Face Off: Datsun Go+ vs Maruti Ertiga

The MPV segment is fast becoming one of the most heavily populated segments of the Indian market. The incredibly successful Toyota Innova has slowly moved up the price bracket and as a result, manufacturers are swooping in with compact, inexpensive compact MPVs to fill the void. The latest to join the fray is the new all new Datsun Go+. The Japanese MPV will go toe to toe with much bigger names such as Honda, Maruti and Chevrolet. We pit the Go+ with the popular Ertiga and see how the new kid on the block fares.

Design:

Datsun Go+:

The Go+ is an extended version of the Go hatch. The front end sports a large honeycomb grille surrounded on either side by well designed headlights. The rear features well integrated tail lamps and a neat, uncluttered bumper design. The boot sports an interesting design element where the Datsun logo sits atop a crest. Although Nissan/Datsun has done an above average job with the Go+’s styling, the manufacturer has not made any attempts at covering up its cost cutting methods. Things such as the numerous panel gaps, loosely connected exhaust pipe showcase the extreme levels of compromise the Go+ had to be put through to keep its prices as low as possible.

 

datsun go plus front three quarter
The Datsun Go Plus

All in all, the Go+ is a good looking albeit unexceptional looking thing. The MPV will not stand out in a crowd.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Maruti Suzuki has always had issues with porting designs from one body style to another (Think first generation DZire). This time however, the manufacturer has done a good job with the design transplant. Although the Ertiga sports similar elements to the Swift, the design has adapted to better suit the MPV body style. The compact MPV sports a cutesy front end with no distinguishing traits. The rear features well integrated tail lights that sport a wrap-around effect. The Ertiga’s exterior too is very plain jane in character.

2014 maruti suzuki ertiga
Front view of the Suzuki Ertiga

Despite the very neutral styling of the both the Ertiga and Datsun Go+, cost cutting is blatantly evident in the latter giving the Ertiga an edge over the Japanese MPV.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Interior:

Datsun Go+:

The cost cutting continues on the inside as well with the Go+ completely missing panels in some places altogether. The lidless glovebox, lack of a proper music system and cheap plastics all hint at the primary goal of the Go+: to be a budget offering. However, for a driver, the Go+ is rather well equipped. Apart from the good engine, the Go+ comes with a digital tachometer as well as a distance to empty, average and current fuel consumption readouts. Extremely useful features lacking in its competition. The speedometer also has useful though crude markings for optimal gear shifts.

datsun go plus interior
The interior of the Go+

Datsun has made maximum use of the cabin’s space with a multitude of cubby holes for miscellaneous items. The front row seats feature the controversial single unit seats that allow for a child to sit between the driver and front passenger. Although Datsun maintains that this is a USP, in reality, this poses a major safety issue as there is no protection during the event of a crash.

The combination of cheap plastics and beige and gray colour scheme leaves much to be desired, However, when one keeps in mind that the Datsun GO+ has been designed to keep costs low, many of its shortcomings can be forgiven. Despite this, the lack of airbags, ABS or any other safety mechanism on any variant is a disappointment and only serves to strengthen the belief that manufacturers care more about market share than the safety of its customers.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

The Ertiga is a slightly more premium offering than the Datsun. Like the Go+, the Ertiga borrows heavily from the hatchback it is based on. The Maruti MPV’s cabin is a mixture of beige and grey. Unlike the Go+, the Ertiga comes with a fully loaded infotainment system complete with steering mounted controls for the driver. The MPV also features electrically adjustable ORVMs, power windows, and a conventional glove box.

Interior suzuki ertiga
Interior suzuki ertiga

The Ertiga offers a lot more than the pocket friendly Go+.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Under the Hood:

Datsun Go+:

The Go Plus is powered by a 1.2 L petrol engine that produces 67 bhp @ 5000 RPM and 104 Nm @ 4000 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual. Despite its large size, the Go Plus’ low weight allows the 1.2 L mill to deliver more than enough power for easy driving. The small engine and light frame means that the Go+ delivers an impressive 20.62 kmpl (ARAI).

Datsun does not currently offer the Go+ in diesel.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga:

Suzuki offers the Ertiga in petrol as well as diesel. The petrol powered variant houses a 1.4 L engine that produces 94 bhp @ 6000 RPM and 130 Nm @ 4000 RPM while the Fiat sourced 1.3 L diesel engine churns out 89 hp @4000 RPM and 200 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. Maruti Suzuki offers a CNG variant as well.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

Verdict

The Datsun Go Plus is a budget offering. As a result, the MPV makes severe compromises on various fronts. Though the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga is unquestionably the better car, the Ertiga is a better choice for more than just its features and design. The philosophy behind the Datsun Go+ is that of “cheap and best”, a philosophy widely followed by the Indian society. Citing lack of interest, the Japanese automaker has completely omitted basic safety features such as airbags and ABS. The former now being adopted as standard by a growing number of brands in India. Despite what many buyers believe, a car’s safety level is one of its prime aspects. Especially in our country. The recent NCAP tests and its horrifying results have showcased the kind of deathtraps our cars can be. While the apathetic nature of manufacturers and poor government regulations are mainly at fault, our outlook towards the entire situation is partly to blame as well.

