In a previous article, I mentioned the fond memories I have of the Datsun brand as a child. Having now made a remarkable comeback in the market, Datsun’s impressive and innovation offerings are making waves in the industry and have been a pleasure for me to explore. Having recently reviewed the Datsun GO, I am excited to explore the Datsun Go+ 7-Seater.
The AutoCity Datsun Nigel Dealership is located in Kerk Street, Nigel, and has been providing high quality vehicles and services to the public and has built an excellent reputation in the last while. As General Manager of the AutoCity group, Johann van Heerden believes that the public are learning that big cities are not the only place to find a wide variety of vehicles at the right price. Instead, good deals and excellent products and services are now available locally in Nigel too, effectively bringing the big city to the local community. Believing that Datsun can stand its ground against any competing brand on the market, Johann feels that the proof of the pudding is in the number of vehicles sold, which is a clear indication of Datsun’s great value for money.
Both the AutoCity Nissan Nigel and Datsun Nigel Dealerships are managed by Dealer Principal Chris Strydom. Having come into the industry fourteen years ago from a Financial background, Chris has now been with this Dealership for two years. Similar to my experience of Datsun in my childhood, Chris also has a long history of being linked to the brand. As a proud representative of both Nissan and Datsun locally, Chris is an advocate for the affordable, high quality products these brands provide.
Chris’ philosophy on customer service is simple: the customer comes first, and he – as the Dealer Principal – won’t be happy, until the client is happy. Teaching this to his team as well, Chris values the concept of working hard together to create success, and this has clearly paid off; this Dealership logged a record year in 2017, doubling its sales from very tenuous position two years prior. Now with a New and Used Car department, AutoCity Datsun Nigel also proudly hosts a very efficient and attentive sales team.
Introducing me to Sales Manager De Wet Pretorius, Chris informs me that it is De Wet’s hard work and excellent leadership that is responsible for the sterling reputation of this sales team. With a whopping 24 years of experience in the industry, De Wet attributes his dedication to a passion for dealing with people. He candidly notes that the joy he feels when a customer is happy and excited at the purchase of their new vehicle is what keeps him going every day. Coupled with a deep understanding of the client’s unique needs, De Wet feels strongly that Datsun is a car for the people, and happily notes that major safety improvements have been made to the Datsun vehicles specifically in recent months. De Wet makes an important statement regarding his very special AutoCity sales team: made up of a perfect mix of smart and socially adept individuals, with a variety of backgrounds, who come from the local community, his sales team members are often requested by name (which is, in itself, an indication of this team’s success).
André Fouché is one of the Sales Consultants/Representatives who has been in motoring for 8 years and has found his “happy place” in this AutoCity Dealership. His drive relates to seeing customers coming into the dealership and leaving with a smile on their face. With a grin he notes that he feels alive in the Sales department, thanks to the thrill and excitement of working with unique individuals who change on a daily basis. With a firm belief in honesty and transparency when it comes to his customers, André feels that it is truly important for people to know that Datsun is now a new and innovative concept, and not simply a reproduction of the Datsun’s of old. Although still capitalising on the reliability and affordability of the Datsun legacy, the Datsun’s of today are brand new from the ground up.
The Datsun Go+ 7-seater is a unique concept to me: a compact vehicle that seats 7 and is penned as a Multi-Purpose Vehicle. I’m pleasantly surprised to say the least. Designed to provide a safe and comfortable way of transporting bigger families (or just for families that need a bit more space) and ideal for business, transport companies and the like, this 7-seater is innovative and affordable rolled into one. With fundamentally the same build as the Datsun GO, the Go+ 7-Seater has the same drivetrain, chassis and body design as it’s hatchback sibling. Although having the same compact, modern and robust look, the Go+ 7-Seater is 210 mm longer and 5mm higher, allowing for the addition of a third row of seats in the back. The boot is surprisingly spacious given all that is packed into this little powerhouse, and although the second and third row would be a tight fit for any adult, it would be adequate for smaller children and thus would make an ideal family carrier.
The interior is identical to the GO – simplicity is key and clean, clear lines lead to an ergonomically-designed dashboard that is uncluttered and enhanced with silver accents. Finishes are clean and neat as well, and I note a lot of effort has been put into making the cockpit look and feel elegant, even with cloth upholstery. On-board technology and connectivity into the design comes in the form of an on-board docking station for your smartphone and smart extra features such as the “follow me home” system that provides lighting for you as you exit the vehicle and walk away. Although a touch-screen and Bluetooth connectivity are not included, for this price range (and the features available that still enable to you connect your audio device for music) this is sufficient for the most part. Intelligent wipers and long-range headlamps, as well as aircon are included, and a Driver’s side airbag comes standard as well. Additional airbags can be added on, but I note the limit on further safety features is somewhat of a downer in this vehicle as well as the GO.
The Go+ 7-Seater has a 1.2 litre, three-cylinder engine that is – to be honest – quite lovely and exceeded my expectations. Nippy, responsive and providing adequate power (50 kW and 104 nM torque), the Go+ is also tipped to be extremely fuel efficient for it’s class. At 5.2 litres per 100 kilometres, the Go+ is unbelievably light on petrol, as well as producing low emissions, and would make a fantastic, frugal acquisition to any business. I can see this vehicle as an ideal Uber-type drive, that would be popular with the younger generation on a night out. I find myself quite impressed with the concept and design of this practical offering from Datsun.
Back at the Dealership, I am delighted to hear that there are a few specials running at the moment. With low starting prices on this 7-seater vehicle, it is no wonder these are flying off the showroom floor. For more information on this Dealership and their great pricing, please click on AutoCity group
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson