Datsun reveals new seven-seat wagon
It may be a far cry from the 1600 SSS of beloved memory, but this (for now at least) is the flagship of the all-new 2014 Datsun range. The five-plus-two seater Go+ MPV made its world debut on 17 September in Jakarta, Indonesia, where Nissan is hoping to create a new market niche with it, as the only three-row people-carrier in its price bracket.
It's based on the same platform as the more conventional five-seater Go hatchback, which will be coming to South Africa in the second half of 2014 at a target price of less than R100 000. If Nissan can hold that sort of pricing on the seven-seater it will indeed create its own market niche - but don't hold your breath.
The lightweight Go+ is quite small for a seven-seater at 3995mm long overall on a 2450mm wheelbase, 1635mm wide and 1485mm high, but big on versatility as its third row of seats can fold to create a family five-seater with a spacious cargo bay.
DON’T EXPECT A GREYHOUND
It's also surprisingly well-equipped; Nissan makes the point that it is the only vehicle in its price bracket with a built-in docking station for a smartphone.
It has a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine driving the front wheels through a five-speed manual gearbox that's “tuned for fuel efficiency and good acceleration while delivering agility on congested roads”, according to Nissan, which means it will probably be a bit buzzy on the open road - but then, for less than six figures you can't expect a Greyhound bus.
Nissan SA's 'Datsun guy' Des Skinner is in Jakarta for the Go+ launch as you read this, but no decisions have yet been made in respect of a South African release; all Nissan SA would say was that the local Datsun range would be expanded beyond the already-confirmed Go hatch at a later stage.
As soon as we hear anything more definite, so will you.