If we as a community begin to understand the importance of safety and demand for better manufactured products, then the industry will slowly change its ways. Hopefully the automotive industry gains enough empathy to improve its own standards before our passive government finally wakes up.

Datsun Go + Way to Go

"Nissan Datsun Go +"

First came the Datsun Go, and now its time to buckle up for the Go Plus. Nissan owned Datsun recently unveiled the Go Plus MPV in India. The car shares the same platform as the Datsun Go and shares plenty of design cues.

The sweetest surprise lays in the pricing of Datsun cars. This MPV already has plenty of bookings in India, mainly for its spaciousness and price. Check out more below:

Go Plus:

The car is manufactured at the Nissan-Renault facility in India. This car is aimed at those families that look to buy a low cost car and yet accommodate plenty of people.

"Nissan Datsun Go +"
Image Courtesy: www.guplum.com

Engine and Performance:

The Go+ is a compact MPV and it has the DOHC based 1.2-liter 3-cylinder petrol engine inside. The engine produces 75 PS and 104 NM of torque. The same engine is found in the Nissan Micra, it has a displacing capacity of 1198 cc. The power is supplied to the front wheels through an advanced 5-speed manual transmission. The Go+ will have the same power and performance as found on the Go.

Pleasantly, the mileage of the Go+ is expected at 20 kmpl that beats all competitors in the MPV segment. The Go+ thrusts from 0-100kmph in just a matter of 15 seconds and can reach a top speed of 150 kmph.

Features:

Having the Go+ is definitely a Plus to a big family. The combination of comfort and security are both commendable. This reliable family lounge with wheels has various un-compromised features. Since affordability is also a key factor behind the low pricing of this vehicle, the company has resorted to keeping the interiors same as the Datsun Go. The Go+ has a length of 3995 mm and width of 1635 mm. The height is 1485 mm and the wheelbase measures 2450mm. This is a low cost family MPV, but it doesn’t seem all that cheap.

Exteriors:

MPV’s have a humongous looking body. But, trend and style play their parts on the curves and edges of the car. The Gp Plus has a rather decent looking exterior. With some fine touches and a unique appearance with roof dropping towards its back along with a strong shoulder line carried to the rear, the car looks elegant. The car has a headlight cluster, perforated radiator grille and thick chrome surround. There is an air-dam front bumper and air-ducts. Being the lengthy-types, this car looks quite stylish. The elegance continues towards the rear-side of the car with its body-colored bumper, prominent branding and chrome plated model logo. Overall, the exteriors of the car are quite appealing.

"Go Plus looks"
Image Courtesy: picasasongs.com

Interiors:

Once inside, you wouldn’t feel harnessed like you do in cheap cars. In fact, the car has a very nice feel inside too. The dashboard mounted gearshift and bench seat up front reminisce the Datsun Go’s Interiors. The seats of this car are quite wide and covered with premium fabric upholstery. It has a 3-spoke steering wheel too. It also has AC with central console placed on the dashboard. There is a power steering, power window and foldable second seat row option available too. The front row cabin of the car has plenty of leg and headroom space. No more cramming up like most people do in the budget friendly cars.

"Datsun Go Plus"
Image Courtesy: cars.sulekha.com
"Datsun Go Plus interior space"
Image Courtesy: www.motortrend.in

 

Competitors:

There are similar MPV’s driving various families in India. Maruti has its Ertiga that shares a similar shape and size than the Datsun Go+. The Ertiga has a 1373 cc engine that is much powerful than the Go Plus. Ertiga too has 7-seating capacity. The Ertiga base petrol model costs approximately Rs. 6 lakhs (showroom price) for the Petrol model and Rs. 7.5 lakhs for the Diesel model.

"Go Plus Competitors"
Image Courtesy: www.zigwheels.com

Honda’s Mobilio has a 1497 cc engine and a seating capacity of 7. The base E i-VTEC engine price Rs.6.7 lakhs onwards. The Diesel base model costs Rs. 8.2 lakhs.

Price:

The Datsun Go+ comes at an unbelievable starting price of Rs. 3.8 lakhs. It is definitely unbelievable. While competitors like Maruti and Honda offer 40000 kms or 2 years warranty, Datsun offers 2 years or unlimited warranty.

Bottom line:

Datsun has proved it again, the Go was a successful model and the Go Plus is proving to be quite a successful model against all odds. The car has great mileage but its engine is a little weaker than its competitors. That said, the Go+ carries an extremely aggressive price that can definitely take a big chunk out of competition. With such a low pricing for a huge MPV, the Go Plus sure has a promising future. The pre bookings are on and in the following months, you can definitely expect various Datsun cars whizzing by.