We quite enjoyed driving the Datsun Go+ in the hills of Uttarakhand for the first time at the end of last year. The 67 horses produced by the 1.2-litre three-cylinder seemed surprisingly adequate. Rowing the centre console mounted five-speed manual shifter to keep the car in the power-band was actually quite a lot of fun, and the way the suspension cushioned the rough mountain roads was an absolute revelation. Let’s not really talk about how the Go+ handled at the track, suffice to say that the lap time was actually not that bad. Having said that, we wouldn’t really want to go out on track and have another go. When pushed, the 155/70 R13 tyres reach their limit pretty quickly and can just about hold onto the car as you throw it around a corner. And, as you’re attempting to prevent the Go+ from falling over on the rumble strips, the wipers come on by themselves – wiper I should say, it has just one – perhaps it was feeling left out!
And that’s the problem really with the Go+. You can feel that it’s been built to a price. It’s got quite a bit of space in the cabin, 347 litres of boot space, pretty decent driving dynamics – heck, we even enjoyed it out on the road – and it doesn’t look bad either. But it’s the small things that Datsun has tried, which haven’t worked. The bench seating in front; the handbrake lever that we truly believe is the downfall of the entire range; the fiddly smart-phone holder; the headrests in the rear that feel like they’ve been moulded from play dough – to name a few. Fundamentally, they’ve got a pretty good product here – with some really good ideas and engineering – but they do need to go back to the drawing board to iron out some of the glaring shortcomings, none of which the Indian customer is willing to look beyond in today’s date.
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