Datsun Go now with CVT option

The Datsun Go has been a revelation for the Nissan marque from a South African perspective, securing the revived Datsun brand an enviable portion of the passenger car market and stabling it as one of the top choices for consumers within the bustling budget segment.

A question of safety

The motoring press has lambasted the Go since its release in 2014 as a result of the vehicle achieving a zero-star safety rating in the Global NCAP crash test evaluation in 2014. In the #SaferCarsforAfrica campaign which was hosted in Cape Town by Global NCAP, a newer seven-seat GO+ only fared slightly better with a one-star rating in 2017. Now, though, a CVT or Continuously Variable Transmission version of the Go and Go+ models has been released locally, with a few additional safety features.

Tell me what’s new

Throughput the Go’s lifecycle it has improved, rather considerably since the frankly unacceptable 2014 model that was first introduced to the local market. In the past five years, we have seen the introduction of the Go with a driver’s side airbag, ABS brakes and an improved safety structure, which has yet to produce satisfactory safety results when tested.  For the latest model, the brand has now added a passenger-side airbag, bringing the total count to two. Datsun also claim that the structure of the vehicle has been reinforced; however, a crash test will have to be conducted to confirm the efficacy of these changes. The Go CVT models also get a touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, electric windows all-round, 14-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors and follow-me-home headlights.


In a segment where most products are sold with manual gearboxes at this stage, the introduction of a CVT by Datsun is a great move, especially considering how awful the AMT or Automated Manual Transmissions are in the likes of the Suzuki Swift and Renault Kwid. There is a Kia Picanto available with a four-speed torque converter automatic though, which is just over R2 000 more costly than the top-spec Go, however, the Go gets ABS and stability control, features which this ‘Start’ specification Picanto is missing. The question though is how the CVT performs, and the short answer is relatively well for a car in this segment, thanks in part to a higher power output of 57 kW and the same 104 N.m of torque from the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine. In typical CVT fashion, when pushing on, the car makes a rather unpleasant drone, however, with a more staid approach to throttle inputs, the car can make fuss-free progress, particularly in an urban scenario. Datsun claims a combined fuel consumption figure for the Go CVT of 5.0-litres/100km.


For first-time car buyers who insist on purchasing a new car, the CVT variants of the Go may just provide the basics of mobility. That being said, this is no longer a particularly cheap car, at over R180 000 for the CVT version versus the sub-R100 000 of five years ago. Until the results of a crash test on this updated model have been released, I cannot recommend this car to anyone. In the interim, my recommendation of a demo or used vehicle from a segment above still stands in place of the likes of a Datsun Go and a Renault Kwid.

Service plan and warranty

Datsun Go models come with a six-year/150 000km warranty and one year’s worth of subsidized insurance while a service plan is optional.


Go MID R159 100

Go LUX R170 200

Go CVT R184 200

Go+ MID R169 500

Go+ LUX R180 800

Go CVT R194 800


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