Nissan's budget offering Go+ short on features

Nissan's low-cost brand Datsun made its global comeback with much hype in India last year as a no-frills small hatchback, Nissan Go, which was supposed to be funky, fuel-efficient and affordable to budget consumers.

A limited sales and service network, uninspiring interiors and, safety concerns by global NCAP, had seen the car written-off  by market watchers, within a year of its launch. The brand had now lined up a seven-seater version - Go+.

The Go+ comes with the same front face, grille and headlamps as the Go and to keep its cost down, the length of the car had been capped at under 4 metres to qualify for the small-car concessional excise duties. The major change from the Go was the stretched rear where the extra row of seating came into play. Beyond the length though there was not much of a change in design with Datsun going along with similar tail lamp cluster.

The Go+ profited from the excellent cabin structure of its small car that made the most of the limited space on a smaller wheelbase. Legroom and headroom at front two rows was great and the large glass area gave the cabin an airy feel.

The vehicle which has been priced at Rs3.79 lakh, would compete with the likes of Maruti Ertiga and Honda Mobilio.

According to Nissan Motor India managing director, Arun Malhotra, the GO+ had a 1.2 petrol engine, a fuel economy of 20.6 km/litre and a luggage space of 347 litres.

The Datsun Go+ range started at Rs3.79 lakh with the top end model priced at Rs4.61 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). The company had earlier this month, announced the start of pre-bookings for Datsun GO+ .

When questioned over Datsun's vehicles safety, Malhotra said, safety was extremely important for the brand and the vehicle met all Indian safety standards.

Late last year, Global NCAP had raised questions over the vehicle safety and sturdiness and in a letter to Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn, the consumer car safety testing body had even called for withdrawal of the vehicle from the market.

Nissan, yesterday also indicated that it was dropping the plan of establishing a separate dealer network for Datsun brand. The Datsun brand of cars would be sold through Nissan's existing dealer network in India.