Five years after entering the Indian market, Datsun has finally launched refreshed versions of its Go and Go+ models. Both cars get a plethora of cosmetic changes, new creature comforts, and basic safety features as standard, making the revised cars far better versions of themselves.\ To begin with, the exterior design with all the styling revisions looks sharper, edgier, and more importantly, a lot more modern, adding some much-required youthfulness into the equation. Smarter bumpers, new LED DRLs and bigger, 14-inch, diamond-cut alloy wheels (on the top-end T (O) variant) are the highlights here. There\’s also an additional rear wiper on offer alongside the optional roof rails. The inside story is equally interesting. For starters, the dashboard now gets a complete makeover with absolutely no resemblance to the older hatchback. There\’s a nifty 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system taking centre-stage, offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Then there\’s a proper glovebox with a lid, the ORVMs can be electrically adjusted, the instrument cluster is all new and the handbrake lever has moved back to the more conventional position \– between the front two seats.
Wondering how that\’s possible? Well, gone is the bench-type seat of the older car and in comes a new set of bucket seats that are much more comfortable than the older car. There\’s still no adjustability for seat height or steering rake, though. The flatter rear seat offers decent levels of comfort, and although it lacks a bit on support, there\’s enough legroom for average-sized Indians. Fixed headrests even on the rear seat are a letdown. One positive bit of news is that Datsun claims structural changes done to these models will help them comply with safety regulations that will come into effect in India by end-2019. So, for an additional 100 kilos, the Go\’s skeleton can now supposedly fare better in crash tests. Good to know. The original Go and Go+ models had a strong mechanical package and they continue to do so in the latest avatars. The 1.2-litre petrol motor offers good drivability in the city, however, the additional weight does have a tiny effect on the overall performance. The Go doesn\’t feel as peppy as the older car, but if you haven\’t driven the outgoing car before, chances are, you wouldn\’t mind the new car\’s slightly mellowed enthusiasm. Its strongest asset is its midrange performance, and if you manage to keep it boiling around 3000rpm, you won\’t be bothered much. But then, if you\’re in a mood for some spirited driving, frequent gear changes would be a norm. Which is where you\’ll notice that it isn\’t the slickest of small car gearboxes. Thankfully there\’s a lighter clutch for company and since drivability in urban settings is one of its strongest points, you wouldn\’t require fiddling with the gearbox much.
In terms of ride and handling, the Go scores better in the former department. For an entry-level car, bump absorption is good and offers a comfortable ride in most conditions. Only the sharper edges make themselves felt inside the cabin. However, being softly sprung means there\’s considerable body roll around corners and on highways, while doing triple-digit speeds, you can\’t help but notice the vertical movements. The light steering too is not meant for spirited driving and you would be better off driving the Go twins in a non-hurried manner. On the whole, it\’s a decent place to be in, tilting more towards the comfortable side of things.
To sum up, the 2018 Datsun Go twins have become more mainstream than ever before. The compromises found on the earlier car in terms of features and quality have been rightly addressed and to an extent, even the staid styling has been touched upon, which is a welcome bonus. Ride quality, drivability and practicality continue to be its trademark attributes, along with a competitive starting price range of Rs 3.3 lakh for the Go and Rs 3.83 lakh for the Go+, ex-showroom. At this price, you get a full-size hatchback with decent amount of features, ABS and dual airbags as standard, and a decent sized boot, making it great value for money, too.
The difference between the Go and the estate-y Go+ is that the cabin gets lighter shade of plastics, lending it a more airy feel. And then there\’s the obvious third row of seats, which should strictly be reserved for the annoying kids in the house. It\’s really cramped for average-sized adults and could get uncomfortable on even hour-long rides. Plus, it doesn\’t really offer any amount of safety in the event of a rear-end crash, so the best option is to fold the third-row bench and make use of the extended 347 litres of cargo space. That\’s 80 litres more than the Go. So, if extra cargo space is what you need from your small-ish car, go for the Go+. If not, we would recommend you go for the Go.