Nissan Pixo

The Essentials

  • Price from £7,250
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 99.0mpg
  • What is it? Cheap, economical city car that disappoints on almost every other front

Great

  • It's very cheap to buy and to run
  • The small size and tight turning circle mean it's great for city driving
  • The dashboard is very simple to use

Gripes

  • The interior is bland and poorly finished
  • Safety kit is poor on the entry-level model
  • It's driving talents are limited to town
  • Drive

    It's perky enough round town, but that's where it needs to stay

  • Inside

    Looks every bit the low-budget car, but the dash is easy to use

  • Safety

    Just two airbags as standard isn't enough; you have to pay extra for any more

  • Reliability

    Pixo was rated below average in the latest JD Power owner survey

  • Space

    Tall passengers had better get the bus, and the boot is tiny too

  • Standard and extras

    Entry-level cars have little more than the essentials; pricier N-tec are better

  • What's it like to drive?

    The 1.0-litre petrol engine feels fairly perky round town, where its dinky dimensions and tight turning circle make it easy to manoeuvre, although the steering could be lighter when parking. There's also a lot of body lean in bends and the ride is quite jiggly. It's pretty quiet at urban speeds, but the engine gets noisy on the motorway as you need to work it hard to get up to speed; wind and road noise are also noticeable at cruising speeds.

  • What's it like inside?

    The dashboard is easy to use but the design is basic and overall the cabin is pretty unappealing, mainly because of the cheap-looking plastics and poor finish. It takes a while to get comfortable: you can only adjust the height of the steering wheel, not it's reach, and the lever for the backrest angle isn't precise enough.

    Headroom for the two rear passengers is tight and there's not a huge amount of legroom, either, while the boot is tiny. Only high-spec cars have split-folding rear seats that allow you to expand your luggage area, and even then this is sloped.

    It's not surprising that the entry-level Visia model is so cheap as there's little more than a CD player and four cupholders. N-tec adds remote locking, alloys, air-con, electric front windows and front foglamps.

  • How reliable is it?

    Reliability is usually a Nissan strong point but the Pixo came at the bottom of its class in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey, with owners reporting a variety of mechanical issues. When it comes to safety, entry-level models get rear ISOFIX points but only two airbags, both up front; pricier N-tec models have side airbags but you have to pay extra to have curtain airbags and stability control.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Pixo is cheap to buy and running costs are low, too  it's returns an average of 65mpg, CO2 emissions are just 99g/km. Insurance premiums are also competitive. However, the Pixo is cheap for a reason  it feels unappealingly low-rent, and entry-level cars are lacking in equipment and safety kit.