It’s no coincidence that Russia is the only market in the world where all three of Nissan’s brands are represented. Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun have all made their presence known over the past couple years, but Nissan and Datsun in particular appear to be getting extra emphasis. At this year’s Moscow Auto Show, otherwise known as Automechanika Moscow, the Japanese automaker showed Russian versions of their Sentra sedan and Pathfinder SUV, along with a brand-new product from Datsun.
Unfortunately, Nissan didn’t reveal any specific differences between the Russian and other global versions of their Sentra or Pathfinder, and without being there we have no way of finding the details for ourselves. So, as you continue reading you’re going to learn all about the only NEW car they showed – the Datsun mi-DO budget hatchback.
Introducing the Datsun mi-DO
In case it’s not obvious from the name, this is a companion car to the Datsun on-DO. The on-DO sedan was the first new debut for the revived Datsun brand, and is set to go on sale sometime next month. The mi-DO will likely go on sale at the beginning of 2015, although no specific launch date has been set.
Given that Datsun is a budget brand and Nissan wants to keep manufacturing costs to a minimum, it shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise that both the mi-DO and on-DO share a great deal of both their design and mechanics. Both cars sit on the same chassis with the same 97.5 inch wheelbase (2,476mm) and 66.9 inch width (1,700mm). However, the mi-DO’s overall body length is a couple inches shorter, and there’s no doubt that the hatchback body displays a more refined version of Datsun’s still-growing signature style, including the D-Cut hexagonal grille.
In addition to sharing the same chassis as the on-DO, the 2015 Datsun mi-DO will also share the same engine offering. It’ll be a 1.6L V8 engine that outputs 87hp. However, the hatchback will also be available with an optional automatic four-speed transmission in place of the typical five-speed manual.
Other standard features in the new Datsun mi-DO include dual front airbags, ABS, heated seats and door mirrors, which Nissan makes out to be a pretty big deal in Russia. Either way, we can’t fault them for being optimistic, even when they describe the new budget car as “a practical yet sporty five-door hatchback with a strong masculine appearance.”
All in all, we’re happy to see the Datsun brand coming back in force, and Nissan is too. With 25 dealerships already up and running – with 75 more on the way in the next couple years – Nissan and Datsun are well-primed to dominate the Russian market.