The reborn brand of the Japanese car company Datsun, which is owned by Nissan, is now focused on producing affordable cars. The debut for the company was the new affordable sedan Datsun on-DO, designed specifically for Russian consumers.
The novelty was designed on the platform of Lada Kalina 2, but the design was carried out by Nissan specialists. They decided to borrow the bodywork from the Russian car Lada Grant. Borrowed and power units, which, for natural reasons, have undergone modifications. The whole model range is Datsun.
Based on the company’s plans, the company planned to create a network of car dealerships for vehicle sales, and it will be possible to maintain the cars in Nissan’s technical centers. Datsun is one of the niches of economy class cars. Proceeding from his position, he can move in this category of Russian and Chinese manufacturer, and in addition, even used cars bought in European countries.
It is not clear why the Russian car giant decided to produce a direct competitor Granta and Kalina during the decline in sales of their own cars. Most likely, there is a sense in the behavior of AvtoVAZ, and even a slight decrease in profits from the sale of their cars can be compensated in another way.
History of creation
This is not the first time that the Japanese company Nissan is looking at the huge Russian automotive market. It is for this very direction that we decided to revive the Datsun trademark. But then the logical question arises – for what? This decision can be explained quite logically – there is a big niche between Almera Nissan and Granta and Kalina VAZovskie, which nobody occupies. Therefore, the model was designed to cover this price segment.
Many Russian motorists have funds to buy much better cars than Russian ones, but they are not enough to buy a Japanese vehicle. The sedan itself is assembled on one of the conveyors in Togliatti, where components of its own production are used. But it does not do without imported spare parts. Based on such a successful start of official sales, the company decided to increase production. Taking all this into account, the production of many units, units and parts will eventually be mastered at Russian enterprises.
As already mentioned, the car is similar to Lada Kalina 2 not only in technical aspects, but also in visual parameters – if you look very quickly, you can even confuse them. It is logical to conclude that thanks to the use of more modern light-optics, a different configuration of wings, bumpers with bright aerodynamic elements and other new details, Lada
Kalina is noticeably inferior to the exterior design, because Datsun on-DO looks more serious and stylish, even compared to the vase Grant. In order to improve the external attractiveness of the car, the dimensions were artificially increased with the help of rear overhang by 80 mm. The bow of the body is decorated with a large trapezoidal grille with a wide chrome frame and filigree mesh with large cells.
Also noteworthy are the small, strict headlamps, the embossed hood with punched edges, the modest bumper trimmed at the bottom and complemented with auxiliary fog lamp holes, and the large, streamlined rear-view mirrors. The Datsun on-DO side bodywork demonstrates its unique wings and really immodest dimensions of the car’s buttocks.
Semblance to Grant
On the new sedan you can see already familiar on the car “Grant” lines along with the contours and style, but most of them are more expressive and modern. The stern of a compact sedan is not deprived of charm and attractiveness. Unique louvre lights, large lid lid lid, which provides comfortable access to the trunk and, finally, the fried rear bumper.
The Japanese managed to make neat and stylish new elements, as well as to modernize them and give them a solidity. The model looks more pleasant than the domestic direct competitor, which allows him to win this competition, winning the attention of car enthusiasts from Russia, and not only. Despite the fact that the appearance of the vehicle is quite budget-priced, but with all this, the sedan looks quite attractive, which can not be fully said about the domestic rival.
The new Japanese salon is designed on the platform of the interior of Lada Granta and Lada Kalina, however, it differs greatly from them. It is felt almost everywhere – the central console, the dashboard and so on. However, the steering wheel, seats and design of door cards moved the Japanese from Lada. Torpedo looks pretty good. What has been achieved with the help of a lot of volume and waves that flow smoothly along the top of the panel.
The dashboard has the usual layout and display of the board computer, however, the finish “under the chrome” makes the devices more solid and presentable. Nozzles of the ventilation system, located on the side of the torpedo, saved its shape and location, as in the Russian “brother”, but the central deflectors got a little different shape. The centrally located console has the correct, ergonomically designed shape with the audio and climate control units on it.
