Datsun's revival begins today with the launch of Go

Nissan generated a lot of buzz last year when they officially announced the revival of Datsun, a brand that was popular for most part of the 19th century before being discontinued. Targeted specifically towards the emerging markets like India, Russia, China and South Africa in its second coming, Datsun will play a key role in expanding Nissan’s global market share.

Following its unveiling at the brand premiere event last July and its first public display at the 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi, not to forget our spotting of the dealership demo cars a couple of months back, the Datsun Go was finally launched in India today. Apart from being the first Datsun to go on sale in many decades, also significant is the fact that India is the first market in the world to get the Go.

With Nissan’s brand hierarchy well established, Datsun’s role is to attract the value-conscious buyers. Competitive prices were promised and Datsun, it has to be said, has kept its word. At INR 3.12, 3.46 and 3.69 Lakhs for the D, A and T variants respectively, the prices are very competitive and pits the Go against the Maruti-Suzuki Alto 800 and Hyundai Eon.

Despite being a budget hatchback, the Go isn’t designed to look like one. The bold hexagonal grille, the partially-smoked headlights, the strong shoulder line and the dominant creases in sheet metal all around sustains our interest in the Go. The base variants, with black bumpers, mirrors and door handles, may not look classy, but they definitely aren’t unimpressive. Thanks to its origins in the Micra, the Datsun Go is big and boasts segment-leading space and comfort. Powering the Go is a 1.2-liter petrol engine that produces maximum power of 67 bhp at 5000 rpm and a peak torque of 10 kgm at 4000 rpm. Shared with the Nissan Micra, this 3-cylinder mill returns an ARAI-approved fuel efficiency of 20.63 km/l.

As expected, the base variant of the Go is strictly bare-bones and comes sans power steering, power windows and even air-conditioning. The top-end variant has all these and also body-colored bumpers, central locking, wheel covers and an audio system with an Aux-input. Yes, there’s not even a radio on offer. What’s there in abundance though is space as the Go boasts class-leading passenger and boot space. Also standard across the range are follow-me-home headlamps, digital trip computer, smart meter, speed-sensitive wiper and connected front seats that, for some reason, reminds us of the Ambassador.

With its focus on value-for-money, space and efficiency, the Datsun Go has got what most Indians aspire for in their first car covered. Add to that the decent looks and a capable chassis and the Datsun Go has the potential to make it really big in the Indian market.

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