By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
AS much as Datsun GO was well received, with the young market and the young at heart loving it for its less R100 000 price and its attractive, smooth looks, the vehicle also received flak for its lack of basic safety features, more so the airbags.
The good news is that the manufacturer has responded positively to the criticism, launching the Datsun GO Lux with an airbag on the driver’s side. The Airbag Lux first hit the road mid-year last year in India, the country where the GO is manufactured. The vehicle has hit these shores as well, priced below R110000.
The arrival of GO Lux has also further improved car ownership for different categories of people as the entry level model has got even cheaper at R97 200.
Apart from the driver-side airbag, the Lux comes with more smart features the initial did not have. These are power steering, for a better driving experience; USB port and auxiliary input for the entertainment component, and a slightly heavier weight.
This is remarkable progress for the GO, after a report by the Global NCAP testing agency recommended that the vehicle be discontinued, saying it was pointless to even fit the airbag into it. Nissan weathered the storm arguing that the GO met basic standards of the countries it was released in, including SA.
In fact Nissan had also argued that the Global NCAP tests did not influence their decision and insisted that the move to offer the Datsun Go airbag was always in the initial plans, as follow-up to the introducction of the Datusn GO.
There’s no denying the importance of safety, given the numbers of deaths due to road crashes. In spite of what NCAP say, and what Nissan does it appears the GO is here to stay as people vote with their feet and wallets.
Apart from the attractive fuel economy of 5.2 litres per 100km, Datsun GO impresses with spacious interior for family and friends, and plenty of room in the boot too.It’s designed for everyday life and it has decent acceleration for when you are in a hurry. However, the best way to drive around in the GO is at cruise speed, so that it’s beauty can also be enjoyed by those seeing it drive past.
Datsun GO Lux (Airbag) R111900
Includes a 3-year / 100 000km warranty plus service intervals of 15 000km