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RPM TV Website | July 19, 2019

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Datsun officially returns with the Go

Datsun Go
Adam Schoeman

Nissan has revitalised the Datsun sub-brand by relaunching it with a small city hatchback called the Go.

We reported on this last week, along with a pair of teaser photos, but Nissan has made things official now, confirming that the Go will be delivered to key world markets in 2014, and offering us a first look at what the production-ready Go looks like.

Nissan will be leveraging the car off its Micra hatchback, and has already said that the engine and gearbox will be sourced from it.

Looking at the Go’s specifications, though, it would seem that is shares a lot more than just that. At 3 785 mm long, 1 635 mm wide and 1 485 mm high, it is almost exactly the same size as the Micra, wheelbase included.

While the Go is squarely aimed at so-called emerging markets, including South Africa, India (where the car will be built), Indonesia, and Russia, Datsun will try elevate the Go above mundane simplicity produced on a tight budget by including niceties such as MP3 docking and air-conditioning in the Go package.

It will be interesting to see how the Go is received in the market. The concept competes directly with Renault’s Dacia budget brand, but the cars are not in the same segment, and the Go is more handsome than the Sandero (sold here under the Renault banner, and built in Nissan SA’s Rosslyn plant).

The Sandero has never been a particularly handsome vehicle, but the Go, if it is launched at a similar or lower price point, could really make a dent in Sandero’s fan base – not to mention the numerous small Chinese hatchbacks which are attracting a growing following in the budget segment.

Just how South Africans will react to the Datsun brand’s return – which had a completely different set of values in the days of the 140Y, 160U and the famous SSS models – may  well be the most interesting aspect of all …

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