2018 Datsun Go Test Drive Review

The Datsun brand arrived in South Africa back in 2013 and we were presented with the Go model. Despite the cars lack of safety and it’s entrance into the South African market it did remarkably well with around “25 000” sold units (source: cars.co.za). 2018 brings the updated Go to South Africa and it’s almost a different car altogether.

The Datsun Go has always been a car for the budget buyers over the years, and it’s no different with this new model that comes in at R144 500 for the cheapest model. We managed to get hold of the Lux model that comes in at R165 500. The car also has a slightly new look to it with sporty looking gloss wheels and a new bumper that features a couple daytime running headlights. It is also slightly taller and wider than the previous model.

It now has two airbags (passenger and driver) and ABS, which is what was lacking from the previous Go. With safety taken care of, sales are bound to increase over the coming years but that isn’t the only upgrade to the baby Go. The car also features an all-new infotainment system where you’ll find Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, the radio, Bluetooth and a whole bunch of settings displayed on the screen. It does however distract the driver while driving because it may be difficult to do a certain action on the screen while you’re driving, and the matte finish to the screen blocks it when harsh light is presented making it hard to see what you’re doing as well. Despite this it works well and might appeal to the younger generations. The one-piece bench setup has been done away with and is now presented with 2 normal seats with a conventional handbrake in between them (The previous model had the old fashioned umbrella handbrake). 

The new Go carries the same 1.2l 3 cylinder petrol engine from the previous one, that still produces 50kW and 104Nm. It feels quite enthusiastic on the lower gears and this is due to the car only weighing in at 829kg. It has a 5-speed manual transmission and has an average fuel consumption of 5.2 L/100 km. You felt quite vulnerable on the road with the previous model but with this new one it feels more stable at normal speeds.

The car is a strong contender for its competitors especially as the safety issues have been addressed. The addition of the airbags and ABS have huge implications on inexperienced drivers looking for a new car in the market. Datsun’s target audience will most likely be students or price-sensitive, budget buyers, and the Go ticks all the right boxes.