There is no doubt that South Africans loved Datsun and they were excited about the return of the brand in the country. My granddad owned Datsun vehicle in the 1980s and I was eager to see what the brand has to offer this time around.
I received the new Datsun Go recently to review and I must say that I was disappointed. Let me start with the positive stuff. Datsun Go is not a bad looking car at all. It looks cute and different. From its unique front grille to athletic rear shoulders, the car looks modern. The extended 3D shaped headlights have a multi-faceted design framed by a metallic accent and add just the right amount of spectacle to the exterior.
I was disappointed about the fact that Datsun did not pay much attention to safety. The car does not provide basic safety features like ABS and airbags. The body structure of Datsun Go is very week. It cannot accommodate airbags.
The Euro NCAP, a global organisation that organises crash-tests tested Datsun Go. The test readings indicated a high probability of life-threatening injuries. Max Mosley, Chairman of Global NCAP, wrote a letter to Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Nissan, calling for removal of the car from a number of markets including South Africa.
To add to my disappointment, Datsun failed to understand its South African target market. The company is running a number of above- the-line campaigns, positioning the vehicle as best buy for young people. The reality is, it is not. Young people are always looking for fun and enjoy night life – clubbing, parties, concerts and more. It is risky for young people to travel in such cars, taking into consideration their lifestyle.
Manufacturers should make safety a top priority for this vulnerable young market. Datsun failed to do so.
- Power: 50kW at 5000rpm
- Torque: 104Nm at 4000
- 0-100 km/h: 13.3 seconds
- Top speed:161km/h
- Fuel consumption: 5.2 litre per 100km
- Fuel type: Petrol
- Fuel tank capacity: 35L
- Price: Between R91 300 and R102 500
Five-wheel rating: 1.5/5.