All the keys and pens on it are comfortable, you quickly get used to everything – everything is intuitive and readable. Speaking about the size of the Japanese sedan interior, it remained the same as the Lada Granta. According to the manufacturers, the salon is designed for 5 people. In fact, only two people will be able to sit comfortably in the back, and the third seat is not designed for long trips.
In addition to the above mentioned equipment designed to increase the level of comfort, Datsun on-DO still has an electric mirror drive with heating function. Despite the large luggage compartment, it can be further enlarged by folding the rear seats if necessary, which will increase the free space by more than 2 times.
Improve vs Granta
Manufacturers also assured that the noise and sound insulation of the interior has been radically improved, the calibration of springs along with shock absorbers and the technical properties of the suspension itself have been changed. Therefore, inside the Japanese car is better, more comfortable than in Russian-made cars. Speaking about the salon, the design staff of the Japanese company tried to combine Japanese asceticism with the breadth of the Russian soul.
Everything begins with the appearance and ends with modern materials – it is significantly different from the domestic version, and for the better. It is not for nothing that many people call the salon good. If you take the individual elements, they are well suited to fit together, and they are perfectly fixed. Other advantage is the massive luggage compartment, the volume of which is about 530 liters.
But there are moments that eloquently indicate that this is still a budget model – the seat has not received adjustment in height, and the range of adjustment is not so large. Completely comfortable to settle down behind a wheel will not give the limited functionality of the car. Besides, there are no options and armrest for seats installed in the rear part of Japanese sedan.
The engine on the Datsun on-DO is equipped with a four-cylinder gasoline VAZ 1.6 liters in volume. The power of this “heart” develops up to 82 horsepower. This atmosphere has four cylinders in a row and a lightweight connecting rod and piston group. The power unit has a system of distributed fuel injection with electrical control. The engine fully meets Euro-4 standards.
Despite VAZ’s origin, the engine was able to be seriously improved, and the modernization was carried out by Japanese engineers. The engine operates on high-octane gasoline AI-95. As with the domestic version, there is a fuel injection system here. The power unit is equipped with moving parts made of new alloys with improved weight characteristics. Thanks to this, it was possible to increase the power together with the torque while saving the working volume.
The installed manual gearbox was equipped with an Atsumitec cable drive and a Shaeffler shift fork (Germany). It is planned to install a dry single disc clutch. As a separate option, a 4-range automatic gearbox from Jatco can be installed.
The mechanical box allows the sedan to reach the first hundred in 12.9 seconds, and its maximum speed is set at 165 kilometers per hour. If to speak about “automatic” box, it loses to “mechanics” 1,4 seconds in acceleration up to 100 km/h, however, exceeds in the maximum speed mode on 1 km/h. According to the passport for every 100 km fuel consumption Datsun in a mixed cycle of 7.4-7.7 liters of fuel (depending on the version of the car).
In order to adapt the car to the poor roads, new gas springs and vacuum brakes were developed and subsequently installed. In addition, the ground clearance has been increased to 185 mm. When loaded, it is slightly smaller – 168 mm.
Datsun on-DO got an independent suspension with McPherson racks in front and a semi-independent torsion beam on the rear axle. The suspension was reconfigured, some silentblocks were replaced by more durable ones, but, in general, this is already a familiar VAZ solution with its advantages and disadvantages.
The Japanese sedan is easy to operate, thanks to the electric power steering, which is provided even as standard.
The front wheels are equipped with ventilated disc brakes, and the rear wheels are equipped with simple drum brakes, which is typical for VAZ trucks. Manual brake is mechanical. It is double-circuit with cross-distribution of forces. Feedback from Datsun he-DO has already managed to collect quite good and it is generally well deserved. The machine is made of high quality that disposes to it.
