By on 2016-12-28 -
Nissan Pixo - Used
A CAR like the Nissan Pixo makes much more sense than a smart because it can seat four in reasonable comfort and is just about as easy to park and manoeuvre.
The smallest Nissan is the same as the Suzuki Alto under the skin - and is none the worse for that.
It's a city car with a 1.0-litre, three cylinder engine and five speed gearbox, but light weight means performance is quite acceptable and it can keep up with the flow of traffic on the motorway.
Obviously, what such a small car is about is economy and low running costs and the Pixo has those too, with 65mpg economy, very low emissions, cheap insurance and low road tax.
They are excellent in town due to their small size and they are quick off the mark away from traffic lights etc.
But the Pixo is also good fun out on country roads as they handle well and have plenty of grip for good roadholding.
The little engine sounds lovely when revved and is very willing to do so when pressing on, but of course, such driving won't do much for your economy.
Small size and a very good turning circle make it a breeze to park, and once you get to know it, that small shape will fit through gaps other cars can only dream of.
Although there is room for four, luggage space is tiny as with a number of city cars, and there is only space for two small bags.
The steering is light but not very informative, the clutch is a featherweight and the gearchange neat and quick.
But basic models don't even have a dipping rearview mirror, or a passenger door window switch on the driver's side.
The steering wheel is only adjustable for height, which can make a compromised driving position for taller people.
Comfort is good over all surfaces for a small car, and it takes speed humps in its stride - unlike some of the competition.
Prices are very reasonable secondhand and asking owners, I found that reliability is very good.
Inside the Pixo shares everything with the Alto, so you get a fairly basic cabin and a low level of standard equipment.
There are four trim levels - Visia, Acenta, N-Tec and Tekna. Entry-level Visia gets few home comforts however - hence its low price tag.
It does have twin front airbags, power steering, ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and a CD stereo.
Acenta is the most popular and comes with side airbags, remote locking, electric front windows,front fog lights, colour-coded door handles and mirrors and a 50/50 split folding rear seat.
N-Tec and Tekna are the only ones to have air con and it's not even an option on the others. Tekna models also get stability control and curtain airbags.
Pay about £3,500 for a 12-reg N-Tec, or £3,700 for a 2014 14-reg Visia.
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