Datsun is branching out into the crossover market with a purpose-built model for certain Asian markets. It appears to be a serious step up in safety spec from previous Datsuns that have seen the light of day. Should it come to SA?
The new model from Datsun is called the Cross and it's a chunky looking crossover with athletic plastic cladding on the exterior. Ground clearance is excellent at 200 mm and it's capable of seating 7 at a squeeze. Essentially you can think of it as a Datsun Go+ with a bit of raise in ride height.
This model appears to have lifted the safety levels to an acceptable level. Datsun claims that the Cross is fitted with ABS, traction control, stability control and dual front airbags. That's much better than anything Datsun sells in our local market.
The engine under the bonnet is still a 1.2-litre petrol unit capable of 58 kW and 104 Nm. It's available with both a manual or CVT gearbox.
The interior remains basic but functional, as you'd expect from a budget car manufacturer. Initially, the Cross has only been slated for certain Asian market but it could do well locally as the South African market loves a crossover and the entry-level 'lifestyle' segment appears to be on the rise.