Of­fer­ing seven seats at a very af­ford­able price, is the GO+ re­ally as good as it seems?

Car (South Africa) - - TEST -

R134 900

B14,50 sec 50 kw/104 N.m 161 km/h E care­ful what you wish for, be­cause you just might get it.” This lit­tle zen-in­fused adage has a knack of com­ing true … just ask our editor. In last month’s is­sue, he be­moaned the in­creas­ing un­af­ford­abil­ity of new ve­hi­cles and called on man­u­fac­tur­ers to build cheaper, less tech­no­log­i­cally laden op­tions. And that’s ex­actly what ar­rived a few weeks later.

The Dat­sun GO+ is, of course, not an en­tirely un­fa­mil­iar ve­hi­cle – we tested its ve-door hatch­back sib­ling in our De­cem­ber 2014 is­sue. While in that test we ac­knowl­edged the GO’S at­tempt at af­ford­able mo­bil­ity and com­mended its plucky en­gine, the CAR team 6,24 L/100 km 123 g/km was highly crit­i­cal of its lack of safety fea­tures, namely airbags and, most cru­cially, ABS. It re­ceived a low score of 63/100. Does the larger GO+, then, of­fer any fea­tures or im­prove­ments that could con­vince us it de­serves a higher rat­ing?

Well, they are fun­da­men­tally the same car, with the same driv­e­train, chas­sis, wheel­base and in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­signs. The dif­fer­ence is a body that is 210 mm longer and 5 mm higher, free­ing up space in­side for a third row of seats. And the GO+ does come stan­dard with a driver’s side airbag (now an op­tion on the GO), but still no ABS...

In­side, the GO+ is iden­ti­cal in ex­e­cu­tion to the hatch; there are swathes of hard plas­tics and seats cov­ered in cheap fab­ric. This is ac­cept­able for a car at this price, though, and a lack of creaks and rat­tles was a plus.

There isn’t much spec be­yond an air-con, front elec­tric win­dows, a trip com­puter, fol­low-me-home head­lamps and a rather odd, ra­dio-less sound sys­tem. The lat­ter com­prises a smart­phone clamp, USB and

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