Datsun GO Plus

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Nissan’s low-cost car brand, Datsun, launched its second product – the GO+ – in the country in January 2015. The vehicle introduced an all new segment in India – the sub-compact MPV; yes, it is an MPV with the length below 4 metres.

The GO+ is an extended version of the GO hatchback, as both the vehicles are based on the same platform. The MPV has extra rear space and headroom to offer. The front fascia of the GO+ is identical to its hatchback sibling, especially the front hexagonal honeycomb grille, front bumper with three lower air intakes and wrap around headlamps. The side profile of the MPV gets some new creases and undersized 13-iches wheels. Since it’s an MPV, the overall design isn’t striking; but it manages to look pretty well. That said, the rear profile could have been slightly better in terms of design.

From inside, the MPV looks exactly similar to the GO hatchback. It’s only the third row of seats and extra cabin space that mark a difference. However, the third bench isn’t made for adults. The dashboard, positioning of handbrake and gearlever, controls and equipment remain similar to its hatchback sibling. Material quality is good for its price.

The Datsun GO+ MPV derives its power from a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that also powers the GO hatchback. This gasoline unit produces a maximum power output of 67bhp at 5000rpm and a torque of 104Nm at 4000rpm. Combined with a five-speed manual transmission, the MPV is claimed to return a fuel economy of 20.6kmpl on highways.

Despite being slightly lengthier and heavier than the hatchback, the GO+ manages to deliver a decent mid-range performance. Suspension too is good for low-speeds, but the damping duties at high-speeds could have been better. What might disappoint, however, is the noisy cabin. Cornering is good, but there is a bit of body roll, even at low speeds. The all new Datsun GO+ MPV doesn’t have any direct competition, but will compete against the budget hatchbacks (Rs. 3.5 lakh – 5 lakh) and MPVs with seven-seat configurations such as Chevrolet Enjoy, Maruti Ertiga. That said, the direct competition for the GO+ will be the WagonR 7-seater that might be launched in 2016.

Exterior

The GO+ MPV resembles the GO hatchback, since both the vehicles share design and platform. But the extended dimensions give the former a different look from the C-Pillar. The front fascia of the MPV features a hexagonal honeycomb grille, bumper with three lower air intakes and wrap around headlamps, which are exactly the same as the hatchback. The side profile appears dull, but the additional aggressive lines across the side profile manage to break the boredom up to some extent. The pronounced tail lights and over-hanged rear styling are bit outdated. Build quality is good. The GO+ MPV measures 3995mm in length, 1635mm in width and 1490mm in height with a wheelbase of 2450mm. It has a ground clearance of 170mm.

Interior

The first two rows of seats of the new GO+ MPV look exactly similar to that of the GO hatchback, while the third row of seats is a new addition. However, the third row is just good for kids. The space offered for the front seats passengers remains same, but there is more legroom for the second row occupants. The grey and beige dashboard and positioning of controls, handbrake, gearlever and equipments are same as the GO hatchback. The MPV lacks quite a few equipment such as music system, USB plug-in etc. There is a Mobile Docking Station (MDS) to connect a smartphone through an AUX cable. Material quality is better than various other cars available in its price range. It gets a three-spoke steering wheel with no controls. It offers a luggage area of 347-litres with third row folded, which is quite good for a sub-4meter MPV.

Engine & Transmission

Powering the new Datsun GO+ MPV is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine that churns out a maximum power of 67bhp at 5000rpm and a torque of 104Nm at 4000rpm. It’s the same engine that powers the GO hatchback. This powertrain has three-cylinders, 12 valves, and offers a displacement of 1198cc. It is claimed to deliver a fuel economy of 20.6kmpl. With a heavier body than the hatchback, the MPV accelerates 0-100kmph in 15 – 16 seconds, while maintaining a top speed between 140kmph – 150kmph. Power is transmitted to the front wheels of the car via a five-speed manual transmission.

Performance & Handling

The 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, same as the GO hatchback, is now more responsive and tweaked for better torque performance. The heavy engine with104Nm of torque pulls the MPV with more aggression. The engine churns out a maximum power output of 67bhp. A five-speed manual transmission is coupled with the powertrain. Power delivery is linear. Engine feels punchy, especially on freeways. Mid-range performance is decent.

The strong chassis and suspension setup easily absorb jerks and bumps on uneven surfaces, and aid to its ride quality. However, the suspension’s dumping at high speeds needs an improvement. The NVH levels of the MPV could have been better. Undersized tyres fail to offer surplus grip either. Though, the GO+ is good at corners.

Braking System

The MPV is equipped with front disc brakes and rear drum brakes that work well under standard driving conditions. But, the GO+ doesn’t get ABS (Anti-lock braking system), even not as an option with the top-end variant, for emergency braking situations.

Mileage

The 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine, which does duty to the GO hatchback, is claimed to return a fuel economy of 20.6kmpl. However in regular city driving conditions, it returns around 13-14kmpl, while 19-20 on highways.

Safety Features

If you are looking for a car that offers you so many safety features, the GO+ might disappoint you. That said, no other car in this price range offers you so many safety features. It doesn’t get ABS (Anti-lock braking system) and airbags even as options on the top-end variant. The MPV is equipped with the standard safety features such as three point seat belts (front and rear), two point seat belts (rear center), central locking system and headlamp leveling device.

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