Words by Gugu Masuku

Millennials who aren’t motor-savvy have come to know the Datsun brand through the Go model and their perception of the manufacturer has been shaped around this not so glitzy car. What they may not be aware of is Datsun’s 100-year history in the automotive world, which includes some interesting and iconic characters such as the Datsun 140Z and 240Z, icons that still hold a good place in the hearts of many.


The Go re-introduces itself to the world with a dash of confidence and a refreshing aura

I had a recent encounter with the Nissan sister brand; it was for the launch of the most recent version of their Datsun Go and Go+ models. The Go re-introduces itself to the world with a dash of confidence and a refreshing aura, and for good reason. In theory, it’s a face-lift but it ends there. The only thing suggesting a minor facelift is its appearance because beneath the skin it feels like a completely new vehicle. Improvements are too many to mention with the inclusion of a 7-inch infotainment screen offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth and USB as standouts. More importantly, upgrades to safety have been made since this is where the previous Go received the most criticism. The Datsun now offers dual airbags in the front; ABS and a composed drive that won’t leave you nervous at highway speeds.


A composed drive that won’t leave you nervous at highway speeds


What does all of this mean to the average South African? Well, for starters, you’re getting a safer vehicle, giving you a little more peace of mind in the unfortunate event you’re involved in an accident. You’re also getting affordable mobility. As a black South African, I’m all too familiar with the challenges around mobility and having to depend on a time-consuming public transport system. Using public transport as a student, it would take me two hours to get from home to campus. I lived in Kempton park and travelled to Sandton, a 39km journey that cost me R1600 per month. This was years ago and I’m confident that the fares of that trip (3 taxis each way) have increased because it’s a known fact that taxi fares constantly rise with each twist of the economy.


Sunset orange colour with standard daytime running lights gives it an element of appeal


My experience with public transport is one that many can relate to and I’m pretty certain this was one of the milder experiences. Datsun is launching the new Go to mitigate this grim situation. Priced at R144 500, Datsun says the cost of owning a Go will rival the average monthly transport cost of the average South African commuter and also give many people access to the freedom of mobility. At the launch, the Datsun team put together a fun challenge to demonstrate this point; one person was put into a taxi and the other a Datsun Go—the race was on to see who would make it to Soweto first. Suffice to say the Go arrived with ample time to spare.

The Go positions itself as the perfect starter vehicle for students and first time workers. The new Sunset orange colour, with standard daytime running lights, gives it an element of appeal; this combined with its affordable price-point and long list of standard upgrades really make it a vehicle worth some serious consideration. Looks-wise, it may not appeal to everyone’s fancy but affordability and functionality have been known to triumph aesthetics.

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