Nissan Micra Diesel…worth it?

Posted: November 13, 2010 in Car reviews
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Nissan has forayed into the diesel hatch market by launch of the Micra diesel. But how different is the new car from its petrol sibling and will it be able to take the fight to the big boys? We do a fact n figure analysis…

The diesel variant is available in two trims XV at 6 lakhs and 6.45 lakhs for the top end XV premium. The car seems quite rightly priced to the normal eye, nearly Rs 65,000 dearer than its petrol variant. The XV premium variant gets a set of new sporty low profile tires with 15 inch alloys, a much missed feature in the petrol variant. A good new addition is of the body colored rear spoilers, which lends a much sportier character to the car. It also gets a leather cover for the seats and gear knob as well that justifies its premium branding.

But, there are quite a few features that Nisan has done away with in the new XV diesel. It misses a rear defogger, Automatic AC, front fog lamps, security alarm, airbags and ABS. Quite a long list, right? These can easily dent your pocket by at least Rs 40,000, if fitted at the dealer’s end. In short, Nissan has rolled out a car expensive by 65,000 and with equipment worth Rs 40,000 flying out of the window. So you end up paying Rs 1 lakh approx for the diesel engine alone. This is probably the first time any manufacturer has stripped down its corresponding diesel variant by such an amount. Definitely not impressive. The XV premium variant comes loaded with some premium features like alloy wheels, leather covers and rear spoiler. But again, all these shouldn’t cost you in excess of Rs 25,000 maximum if fitted at the dealers end, but the car comes at a premium of Rs 45,000. Again…

Sporting the same 1.5 lt engine as in the Renault Logan, it is the biggest diesel engine to come up in the list of top selling diesel hatches in India. But, on the other side, there is quite not the performance you would expect from such a massive engine. It delivers 64PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 160 Nm at 2,000 rpm, the lowest among all the diesel performance hatches, in total contrast to its most voluminous diesel heart.
Taking its place at the heart of thousands of Logans, the engine, definitely is a proven performer. It delivers excellent mileage too and we can expect the same engine to deliver much more mileage in the lighter Micra. But, Nissan seems to have done little with the engine to give it a boost on the performance front and it is quite evident from same the low performance figures. The engine is not exceptional or even comparable to the other diesel cars in performance, and Nissan seems to have conveniently ignored this fact. In a segment where buyers look for performance in addition to the mileage, the Micra is sure to lose out. Nissan could have tuned it a bit more for performance giving it similar fuel efficiency figures in comparison to its competitors.

The overall height of the vehicle has gone down by 5 mm and it is not very clear if it is because of introduction of low profile tires or because of any change in suspension. We would prefer it to be because of the latter, because the Micra petrol was felt to have an extra soft suspension setup, and the matter could only worsen if the heavier diesel engine is mounted on the same setup. The tread has also decreased by 10mm in the XV premium variant, despite using 10mm wider tires. Quite confusing…Click here to read more on test drive review of Micra diesel

To sum it up, the Micra, despite having a starting price of over 6 lakhs, falls short of the competition, lacking a wide range of equipments compared to the competition or even its top end petrol variant. The XV premium comes with some additional features but again it should be said that the diesel avatar would be rated much low in terms of value for money paid. Adding to this, the absence of a low end diesel variant with an ex showroom tag of around Rs 5 lakh should hurt them still further.

  1. automate4u says:

    Read more on engine and ride and handling performance in the detailed road test review at the following link

  2. abhishek rathi says:

    just canceled my booking because of lack of equips and the price point. you have much more better options available at that price bracket.

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