Sam says its automatically affordable


I was interested to drive the Datsun Go Lux CVT model because when I drove the manual version, it far outperformed my expectations. Admittedly, they were low because of the reputation the car had developed prior to that. Often, I also feel that an automatic transmission is a bit of a questionable decision in an economy car.


From a logical point of view, it would be better putting the extra expense into more spec or better-quality materials, which is the one area the Datsun Go could still do with some improvement. Perhaps, however, it serves a market that does not want to spend a large amount on vehicles but would like a little extra luxury or for new drivers who are not fans of manual gearboxes.


The drive

Initially, I was again quite impressed with the drive. As someone ‘intimately acquainted’ with entry-level cars, I do believe that it could give many of its competitors a run for their money. A focus of Datsun was to introduce barely noticeable and extremely smooth gear changes and this they achieve quite well with the CVT transmission. I experienced only minimal struggle on inclines or when passing other motorists.


Then, however, came the disappointment. The minimal struggle occurred when I was driving alone or with only one passenger. When you add two more passengers, it becomes considerably more difficult to maintain or increase speeds on inclines or even overtake. Thus, as long as you do not plan to have more than two people in the Datsun Go Lux CVT, it is a great car. If not, you may want to look elsewhere.


According to Datsun, the Go Lux CVT has a power output of 57 kW and torque of 104 Nm. This is actually 7 kW more than the manual model, however, with the manual I could anticipate hills and adjust my gearing well in advance. The claimed fuel efficiency was 5L/100km but I only managed to reach around 7,7L/100km. One of Datsun’s selling points is improved fuel efficiency but for a small car this is quite high especially since it took quite a bit of effort to get it to 7.7L/100km.



No major changes have been made to the exterior and it remains a practical but modern looking car. As mentioned, the quality of the materials used could be better. Once Datsun improves this, they will conquer the (economy car) world.


An great new addition is the Alliance Radio Infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. When I connected my phone the screen mirroring was instantly available. This is also a major plus for drivers in this segment as most economy vehicles still often do not offer this.


Unfortunately, however, there are no steering controls. The rear seats are also a tad uncomfortable, which further emphasises that it is a two-man car.



Datsun Go and Datsun Go Lux CVT has also seen a number of improvements to safety. In addition to the ABS and airbags that the previous model added to their line up, it now has traction control, EBD brake assist and automatically locking doors. A passenger seatbelt reminder has also been added.


The CVT derivative has also been fitted with a new stability control system, called VDC (Vehicle Dynamic Control). VDC safety technology monitors various parameters – like wheel speed, steering wheel position and lateral acceleration – using on-board sensors. This information is further used to provide electronic stability control.


Concerns about the cars structural integrity have been addressed by reinforcing the front with high-tensile steel to better absorb impact in a crash. The body shell is also made of high-tensile steel and the roof, doors and seats have been strengthened.


Currently, the Datsun Go is competing in an incredibly competitive market and the Go Lux CVT gives buyers an entry into this market but with an extra bit of luxury. For drivers where an automatic transmission is non-debatable, they will find their match in the Go Lux CVT. Particularly, since the CVT transmission is quite impressive.


Good to know

The specs

Engine: 1.2L, 3-cylinder petrol engine

Power: 57kW

Torque: 104Nm

Fuel consumption: 5L/100km

Price: starting from R188 300

Warranties and service plan: standard 6 year/150 000km warranty and optional service plan

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