the doors, there is no glovebox. And as we’ve seen with cars like the Tata Nano, which was recently given gloveboxes, it’s a must-have feature for Indians. The other thing is the ‘twist-and-pull’ handbrake, which is mounted on the dashboard and might be seen as too cheap and utilitarian—the Toyota Qualis had one.
But there’s a reason the handbrake, as well as the gearlever, is mounted on the dashboard rather than the floor. That’s because Datsun has put a small bench and backrest between the front seats, effectively making for a three-seater bench in the front as well. There’s no seat belt for this middle seat, and the company says the space is for things like bags, but since families are happy to travel four-up on a motorcycle, there’s no reason they won’t put a child in the middle front seat. However, because of the lack of space and the gearlever directly ahead, this is a very unsafe place for anyone to sit in.
Will launching a new brand like Datsun really work? Judging by the Go, it has a good chance. It’s a handsome-looking, practical product that offers a huge amount of car for not too much money and promises to be cheap to run as well, and that’s just what we want from our cars these days. A first drive will reveal more, but that will have to happen closer to the car’s launch early next year. We just hope Nissan and Datsun use that time to make sure the after-sales and service for this car are strong enough.
Heard of Datsun?
Strictly speaking, Datsun is not a ‘new’ brand, but instead was the name Nissan used for its cars when they were exported outside Japan until 1986. So if you find the name familiar, that is why. Now the brand is being brought back as a range of very appealing, but budget models that will be more affordable than similarly sized Nissan offerings. It’s a brand targeted at developing nations with a rapidly growing middle class that desires stylish yet affordable vehicles, so it’s no surprise that Datsun’s global launch happened