UPDATED: Read detailed roadtest of the Go+ (click to read)
The Datsun Go+ is the company's second attempt at cracking the highly competitive Indian low-cost car market after the Go hatchback. The Go+ combines the attractiveness of a 5+2 seater MPV with the promise of low costs to woo customers. The biggest selling point of the car will be how affordable it will be for its size and the features that it offers.
Design-wise, the Go+ is a handsome car. It is well proportioned and does not look unwieldy in any way. The front is dominated by large head lamps, a hexagonal grille with chrome surrounds, a subtly contoured hood, a neat front bumper with black-inserts where the fog-lamps would usually be located in other car. Head-on the car looks energetic. Move to the side and you notice how long the car is, it measure 3995mm long. The car looks spacious from the outside thanks the large windows, the blacked-pillars give the car a premium look. Body lines, which include subtle wheel arches, an upward kink at the bottom of the doors etc. add to the character of the car. Pull-type door handles, small wheels and tyres and basic ORVM covers show that cost-cutting measures have been implemented. Move to the rear and you see that the designers have put in a lot of thought to make the car look good, the rear-three quarter is one of the best angles for looking at the Go+. The rear is dominated by large tail-lamps with clear lens component lights, a sloping rear-hatch and a large bumper.
The interior is simply styled and though the cost-cutting shows, you do not mind because there are intelligent additions. The centre console is dominated by a docking station, you can place your mobile here and connect it to the door-mounted speakers via an auxiliary cable. If you own a smartphone the docking station becomes a multimedia system with hands free calling, music and navigation too! The docking station also features a USB charging point and a volume control knob. The A/C control switches are placed below the dock, and look built-to-a-price. The instrument cluster is simple and features a large analogue speedometer with a small digital screen which displays real-time fuel-efficiency, distance-to-empty etc.
The steering wheel is good to hold and weighs up or down nicely according to the speeds, the pedals are nicely spaced and have a positive feedback, the five-speed transmission lever is placed on the dashboard and is easy to reach and operate. The gear-lever has short throws but does not shift very smoothly, the pull-and-twist type hand brake fouls with the drivers knees and the seats are flat and do not provide very good lateral support.
The seats are flat and provide a lot space, the front seats are connected to form a bench but is best used for seating two people including the driver for safety. The second row can accommodate three standard-sized adults easily, the third row though is not meant for seating adults. The additional 210mm of rear space adds a third row to the Go+ over its hatchback sibling, but the seat is placed on the floor an the head-room is also less which makes it best used to seat small-children or to be used purely to store luggage. Folding the third-row and using it purely as a luggage space is the best way to use this space. The Go+ is essentially a very spacious 5-seater family car.
The 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol motor developing 68PS/104Nm coupled to a low overall weight of around 800 Kg makes the Go+ a sprightly car. The long-travel suspension and high profile tyres provide very good cushioning. The engine vibrations are kept in check even though it is a 3-cylinder units, road and wind-noise is also minimal, this helps improve the comfort levels inside the car. The rear suspension has been stiffened to cope with the extra weight and that helps make the ride even better than the hatchback. The Go+ can handle bad roads very well without losing composure, high-speed manners are also good and body roll is well contained.
The Datsun Go+ is a good choice for those looking for an affordable, spacious, good handling car with low running costs.