Nissan Pixo Review


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Nissan India started their operations silently with the launch of the X-trail. This car wasn’t a big commercial success but many of the hotels like the Leela took this car in their fleet and the customers really appreciated this Big Nissan soft roader for its interior and plush ride quality. The moment you tell them its price, they start nodding their heads. The problem with the X-trail is that it has a high price tag, been a CBU. The Teana is one of the most successful cars in Nissan’s line up across the world however you rarely see on one the roads except if you live near some big hotel. Chances are more likely that the Teana would also be part of a fleet car. Nissan has already set up their facilities in Chennai and have set up another in the capital of India, New Delhi. This means more of localization and hence less prices for their cars. Not that the Teana and X-trail would be cheap soon but the other new launches from Nissan are expected to be priced lower than competitors. One such car is the Nissan Pixo.

Looks

The Nissan Pixo is built by Nissan in collaboration with Suzuki. The platform for the Pixo is the Maruti Suzuki A-star. The Nissan Pixo in India shares the same look with the A-star however to give it a distinct identity of its own, Nissan have changed the grill, put up their logo and made up some subtle changes to differentiate the two cars. The Nissan Pixo is more of Chevy Spark like in its look than the A-star. There are two set of horizontal rows like the Nissan X-trail with slated grills and bridging the gap is the Nissan logo. The head lamps are not of the pop up types like the A-star but more of a wrap around types. Two prominent bulges arise from the center of the windscreen and culminate at the end of the bonnet. Just below the head lamps is a rubber cladding that gives it a sort of cheap look but protects the bumper from scratches. The air dam is wider like the that of the A-star. There are two recess in the bumper which house the fog lamps.

From the side profile, there are no differences between the A-star, Hyundai I10 and now the Nissan Pixo. The Pixo uses body colored outside rear view mirrors mounted on top of a black stalk. A typical running bulge protrudes from the flared wheel arches and end at the rear door. Unfortunately, unlike the A-star, the Pixo uses smaller wheels and the wheel arches show how under tyred the car is. The car, though does have a 4 wheels at the four corners stance and this helps in giving it a planted feel look.

The rear is the same as the Maruti A-star. The tail lamps as well as the reverse lights are all housed in the same pod and are slightly bulging than that of the A-star. The same black cladding which covers the front bumper is also present on the rear and the creases arising out of it blend cleanly into the slot for the number plate. A lone wiper does duties at the rear and the stop lamp is mounted atop the roof. There is no rear spoiler and we strongly feel that one wouldn’t have done any harm to the car’s looks.

Interiors of the Nissan Pixo

The Nissan Pixo in India is a 5 door hatchback which seats 4 unlike the Maruti Suzuki A-star which claims to seat 5. It sports the same 3 spoke steering wheel and the big round speedometer and a digital fascia telling you about the fuel economy and other know hows. It sadly doesn’t have a pop up tachometer like the A-star and speaking of tachometer, it doesn’t have one at all. The steering wheel is devoid of audio controls and looks bare basic. The interiors look more up market than the Maruti and also have aluminium inserts all around. The dash board has been scooped to provide for storage knip knacks. There is no climate control and the AC vents are of the circular types.

The Pixo has two individual seats at the rear which are joint. Seating three shouldn’t be a problem as the A-star promises to do that however Nissan are keen to market the Pixo as a 4 seater. This seems to be a good idea as the A-star was criticized for lack of its rear seat space. Somehow a bit more space is available in the Pixo than the A-star. The seats feature a unique 50:50 split seating arrangement. The boot space is though the same as the A-star at 129 liters.

There would be two variants of the Nissan Pixo in India. They would be the Visia and Acenta. The Visia would be the base one. One can expect electronic Power steering, dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes as standard on the Visia while power goodies,side airbags, keyless entry and front fog lamps would be available on the Acenta version.

Handling and ride quality of the Nissan Pixo

Since we couldn’t get our hands on one of the cars for a ride, we wouldn’t be able to comment on its ride and handling. However since the platform is the same as the A-star,expect it to give safe and predictable handling and sort of choppy ride. Been a Nissan, we are sure that they would amend the ride quality before launching it.

Braking is handled by discs at the front and drums at the rear. An advanced 4 channel ABS, while been standard helps in retardation services. Expect ESP to be also on the options list. Safety is taken care by dual air bags and even side one on the higher Acenta version. The A-star has a good energy absorbing platform and so expect the same to be on the Pixo.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency of the Nissan Pixo

The engine is the same as the A-star and would be the first application of the K series engine outside the Suzuki bastion. The 998 cc 3 cylinder 12 valve K series engine will do duties in the Nissan Pixo. It will produce 65 Bhp at 6,300 rpm and about 92 Nm of peak torque at 3,600 rpm. The Pixo is also likely to be peppy to drive like the A-star however it depends on the gearing as well as the final kerb weight of the car. It is rumored that Nissan will put in the gear box of the Micra and the kerb weight would be lower than that of the A-star or similar to it.

The Pixo will be slightly more fuel efficient than the A-star. It will utilize a 5 speed gear box and a 4 speed automatic would also be on offer as an option. Expect the Pixo to give around 19 kmpl in the city and 26 on the highway.

Verdict

The Pixo marks Nissan’s entry into the burgeoning A segment. It will compete against the Chevy Spark, Maruti Alto, Maruti A-star, Hyundai I10 and Hyundai Santro Xing. Since most of the components are shared between the A-star and Pixo, it is likely that the Pixo would have a killer pricing and would make the less than obvious queues at the Nissan show rooms longer. This would be launched before its all important Ultra Low Car developed in conjunction with Bajaj and Renault. The Nissan Pixo would be priced starting around Rs.3.2 lakhs. It is going to be launched around March 2011.

Nissan Pixo specifications{estimates}

Engine: Petrol
Valves: 12 valves
Cylinders: 3 cylinders
Bore x stroke: 72 x 80.5 mm
Displacement: 998 cc
Compression ratio: 10:1
Fuel supply: Multi Point Injection
Ignition system: Electronic
Power (max.): 65 Bhp at 6,300 rpm
Torque (max.): 92 Nm of peak torque at 3,600 rpm

Weights and exterior dimensions

Kerb weight: 855-920 kg
Overall length: 3564 mm
Overall width: 1855 mm
Overall height: 1480 mm
Wheelbase: 2460 mm
Tyre size: 155/65R14

Steering: Electronic power assisted rack and pinion steering.
Braking: Front discs and rear drums with standard 4 channel ABS (ESP optional)
Suspension: MacPherson front struts. Rear isolated trailing link with coil spring

Estimated pricing of the Nissan Pixo is expected to start from Rs.3.20 lakhs for the base Visia and upto Rs.4.0 lakhs to the top of the line Acenta. The automatic option would only be available on the Acenta Version and it would approximately be a Rs.50,000 more option.

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