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Datsun Go+ Cheap and cheerful

Snapshot: The Datsun Go+ is for those who want an affordable seven-seater with decent space and a good engine

If a regular hatchback won’t do for your daily needs and you need something bigger then, it’s time to go up a size and go plus. The Go+ isn’t really a MPV (even though Datsun are marketing it as a sub-compact MPV), in reality it is a hatchback which offers 2 extras seats for added convenience and practicality. So is it worth considering over established hatchback rivals? Let’s figure it out.

Exteriors
The car gets the same face as the regular Go hatchback, which means you get the same trapezoidal grille upfront and the shapely headlamps. These styling elements give it a likeable and charming face. The side profile remains similar as well except for the additional length and the small glass window behind the rear door. The tail lamps neatly integrate into the car’s silhouette and give this car a balanced look. It’s not a design that will wow you, but one which is pleasing to the eye.

Interiors
The dashboard is shared with the hatchback and though quality isn’t great, it’s not something that should put you off, considering the rock bottom price of the car. The gear lever pops out from the dashboard and so does the hand brake, which helps liberate plenty of space between the seats. The seats though thin in cushioning offer decent support and are wide and long to accommodate large frames on both the front and middle rows. The cabin is Spartan in design and features though. The last row has been made for small kids rather than adults in mind.

Engine, performance and gearbox
The Go+ comes with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine as the hatchback. It develops 68bhp of power and 104Nm of torque transmitted via a five-speed manual gearbox. There is no diesel engine on offer as of yet. The engine offers sprightly performance and typically like most Japanese engines loves to be revved hard. There is plenty of power right through the rev band, all you need to do is just drop a gear down and floor the throttle to get brisk acceleration. Though the engine runs out of breath after a while the 68bhp is adequate for daily use. The gearbox though light to operate isn’t as slick as most Japanese rivals, but will do. The only issue here was that the cabin doesn’t seem to be well insulated with plenty of tyre and engine noise filtering into the cabin.

Ride and handling
The car rides surprisingly well considering its rather compact dimensions as well as the weedy tyres it comes shod with. Though there is visible body roll when you push it into a corner, the car’s steering feels pretty agile as well as accurate for the most part. The suspension soaks up the bumps and potholes at slow city speeds and at faster highway speeds the car feels pretty stable as well. All in all, a job well done by the Datsun engineering team.

Safety and equipment
The Go+ will cater to the lower end of the market, so there is no point in expecting lots of goodies. You get the basics, like two power windows up front, air conditioning as well as power steering. There is also a stereo system, which plays from a USB or AUX cable. It’s pretty useless and most buyers will upgrade to a proper on sooner rather than later. In terms of safety there are no options even on this top end version.

Summary
The Go+ might not be perfect or offer any fancy frills but being the most affordable seven seater in the country gives it the edge over many rivals. At this price it makes a lot of sense of you want something bigger than a hatchback but smaller th

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