Monday, July 18, 2011

Nissan Micra DIG-S test drive

Nissan Micra DIG-S: this is the Japanese name of the car that aims to lower emissions and fuel costs. We had the opportunity to test drive this new version of the Micra in Germany during a cold day in July. Yes, because while in Italy it recorded a record heat, near Potsdam the thermometer hovered between 17 and 18 degrees.

A small digression at first, only to testify that the photos of this post were taken a few days ago and last fall ... This is not the first time we climb aboard a Micra. The first contact we had had last September, we refer to that post for the general aspects. We then discover how to accept the "Pure Drive" on the Micra and how does the version DIG-S: This is the acronym for Direct Injection Supercharged Gazoline, or direct injection and supercharger.

We're talking about a 98 hp 1.2 liter petrol engine, three-cylinder, 99 g / km of CO2 emitted: four data which are almost a manifesto for Nissan. Let's start from the emissions figure. Nissan shows its models more environmentally friendly with the Pure Drive badge, when CO2 emissions are less than 130 g / km (the value will drop to 120 g / km in 2013/14).

As for the Micra is available in Italy settle values well below this threshold, with 99 g / km. We speak here of motor gasoline and diesel to say goodbye for small cars. Hand accounts of the latest generation of petrol engines promise to be frugal in consumption and initial cost. Merit, unfortunately, we say, even the cost at the pump where the difference between diesel and gasoline has narrowed in recent years.

Not only that, considering the technologies that will be used to accommodate the Euro 6 legislation, it will be difficult to see in the future, small diesel engines in vogue today in Italy. The engine displacement decreases, but increases power. How is it possible? The DIG-S engine design has been focused on minimizing energy loss is not useful and thus improve efficiency.

The 3-cylinder from its greater thermal efficiency and has reduced friction by 20% compared to a 4-cylinder. It 'was used a high compression ratio to extract more mechanical energy, was adopted which delays the closing Miller cycle of the intake valve, finishing microscopic to the camshaft, the valve springs with a honeycomb configuration' bee, the diamond-like carbon coating for the piston rings.

And these are just some of the details. On the other hand, we speak of a fuel economy improved by 5%, with automatic start / stop standard across the range. Also interesting is the intelligent control of the alternator that recharges the battery only when needed, not during acceleration or driving, and always sustained during downhill.

This is also a way to save fuel. In the face of the interventions on the motor, electrical components and aerodynamic characteristics, there is a consumption of 4.4 l/100km said. According to Nissan's first gasoline engine is more efficient and cheaper than a diesel. Until a few years ago was synonymous with 3-cylinder vibration.

We can say that this challenge has been won, because driving the Micra DIG-S is difficult to notice the difference with a 4 cylinder. For the more technical we can say that the balancing shaft and does its job without any problems replacing the countershaft rotation. At the traffic light system is ready and start & stop working properly, without giving any particular trouble.

Ready away, a little 'more acceleration would be welcome but we are still in the group of cars "snappy". Occasionally there is the temptation to "throw a little 'neck' to the small Micra but must always remember that it is still a car town and not a muscle car. At the same time the slowdown seems good and well compared to the car.

In traffic moves well, agility seems to be his strong point, good road holding, while the smaller diameter steering allowed us to reverse even in small spaces. Excellent visibility while driving or parked. In this regard, the Simple Parking System Pack helps to understand if there is enough room for maneuver.

Whether in the quiet suburban expressway in the car is a bit 'put to the test. Improved appearance but on which we give the benefit of the doubt to the winds that have accompanied us during the test. We were unable to reach 180 km / h top speed as shown, although this seems unlikely, we are obviously talking about the German autobahns in stretches where there are no speed limits.

About limits, thinking about the tutor of Italian motorways, it is useful to how comfortable cruise control that adjusts the speed automatically, as in all these devices is just a small brake to disable it. The 130/140 km / h can be reached without much effort and maintain without effort, as the cruising speed was perfect for this Micra.

Inside, comfortable seats, good perceived quality of plastics, pleasing color combination of the colors. The panoramic sunroof in low-light situations, and certainly welcome, while on the instrumentation is nice indication of CO2 saved. The audio system is integrated with USB input and AUX.

Good navigation system, clear, simple and straightforward to use, can recalculate your route in seconds. Of note, in contrast with competitors, on the right wheel to zoom the map: it is an often overlooked detail. In moments of difficulty may be necessary to enlarge the map, usually this is via touch screen controls, which by their nature can not be very large.

Here then is that rather than becoming a navigation aid is forcing us to stop unwanted attempt to assess the situation. Micra wheel on a simple "old school" has solved every problem: the magnification or zoom is virtually immediate. The displays for Nissan Micra DIG-S are two Acenta, with proposed front airbags, side and curtain airbags ESP, ABS Stop / Start, Power steering, central locking with speed sensor automatic, manual air conditioning, Trip computer, Remote central door locking , Front armrest, height adjustable driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, CD player with Aux-in Bluetooth connectivity, 15-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps.

Tekna, which has more than Acenta Nissan Connect with color screen 5 "and fully integrated navigation system, Trip computer indicating the amount of 'CO2 saved' Parking lights and wipers Simple Pack (or PSM). Prices from 14,470 euros for Nissan Micra Acenta S-DIG and 15,580 euros for Nissan Micra Tekna DIG-S, for the CVT transmission you need to add 1,300 euros.

Open weekends scheduled for September 25 and 24, even if the bookings are already active. It confirmed the campaign for the version in force from 80cv Micra, then a reduction of 1,400 Euro for all buyers and 2,020 euros in case of destruction, with the possibility of zero-rate financing for 48 months.

Finally, Nissan's existing customers, funding is available to 60-month extended warranty to 5 years or 100,000 km.

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