Owned by Nissan Motors, Datsun is a subsidiary automotive brand that specializes in the production and sales of low cost, environment -friendly cars. Although the brand was dissolved by Nissan Motors in 1986, it was relaunched in 2013 with the release of the Datsun Go for Indian, Indonesian and South African markets. The brand has since become a staple for cars that not only provide a decent fuel economy with low emission, but also for their affordable price that has helped the brand penetrate these developing market. We have already seen the unveiling of the Datsun Redi-Go in India, but the manufacturers have already made it clear that it is not meant for the Indonesian buyers. Nevertheless, the Japanese automotive brand has announced the launch of their new low cost crossover, the Datsun Go Cross on the Indonesian soil.Since the Global automotive industry has already dubbed 2016 as “Year of SUVs”, Nissan’s subsidiary brand seems eager to launch their low cost compact SUV to compete with the likes of Honda BR-V and Suzuki Vitara. The sales for SUVs is currently the second highest after MUVs in Indonesia, and Datsun has already released their Go+ Panca to capture the booming MPV market. With the launch of the Go Cross, Datsun Motors will have three vehicles in three distinctive segments that enjoy a high demand from Indonesian buyers. The car is built on a similar platform as the Go+ Panca, which in turn is built on a modified Nissan V platform. Despite of having similar dimensions as the Datsun MPV, the Go Cross looks like a totally new model but does its best to keep up with the signature aesthetics that is common across Datsun built automobiles. Presented as a concept car at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, the Go Cross doesn’t fall short when it comes to having the intimidating looks of a mid-sized crossover. The stylized front fascia, alloy wheels, roof rails, and an extremely serious looking face with the sleek headlamps and fog lamps make it the formidable entry in the SUV segment.
Mileage and fuel economy are two of the main specialities of Datsun brand vehicles and the same has been achieved with the Go Cross. It is rumoured to feature the same 1.5-litre diesel engine offered with several Renault and Nissan cars along with a new 1.2-litre gasoline variant featured on the Go+ Panca. The Go+ with its petrol engine claims a mileage of 20 kilometres per litre in any type of driving conditions.
Although the manufacturers haven’t released any details about the new 1.5-litre diesel engine, it is reported to be the same dCi engine that is also used by Nissan and Renault brand cars. With its specialised electronically controlled fuel injection system, the 1.5-litre dCi boasts of its high fuel efficiency and can produce up to 110 hp and torque depending on the tuning. The 1.2-litre petrol is a familiar engine and produces around 67 hp @ 5000 rpm and 104 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm along with a decent mileage.
Although the particular segment of vehicles that Datsun motors deals in is not preferred for its speed, but with the powerful 1.5-litre diesel, it is sure to make some huge waves on the Indonesian roads. With the 1.2-litre petrol engine, the Go-Cross is able to reach 0-100 kilometres in 13.5 seconds with a maximum speed of 145 kilometres per hour.
Coming to the Go-Cross’ exteriors, they might feel quite similar to the Go+ MPV. But being a mid-sized crossover, the designers at Datsun motors have ensured that the buyers do not feel like they’re buying a restyled version of the MPV and have brought several significant changes to the Go-Cross’ exteriors. The most striking feature is indeed the highly intimidating face that looks totally awesome and masculine enough to go head-to-head with even the premium segment models such as the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Ecosport and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport. It features a signature ‘honeycomb’ front grille that looks aggressive thanks to the ‘twin-headlamps’. ORVMs are also one of the most noticeable feature of the vehicle as they have been trimmed to balance the buffed-up body design. The radiator cover has also been stylistically designed to make a specialized fog lamp casing that is a part of the Go-Cross’ front fascia. Dual tone body colour with silver/grey underclading work perfectly with the muscular looks of the car. The shoulder lines also flow smoothly from the sides without awkwardly popping out. If the Go-Cross’s face hasn’t been able to impress you much then the rear and side profiles will certainly feel much assuring and feel extremely elegant. The large sized black alloy wheels also provide a neat touch of sportiness to the SUV and can certainly give the Ford Ecosport a run for money. The rails on top not only provide a much needed ‘off-road’ aesthetic but is also perfect for long excursions into the wild.
The interiors of the Go-Cross might appear familiar if you have driven any Nissan vehicle, but have gone through some significant changes that make it like a new vehicle from the inside. Although it is essential that buyers do not expect a lot out of the humble little SUV as apart from the standard features such as air conditioning, infotainment system and power windows. As most customers might already know, Datsun brand cars are not known for the long list of features under their belt but for their affordable price and fuel economy. As the other Datsun models such as the Go and Go+ Panca share their simplistic interiors with the Nissan Micra, speculations are that the Go-Cross’ interiors will also be designed the same vein. Nevertheless, we will only be able to gather more details about Go-Cross’s interiors once it makes its debut appearance sometime in mid-2016.
The Datsun Go Cross being a mid-sized SUV will be available with a choice of two engine variants. The first will be the same 1.2-litre mill as featured on the Go+ Panca, but might undergo some tuning to complement the Go-Cross’ off-road capabilities. Although the engine hasn’t been yet tested for its performance in the SUV variant, it can deliver up to 67 bhp @ 5000 rpm. The engine’s strength , however, lies in its highly economical fuel consumption that will ensure that you won’t have to make too many fuel stops during your adventure trip. The rumoured 1.5-litre diesel has already powered some premium class automobiles such as Renault Duster and Mercedes-Benz A-Class. Coupled with the dCi fuel injection, it would certainly make a great combination with the mid-sized crossover. Not many details have yet been provided about the vehicle’s transmission, but it is highly likely that the Go-Cross will also feature a 5-speed manual gearbox as the Go+ Panca.
The concept version displayed a totally new set of wheels for the Go-Cross which are larger than the older cars and fit well with increased height of the vehicle. The black-toned alloy wheels also provide it with a decent touch of manliness and elegance to the vehicle, making the looks of the car highly appealing.
When you’re trying to make the most affordable car in a particular segment, occupant safety will certainly go for a toss as exemplified by the Datsun Go, which received some horrendous ratings in Crash test assessments (NCAP). Although several safety features were added to the Go+ MPV, this is definitely not the kind of vehicle that you can push your driver’s luck with. It will feature a power steering, ventilated front disc brakes and airbags on the higher trims. But the Japanese brand has also learnt from their past mistakes and the Go Cross might be offered with several additional safety features such as anti-lock braking system and extra set of SRS airbags for better safety.