As a result, the Datsun on-DO four-door sedan is 4,337 mm long, 1,700 mm wide and 1,500 mm high. The wheelbase is 2,476 mm. The height of the ground clearance is increased to 185 mm, which will allow you to drive confidently even on a broken country road.
And with a fully loaded car, with five people, 50 kilograms in the luggage compartment, the clearance will be only 168 mm, which is very good, given the quality of our roads.
Access is already standard with a front airbag for the driver. The medium version has a pair of airbags, and the top version includes side airbags. The Japanese version of the Lada is also available for safety reasons:
- Safety belts;
- Belt tensioners;
- Belt stops;
- Electronic stability control (tracks the steering angle of the steering wheel compared to the actual heading of the machine, if necessary, slowing down the individual wheels).
The easiest equipment for the Japanese Datsun he-DO sedan is equipped with:
- BAS (emergency braking assistance function);
- ABS (anti-locking system that prevents wheels from locking during braking);
- Driver’s Airbag.
If we talk about Trust and Dream versions, they are equipped with side and passenger airbags. Moreover, the models come with electronic stability control (ESC). The rather humane pricing policy of the Japanese sedan does not affect the quality of passive and active safety of the vehicle.
Theoretical crash test
To date, no Datsun on-DO crash tests have been conducted. However, we have tested the safety of the Lada Granta, which, as we mentioned earlier, is a prototype of the Japanese car. The debut inspection was conducted by Czech specialists at the TUV SUD laboratory, and the next one was conducted by Auto Review magazine in 2012.
During the research, the Russian car was able to demonstrate itself properly and achieved a result of 2 stars and 8.4 points. According to Grant’s results, she even bypassed Kalin, which means that the Datsun on-DO hatchback also lost its points.
The Japanese representatives were very interested in the Lada Grant crash-test, because at that time they had only plans to create a vehicle based on Lada. After a while, Takata specialists started to develop airbags and seat belts, which once again makes it possible to verify the advantage of the Japanese in the theoretical crash-test over Lada Grant.
Experts from the Japanese company Nissan said that since Logan was able to get 3 stars on the security scale (9.6 points), Datsun on-DO will get no less rating. The test itself was carried out using the frontal displacement collision method. As a result of the impact, the collision axis passed the powertrain and headed towards the driver’s seat. As for the front and rear doors on the left side of the vehicle, they were opened by a powerful collision force.
The door frame deformed in front of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to lose its mark. Such a malfunction is defined as a loss of integrity and a decrease in safety according to EuroNCAP standards. Speaking of the steering column, it is worth saying that it has shifted inside the car by half a meter and deviated up by 68 millimeters. The shift occurred after the airbags were triggered. The cabin capsule was able to preserve the structural integrity, only the front post was damaged, which concave by 70 millimeters. Such a deviation is the norm and indicates the acceptable strength of the body.
The dummy head was not hit against the steering wheel and the front panel due to the airbag, which was able to be triggered in time. However, there are also flaws with such a response. The dummy was thrown on the side post, resulting in a blow that would actually cause a concussion or skull injury. Very unusual, however, the standardization of the European company does not record or take into account such side effects during the calculation of the results.
The clutch and brake pedals were shifted 90 and 120 millimeters inside the vehicle. Based on this displacement, they will not cause any damage to the legs. The floor of the car was not very deformed, and the chairs and interior parts were not moved. As a result, the direct relative of the Japanese sedan, Lada Grant, scored 8.4 points out of 16 maximum possible. Vehicles such as Fiat Albea, Chevrolet Lanos and Hyundai Solaris received similar scores. Theoretically, Datsun he-DO is located at a similar level of safety to these vehicles.
Complete sets and prices
The production of Datsun he-DO was established at the Volga Automobile Plant in Togliatti, and the machines were launched in the summer of 2014. The new Japanese 2016 Access sedan will be built with $6 723 as standard.
