New Nissan Micra DIG-S May Be Advanced, Fuel Efficient And Low Polluting, But Is Just A Bit Dull

2011 Nissan Micra DIG-S 3

Nissan has released the prices for its new highly-advanced, Micra DIG-S.  Representing the latest in low-emission engine technology, the DIG-S offers the performance of a bigger petrol engine but with the fuel economy of a diesel.

The ultra low emission 1.2 litre, three cylinder supercharged petrol engine emits only 95g/km for the Visia version and 99g/km for the better equipped Acenta and Tekna models.  Official fuel consumption is 68.9mpg or 65.7mpg on the combined cycle, beating some similarly sized diesel models.  Unlike most economy models though, the DIG-S also has a performance boost, with power rising from 80PS to 98PS.

The cost of this ground-breaking technology?  The DIG-S costs just £1,000 more than the equivalent*, non-supercharged version; much less than the price premiums charged by many rivals for equivalent diesel versions.  Owners will also see savings at the pumps, with diesel currently averaging 4.1p per litre more than petrol (as of July 2011).

We’d also add to that cost looks, because the new Micra eschews two generations of highly distinctive, cute styling for…  just drab.  A wise move when every manufacturer is putting more effort into it’s small cars in order to fight off style leaders like the Fiat 500 and MINI?

The engine achieves the improvements in power and economy through a series of measures to improve efficiency.  Direct injection, valve timing control with eco mode, improved exhaust gas recirculation, specially shaped pistons and a higher compression ratio ensure the most power is extracted from every drop of fuel.

To reduce inefficient power loss within the engine operating system the Miller Cycle is incorporated.  By allowing the inlet valve to stay open longer, along with a higher compression ratio, the compression stroke becomes more efficient.

More energy is saved by using an intelligent alternator which recharges the battery when the engine power is not in demand, such as under braking.  A stop/start function also helps to reduce emissions and fuel consumption by automatically turning off the engine whilst stationary and restarts again when you are ready to move off.  The amount of CO2 saved during stop/start is displayed on the dashboard.

The engine is available as a 5-speed manual or with an optional advanced CVT automatic gearbox for an additional £1,000.

Competitive insurance group ratings for the DIG-S has been set at 8E for the Visia and 9E for the Acenta and Tekna grades, based on the Association of British Insurers (ABI) 50 group rating system.

Prices start from £11,150 for the 1.2 Visia and the whole range will be on sale from 1 September


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