.

The handling package offers nothing unexpected. The steering is light and lets you make quick turns or u-turns in traffic. However, there isn’t much by way of communication from it and it feels a bit vague at high speeds. Go for sudden lane switches and there is some guesswork involved, which can be unsettling. A slightly heavier steering would have gone a long way to help with that. Body roll never becomes an issue inside the city, but you will feel it in the GO+ on the highways.

Datsun GO Plus Safety

It’s good to finally see Datsun taking some action to improve its notoriety when it comes to safety in India. For starters, the structure of the GO+ has received a good deal of reinforcement. In the process, it has gained about 150kg in weight and Datsun claims the GO+ will comply with the upcoming Indian crash test norms.

What’s more, not only do you now get dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, brake assist and rear parking sensors, all these features are included as standard even in the base variant. Yes, follow-me-home headlamps are also included as standard.

Datsun GO Plus Price in Hyderabad

Datsun Go Plus On-Road Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,42,303 to 5,90,345 for variants Go Plus D and Go Plus Remix Limited Edition respectively. Datsun Go Plus is available in 5 variants and 6 colours. Below are details of Datsun Go Plus variants price in Hyderabad. Check for GO+ price in Hyderabad at Carzprice.

Datsun GO Plus Bottomline

While Datsun insists on calling it a seven-seater, the Go+ isn’t exactly a proper one. The third row can only accommodate luggage and can’t really be used to seat anyone (but small children).If you look at it as a five-seater, with a decent amount of luggage space, that makes it more of sense. True, the budget segment treatment by Datsun isn’t very subtle, and could even put off some customers. But if you consider the Rs 4.1 lakh (estimated) price tag (which is only around Rs 30,000 more than the hatchback), this could very well turn out to be a practical and popular five-seater.