Nissan Pixo: first drive

  • We drive Nissan's new city car
  • From just £5995
  • Based on Suzuki Alto, but £800 cheaper
Price: £5995 to £7645
On sale: June
You'll like: Bargain price; easy to drive in town
You won't: Shortage of equipment; interior plastics

Looking at it, you'd think that Nissan should have named this car the Post-it. Why? Well, it looks like a Note, only smaller. Boom Boom.

Don't be fooled, though, because in reality the new Pixo city car is nothing like its bigger brother – it's not even much like a Nissan, at all. Underneath the boxy bodywork, the Pixo is mechanically identical to the new Suzuki Alto – it's even built by Suzuki on Nissan's behalf.

On the road
No prizes for guessing, then, that the Pixo strikes a similar tone to the Alto on the road. The dinky dimensions, tight turning circle and perky three-cylinder engine make it easy and enjoyable to drive around town, even if the ride jostles you around too much. The engine isn't deafening at motorway speeds, either, but it's noisy while you're getting there, and long gearing means it's not particularly flexible.

Aside from the badge on the steering wheel and different seat trim, the Pixo's interior is identical to the Alto's, too. The dashboard is easy to use, but the styling is bland and the plastics are extremely low-rent. There are four seats, into which adults can just about squeeze, but space is tight and the boot is tiny.

Money talks
While the Pixo and Alto are almost inseparable, there's one area in which the Nissan holds one heck of a trump card – it starts at an amazing £5995, which undercuts the cheapest Alto by £800. At this end of the market, that's a huge difference.

Granted, the entry-level Visia is desperately short on kit and only comes with two airbags, but what do you expect for six grand? Fuel economy of 64.2mpg, CO2 emissions of 103g/km and the low insurance grouping mean it'll cost peanuts to run, too.

The mid-level Acenta model is less basic. You pay an extra £750 and get electric front windows, remote locking, a split-folding rear seat and side airbags, but you have to upgrade to the £7645 Tekna for air-conditioning, curtain airbags and stability control.

Our advice? Stick with the Visia. When six grand is all it takes to have a brand new car on your drive, it's very hard to argue against.

Read the Nissan Pixo review review for parents at Mumsnet Cars

Our verdict: A proper car for six grand – what's not to like?

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