Best the enemy of the good? Datsun on-DO in unequal fight with conservatives

“Dat … He … What?” – to admit his “swallow” in the Japanese perelitsovke neighbor in the country, the last years driving on Lada Granta, flatly refused.

“We do not need this, I travel all my life on the Zhiguli” – the verdict of a potential buyer turned out to be disappointing. And no arguments “for” did not help.

Arguments gained a lot – here and the increased ground clearance, and a modified suspension, and the trunk is bigger. Recently, in the arsenal appeared “automatic”. A “finish off” was to price – with all the input data on-DO, and almost 10 000 rubles cheaper “Grants” in a similar configuration.

But no, the conservative Russian buyer does not need “bassurman” cars. And even if they are collected in AvtoVAZ, on one conveyor belt with the native Granta. “She does not look like a nonsense,” the neighbor said.

At first glance, it’s hard to find out in Datsun on-DO “Grant” – it’s been carefully done to change the appearance. Evaluation of the result is a matter of purely personal preferences. As for me, the car and already far from the standards of beauty spoiled completely. And there are many solidarity in this matter. But can design be a more weighty argument than practicality, especially when it comes to budget machines?

The only thing that “Datsun” really loses, if you do not omit the most reasonable points “does not look like that” and “not that name plate” is the lack of diversity. At the same Granta, you can choose the most preferable combination of two motors and three gearboxes, and the versions of the equipment can not be counted on the fingers. On-DO has a non-alternative eight-valve motor, three complete sets with small variations, and only recently a version with two pedals appeared.

So what’s up with the new “automatic”? The unit, of course, is new only in the sense of appearing on on-DO. This Jatco JF414e development in 2010, the same as that installed on the Granta. In addition to Lada, it can be found on compact Nissan March and other models for the Chinese market. “Automatic” is considered quite reliable: for years of operation, no problematic areas have been found.

Regarding the VAZ model, the box was reconfigured, as in Granta it is combined with a 16-valve 98-horsepower engine, and in on-DO – with an eight-valve 87-strong. And the settings worked out as well as possible – switching is much smoother than on the “Grant”. Yes, there is smoother, if you do not try to tear from the traffic lights, they are simply invisible. So much so that an involuntary thought comes to the head – but did the engineers deceive, putting the variator in the test car instead of the promised “machine” … Maybe they are sitting now and chuckling at the surprised journalists?

But no, there was no catch, no miracles either. For the comfort of switching had to pay the dynamics: the acceleration time to 100 kilometers per hour increased by 0.6 seconds. Part of the losses are accounted for by a less powerful motor. Although what kind of loss, to talk about a fraction of a second, when it comes to machines with overclocking indicators from 13 seconds and above, it’s just ridiculous.

Work “machine” was nicer, but the switch lever, which is so annoying on the “Grant”, remained unchanged. With the same absurd, similar to the tool of the Neanderthal man, the knob. And completely incomprehensible steps – get into the “drive” without looking at the box, it’s simply impossible.

Yes, and the rest of the salon with nothing you do not confuse – if the outside features Granta in the “Datsun” are not visible, then inside the “breed” is recognized unmistakably. Something tried to improve: the seat filler was changed, the upholstery quality was improved – now it does not collect as cheap covers. But the changes are far from cardinal, so the interior is still driving into depression. Fifty shades of gray and everything is collected here. Even decorative inserts, designed to “bring beauty” – and those gray.

But equipment will not complain – in our average configuration Trust already there is a heating of everything, which is possible, right up to the windshield. By the way, in “Grants” this option is only available in “luxury” bundles.

It was possible to check the heating of the glass in action after the icy rain-it fried as it should, the consequences were eliminated in a minute, while the other motorists vainly tore off the half-centimeter crust from the machines. Heated seats are also made as if for the regions of the Far North – five minutes after turning on the chair turns into a hot pan. And, of course, for the summer season there is air conditioning – in general, a full set, which can be expected in a budget car.

The feeling behind the wheel is completely different. Where did the “Grant” slackness, which caused the car to float away in the corners, and the driver with the passengers to nod their heads on the hummocks and clatter their teeth on the pits during suspension of the suspension? But what difference does it make if a car looks better? On a cheap car you have to drive, not admire it, it’s not Lamborghini. Such results have given the replacement of shock absorbers from oil to gas-filled, and with them springs. In addition, the rear stabilizer of lateral stability is reinforced. It seems that nothing has been done, but the result exceeds all expectations. In the management plan, the claims remain only to the empty electric booster and to the absence of a pronounced zero steering position. Here, alas, nothing has changed.

Of course, the “Grant” Datsun on-DO has ceased to be just in sight. Improved and rebuilt, with a Japanese nameplate, but all the same VAZ model. Why, in this scenario, the more expensive Granta is consistently in the lead in sales, and the pseudo-Japanese, which is better and cheaper – among the outsiders of the market? Is the whole problem in the controversial design and lack of bundles?

But no, it’s different. It turns out that many potential buyers of state employees are really so conservative that they are ready to overpay for the nameplate Lada. Have lived. Fanatical by his “Grant” neighbor to all the exhaustive arguments, said that “it” still does not buy, whether it is at least twice as cheap. Because “not nashenskoe.” And someone and does not know anything about the brand present in Russia since 2014. Questions from the series: “What kind of car is this? Chinese?” Sounded more than once and not two in just a week of the test.

Sofya Kleimenova

Photo: author and company Datsun

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