MOTORING: Datsun Go 1.2 Lux CVT a cost-effective vehicle

Datsun has equipped the Go with some clever mandatory safety equipment.

DO you think that the Datsun Go is as bad as they say it is? I took one for a spin, so read on:

In recent years, few automobiles have gotten as much unfavourable attention as the Datsun Go. When Datsun came back to Southern Africa in 2014, its Go was not only one of the cheapest vehicles on the market, but it was also regarded as one of the most unsafe. So many articles in the automotive press naturally went for its throat.

However, as much the media has criticised the Go, thousands of them have found permanent parking spaces in driveways throughout the world, and this is particularly true in South Africa.

I doubt any significant effort has been made to promote it in Zimbabwe. Locally, it is also overpriced compared to similar products. A sales revolution is needed to get it off the show rooms in Zimbabwe.

Since 2018, the general public has had access to this low-cost and dependable vehicle made by Datsun. Datsun has equipped the Go with some clever mandatory safety equipment.

The Go's safety features  — including dual front airbags, ABS and EBD, rear parking sensors, and structural reinforcements throughout — make it a smart investment in your well-being.


Many of the Datsun Go's competitors now offer an automatic transmission option. These automatic transmission (AMT)-equipped cars were very appealing to first-time purchasers, so Datsun had to take the plunge to capture their share of the market.

However, Datsun, unlike its competitors, decided to provide a continuously variable transmission (CVT) model.

Under maximum throttle, the dreaded CVT whine is audible, as is the case with all continuously variable transmissions. However, after you have gotten the hang of getting the most out of the CVT, you will be able to drive in such a way that the CVT's drone doesnot compete with the radio.

If you are not looking for a Fast and Furious-style driving experience, the Go is a great choice.

But when you let it go on the interstate at speeds of 120 kph or more, the CVT whining will get on your nerves.

You will also find yourself coming up with fresh swear words if you try any kind of overtaking maneuver. But if you stick to city streets and residential neighbourhoods, the Go is a joy to pilot.

With 180mm of ground clearance and 14-inch alloy wheels, there is substantial body roll during extreme cornering. You will need your wits about you if you want to emulate Vin Diesel.

However, if you have good driving skills, cruising around town in a Go is a blast. With a turning radius of about 4,6 metres, the Go excels at maneuverability in confined settings.


A 1198cc three-cylinder petrol engine powers the CVT version of the Go, just like the other Go variations, although it has a very slight power advantage over the less powerful models.

This increase is 7 kw, bringing total output to 57 kw and 104nm. The Go's low curb weight of 890 kilogrammes (kg) immediately suggests that it would get better gas mileage than heavier vehicles.

According to Datsun, the Go with a continuously CVT can go nearly 700 kilometers on a single fill-up of its 35-litre fuel tank.

The cabin provides a comfortable environment. It has a good driving position and an ergonomic design for a vehicle in this price range.

A touchscreen infotainment system compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a buried USB port dominate the fascia. The driver and front passenger may enjoy anti-fatigue sports seats, power windows (front and rear), power steering (electric), and steering wheel-mounted controls.

The Go I drove waseye-catching in a metallic brown orange paint job that made it stand out from the pack on the road.

Body-coloured door handles, daytime running lights, a rear wiper with washer, and electrically adjustable side mirrors with integrated indicators that match the vehicle's paint scheme are all included as standard equipment. The air conditioning dial, vents, and door handles of the Lux model, as well as the car's silver accents, distinguish it from the base Datsun Go.

My decision

It is difficult for long-forgotten businesses to attempt to make a return after being absent for decades. Alfa Romeo, Datsun, and Peugeot are familiar names that vanished from our roads for decades.

They had a hard time readjusting after returning as the market had moved. When I hear the word Datsun I cannot stop thinking of the Datsun 120Y that conquered our roads decades ago.

It surely must be a good brand. Its ancestor was so strong, practical and irresistible.

Its main competition comes from Suzuki, Hyundai, and Kia, all of which have more affordable offerings.

It should also be mentioned that Datsun is now also supplying a complete selection of authorised aftermarket components, such as 15-inch alloys, roof spoilers, and more, to make the Go stand out further.


0-100: 13.3

Engine capacity:1,2 litre

Fuel consumption: 5.5 litres/100kms

Fuel type: Petrol

Power maximum: 57kW

Tank capacity: 35

Top speed: 161 kms/h

Torque maximum: 104 Nm

Transmission: 5 gears forward manual



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