Nissan Pixo review
The Nissan Pixo is one of the cheapest cars on the road - unfortunately it feels like it, too
If you're looking for a cheap new car then you won't find many cheaper than the Nissan Pixo. It starts from around £7,000 but that rock-bottom price buys you very few frills. The styling and cabin are relatively bland, the driving and performance are simple enough to get you from A to B, and in terms of crash safety it does the job, but isn't outstanding. There's room enough to fit four inside, but it'll be a bit of a squeeze and the boot is equally as cramped. These days there are plenty of cars in this class that are far better than the Pixo.
Our choice: Nissan Pixo n-tec
The Nissan Pixo is fairly ordinary to look at, but its restrained design should appeal to a wide range of buyers. The Pixo is one of the cheapest cars on sale and that shows in the cabin. The plastics are a drab colour and there are very few things to draw the eye. On the plus side, the cabin does feel well screwed together.
Buyers only have one engine choice in the Nissan Pixo – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that produces just 68bhp. Performance reflects the low power output, with 0-62mph taking 13.5 seconds. That means that the Pixo feels at home in town but motorways and dual carriageways can be a bit of a struggle. Handling is pretty typical for this segment, including really light controls which make it easy to negotiate tight streets. Refinement is fine at low speeds but as you approach the national limit huge amounts of wind and road noise enter the cabin.
The Pixo hasn't yet been crash tested by Euro NCAP but its sister car – the Suzuki Alto – managed only a meagre three stars. The par for city cars tends to be four stars but some are capable of achieving the full five stars. Thankfully, reliability hasn't been an issue so owners can expect a trouble-free ownership experiences.
No one expects city cars to be extremely practical but the Pixo really doesn't offer very much space at all. The boot is one of the smallest on the market with just 129 litres of room and there's a high lip and a narrow opening, which makes loading items awkward. The back seats are quite cramped too and there aren't many spaces to hold loose items.
It's become the norm for city cars to break below the crucial 100g/km barrier for CO2 emissions but at the time of writing (May 2012) the Nissan Pixo only manages 103g/km. If you opt for the automatic model this goes up to 122g/km. On the plus side insurance costs will be incredibly low, as will the servicing costs.