Datsun South Africa have recently introduced a new CVT transmission for both the Go+ and Go models. I managed to get my hands on the latter to see what this new take on the budget car is like.
A Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) allows for gear changes to happen seamlessly and going almost unnoticed which in turn creates a more smoother and quieter ride. The CVT ‘box isn’t favoured amongst petrol heads because it lacks the engagement you get from the usual torque-converting automated-manual transmissions (AMT’s) and when you put your foot down you get a constant drone, however in a small car like this Datsun Go CVT I feel it is just what it needed because it allows for an overall better driving experience in terms of comfortability if you drive it smoothly. The CVT ‘box also allows for a better fuel consumption of 5.0L/100km (which is a 10% improvement over the manual variant) and it’s cheaper to produce than the AMT’s as well. I haven’t had many issues with the gearbox concerning slow or early changes which is a good sign.
Apart from the addition of the Continuously Variable Transmission, the Datsun Go CVT doesn’t come with very much else compared to its manual counterpart except an updated infotainment system which works much better and still allows for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Other features of the car will be the same as the standard Go model such as electric windows, USB/Aux connectivity, air-conditioning, central locking, power steering and rear parking sensors. You also get a boot capacity of 265L.
When taking the Datsun Go CVT on the road it had a noticeably comfortable ride due to the soft suspension allowing the car to glide over bumps and cracks on the surface of the road, however this quickly becomes a problem as a corner approaches because it creates an enormous amount of body-roll which could be concerning. Apart from that it drives very smoothly with the addition of CVT gearbox. it eliminates the worry for gear changes giving you peace of mind on motorway journeys and sitting in traffic. There is actually a smidge of extra power in the Go CVT with its 1.2L naturally aspirated 3-cylinder motor now making 57kW and 104Nm of torque, however this still doesn’t really make any difference to how the car drives and overtaking wouldn’t be advised on the highway. It’s best to just take it easy with this car because it’ll be a much more rewarding drive in the end.
The Datsun Go CVT has all you need in a car and nothing more which is perfect for the budget car segment, and considering it costs R184 000, it boasts great value for a small automatic car. It will definitely be appealing to young car buyers or for someone who has a tight budget and is looking for something small, affordable and easy to drive.