Datsun is due to launch a revamped Go hatchback in SA in November, featuring a facelift and, more importantly, improved safety.
We’re told that all versions of the refreshed Go will for the first time come standard with dual front airbags and ABS brakes. Until now only a driver’s airbag has been available in the range, but no antilock braking.
It will mark a welcome shift for Nissan’s budget brand that, in the pursuit of offering budget price tags at the bottom end of the market, has been characterised by dismal safety.
The Go was launched in SA in 2014 at a starting price of R89 500, but received zero stars in a crash test conducted by Global NCAP’s Indian division. A driver’s airbag was later added, but this only raised the car’s rating to one star, out of a possible five in a follow-up crash test as its bodyshell was rated as unstable.
Despite this the car’s affordability has made it a popular seller amongst cash-strapped South African motorists, and since launch the range has grown to include the larger Go+ and Go+ panelvan.
Datsun marketing director Kabelo Rabotho says the external and internal styling changes will be significant, with redesigned grille, headlights and grille, and new-look bumpers. Inside will be a new instrument panel and a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto capability, and voice control.
A suspension revamp and added insulation is expected to improve driving refinement, while the engine is likely to remain the three-cylinder 1.2-litre unit with outputs of 50kW and 104Nm. The upgrades are likely to raise Datsun Go price tags, which start at R138 900. – BD Motor News