Tight turning from positive steering and a fairly wide stance make parking easy in town and offer some exuberant driving possibilities on country lanes.
There are four trim levels available for the Nissan Pixo: Visia, Acenta, n-tec and Tekna. The base, Visia comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox and is priced at £6,995 OTR. For that you get a rake-adjustable steering column, power steering, manual front windows and door mirrors, front and rear wipers, ISOFIX anchors on the rear seats, child locks, front airbags and ABS with EBD and Brake Assist.
Acenta models bear price tags of £7,745 for the manual and £8,655 for the 4-speed automatic. This level adds power for the front windows (the rear push open), the 50:50 rear seat split, side airbags, fog lamps and central locking with a 'blipper'.
The n-tec, which comes with the same drive options, is priced at £8,195 (man) and £9,105 (auto). This is where the manual air conditioning with pollen filter comes in but it is only the top-of-the-range, Nissan Pixo Tekna that has all of the above plus curtain airbags and ESP for £8,645 and £9,555 for the manual and automatic, respectively. There are some optional extras available as 'dealer-fits' one of these was the wind deflector set for the front windows. Complete with a stylish Pixo emblem, they add £55 to the OTR price.
Each and every Nissan Pixo has a 3-cylinder, petrol engine under the bonnet, as befits the economical city car image. In fact the Nissan Pixo is the first Nissan to carry the 'Pure Drive' badge, symbolising that it emits lass than 140g/km CO2 and offers low fuel consumption.
Buyers should not be put off by the fact that the engine has a capacity of 1.01-litres. This little unit, while a tad on the noisy side, is very impressive. The vital statistics don't show the fun that is to be had from this willing engine that produces just 68PS (50kW) at 6,000rpm and 90Nm of torque at 3,400rpm.
It takes 14 seconds for the manual version to complete the 0-62mph dash and the top speed is 96mph. For the automatic transmission, the relative figures are 17-seconds for the sprint and the maximum speed is 93mph.
The Nissan Pixo test car came with the manual gearbox, which has a very long first gear and nicely mapped ratios that make the most of the engine. The test car weighs in at 885kg, which helps with the fuel consumption and adds to the free-rolling feel of the car. Lively, dynamic and agility are words not often associated with small-engined cars but they sum up the Nissan Pixo's handling, perfectly.
Tight turning from positive steering and a fairly wide stance make parking easy in town and offer some exuberant driving possibilities on country lanes. The suspension is firm but predictable. That said, uneven surfaces can be a bit of an adventure. On the other hand, the Nissan Pixo will readily compete with motorway traffic and although it can be a little noisy, there is no sense of vulnerability sometimes associated with smaller cars.
And so to economy; the figures for the manual Nissan Pixo are an impressive 51.5mpg for the urban cycle, 74.3mpg for the extra-urban and 64.2mpg for the combined with emissions of 120g/km, well below the Pure Drive threshold of 140g/km. The automatic is a little thirstier at 42.2mpg (u), 62.8mph (e-u), 54.3mpg for the combined and CO2 emissions of 122g/km. It all goes to show that you can have your cake and eat it.16 November 2009
Nissan Pixo Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Nissan Pixo|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||14 Seconds|
|Top Speed||96 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||74.3 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||TBA|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 16/11/09)||£8,195|