More advanced equipment Trust and Dream will start from the mark of $7 817 respectively. The minimum equipment includes a driver’s airbag, electric power steering, ABS, EBD, emergency brake booster, adjustable steering height, heated front seats, folding backrest of the rear seat.
The medium equipment will be complemented by two front airbags, fog lights, electrically driven side mirrors and a heating function, an on-board computer and a central locking system.
Optional climate control, Bluetooth enabled multimedia system and four speakers are available. The top-of-the-range Dream features an audio system with video content and climate control, as well as rear power windows and 15-inch light alloy discs, even in the basic version.
In addition to the existing system, you can buy a stabilization system, several side cushions, light and rain sensors, rear parktronic and a basic navigation system with a color screen of 7 inches.
Pluses and minuses
- Pleasant appearance;
- Adapted to Russian conditions;
- Approved base price;
- Large baggage compartment;
- Corrected the deficiencies that were present in Granta;
- Good ground clearance;
- Approved security level.
- Cost-quality ratio;
- Climate control (the “Auto” mode appears);
- Seat heating option is already in basic configuration;
- Nice oven operation;
- Dynamic acceleration;
- Economical fuel consumption
- Sound insulation level;
- Good basic equipment;
- Availability of air recirculation;
- Approved quality level of body and cabin fittings;
- Massive rear-view side mirrors;
- Nice dashboard;
- Service is carried out at Nissan stations;
- Electric power steering;
- Modernized powertrain and some other technical units.
Cons of a car
- Only one power pack is available for selection;
- Design for amateur;
- Back sofa has little free space;
- weak powertrain.
- Gearbox operation noise;
- Glasses are not fully lowered;
- Unable signal (horn);
- Magnitol can only function during the ignition on;
- Unpleasant voice of “turners”;
- Small glove box;
- Weak wiper design is weak;
- Fuel consumption is higher than declared by the manufacturer;
- Cost service;
- Insufficient adjustment of the driver’s seat;
- Plastic used to finish the front panel.
The majority of car enthusiasts are mostly positive about Japanese cars. Perhaps the key role here is played by the “foreign car” factor. Feedback from drivers who already have experience of driving a Datsun on-door, shows that they find the sedan interesting, but at the same time strange.
The running gear works well, the handling is excellent, steering wheel control is quite smooth, the interior is not exquisite, but comfortable. There is a function of seat heating, glass, a very comfortable board computer. It is necessary to tell about spacious luggage compartment. Among the drawbacks we can mention sometimes appearing problem with reverse gear, Russian assembly, not good noise insulation of the interior, weak power unit, wipers, sometimes taps the panel.
If the choice is between buying Lada Granta and Datsun on-DO, many drivers advise to choose the Japanese variant, despite the Russian assembly and a lot similar to the domestic sedan.
We sum up
To conclude this article, I would like to say that this car is much better than the Russian model Lada. And this is not only about its appearance, which by the way has become more pleasant and memorable, and this applies to the technical characteristics, level of equipment and safety. Of course, the engine is left from his “brother”, hence the lack of power. It is clear that at overtaking and driving in the mountain, the driver will not be able to feel confident enough already.
But all the disadvantages are covered by a large luggage compartment and good ground clearance, allowing to overcome unevenness on the road, even being loaded. A good level of equipment and safety will make you feel more comfortable in this car. It turns out that the Japanese have managed to improve what has already been released by Russian car specialists, eliminating the previous shortcomings.
At the same time, the car is not too expensive, and the service takes place at Nissan service stations. Hence, the lack of service itself is very expensive, so the cheapness is a double-edged stick. Despite the great resemblance to the domestic vehicle, the model, although it has not passed official crash-tests, will undoubtedly be able to show itself much better than Lada.
It is clear that Japanese specialists managed to create a good sedan for our conditions and roads. And it can be easily explained, as the Russian automobile market cannot be called small. Based on the number of sales, we can say that the future of the automobile company Datsun has, and quite promising.
We advise you to read the article: History of Datsun