I first wrote about the Datsun GO+ MPV back in December 2013 when my ex-boss wanted me to concoct a comparison story between the GO+, Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, and the Honda Mobilio. Yes, two out of these three were vehicles that no one in the world had ever driven until then!
Well, Honda did fly a few selected Indian journalists to Japan to drive the Mobilio prototype but one over-enthusiastic chap ruined it for others… Well, that’s a story for some other day but suffice it to say that my ex-boss was one of those many unfortunate ones who did not get to drive it.
Still, the story had to be done so I did go ahead and wrote a hypothetical comparo between the three vehicles. That story was liked by readers and some of them even went on to say that they will wait for Datsun’s first MPV in India. There is good news for those people as according to a report on zigwheels Datsun has started production of the GO+ with a possible launch around January 2015.
The GO hatch has been on sale here for quite some time now, therefore, we have an idea about how the MPV would turn out. The GO+ is already on sale in Indonesia, and despite the increase in length due to the addition of a third row of seats, the vehicle is still under the four-metre mark. Yes, what is coming is the first sub-4 meter MPV in India. And that infers that it is the cheapest upcoming people carrier as well and will be placed much lower than Ertiga and Mobilio.
That being said, the access to the third bench is quite difficult as the complete backrest of the second bench has to be folded down to ‘climb’ on to the rear most seats. Even once you are there, it is a claustrophobic place to be in as the headroom, shoulder room, and leg room are all too limited. Hence, the last row could only be used for two slim (and flexible) adolescent individuals at best. Still, the last row can be folded down to generate a fabulous amount of cargo space and then the GO+ will become a comfortable vehicle for weekend trips for a family of five.
Datsun’s MPV is powered by the same engine that moves the GO hatchback. Since the ‘plus’ in the MPV has only added around 20 kilos to its weight, the 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine’s 68 PS should do a fairly decent job to haul this MPV around going by our test drive of the hatchback.
Moreover, the front and rear suspension is also shared by the MPV with its hatchback sibling and though it does not seem to be an issue at the outset (because of nominal weight difference), only a full-on test drive of the GO+ would tell us if the suspension is good enough to take the additional weight of two more passengers at the rear. That is if they want to sit there…
Considering the fairly good pricing of the GO hatchback, Datsun’s GO+, we believe will be even better priced. Nissan has already shared that Datsuns will revolve around the Rs 4 lakh price bracket (not a speculation but actual promise by Nissan) and the Go+ starting at about 4 lakhs would be trouble for a lot of other cars, people movers specially!
However, for God’ sake Nissan provide a power steering right from the bottom-most variant. We are not living in stone age!