Sometimes we drive certain cars and we are not really sure what to make of them and when we had the Go delivered, it was one of those moments. On first glance everything looked good; you know, sporty with that big wing and even the side decals had a bit of a fast and furious theme going for it. I thought to myself; how bad could this really be?
Driving the Go:
Start her up and the 1.2l 3 cylinder lets you know that there is only 3 of those tiny cylinders, and that you should use them wisely. After all, most motorcycle engine these days are bigger. However, with the Go weighing next to nothing, the acceleration in 1st and 2nd gear is actually pretty nippy and did give me a bit of a ‘what is going on here’ feeling. The 1.2 only makes 50kw but its delivered in a rather linear fashion with power mostly available everywhere. You don’t need to rev the nuts off the little thing because, in reality, the only thing that changes is your facial expression. Doing the speed limit is very easy and it will often exceed it without a problem. Our best fuel economy was attained at about 90kph and, even so, it was a modest 18km/l. To be honest, I expected a little bit more. However, it’s still nothing to pull your nose up at.
Overall, you are looking at about 16km/l if you aren’t paying attention to your driving style. The little Go is exceptionally light at 788kg so you can imagine that cross winds need to be attended to in an almost expected fashion and face it, no matter where you drive, you’re bound to encounter a cross wind trying to pull you from one side to the other on the road every now and then.
The Go steers easily and handles relatively well with its tiny 155/13 radial tires, but you need to be aware that, at the end of the day, that is literally all they are.
On the Inside:
As you can expect, there is not really much of anything in this type of vehicle. In particular the lack of a rear view mirror dipping switch and hand adjusted side mirrors got to me a little. If you can look past that, then great. The interior is finished in a light hard plastic, with the doors housing generous water bottle holders of around 1.5l in the side. There is no radio fitted as standard however, but you do have an AUX like device where you can plug your mobile in and play it through the stock 2 speakers, should you wish. I would drive directly from the dealer, straight to the sound shop and fit a front loader. I can’t live without my tunes. The speedo cluster features an analogue speedo with a digital rpm reader and odo, which also shows you current consumption and instantaneous numbers. It does, however, lack a clock and interior light dimmer. The interior is probably not suited to people over 1.8 meters as the center bench has interfered with the regular handbrake location. They have relocated this to the center console and it does create a bit of a comfort issue, if you have long legs. A rather big surprise was the big boot at 265l which will take a generous amount of luggage.
The biggest concern for most of the motoring public is the safety of the Go. No, it does not have Airbags or ABS, but this should not really deter your from it. The Citi Golf and Toyota Tazz respectively did not have ABS or Airbags either and they were great sellers. Driving the Go around I never really felt unsafe; the brakes worked as well as any other car in this segment and had a decent bite to them. I still think that if you are going to be in an accident in most of the entry level cars, there are no two ways about it; you are going to be injured at the speeds most of us travel at. The Go features an immobilizer, central locking and an alarm as standard though.
The Go starts off at a very affordable R89500 with their top of the range model (as tested) at R99500
Services are scheduled every 15000km and a service plan and maintenance plan is optional. There is a 3 year /100 000km warranty.
For more info, www.datsun.co.za