Nissan Micra Active goes diesel

Snapshot: Nissan India has begun testing a diesel version of the Micra Active. The car is a low cost, stripped out version that does duty as Nissan’s entry level car in India. Thus far, Nissan has been selling the Micra Active (pre-facelift version of the hatchback) with a de-tuned 1.2 liter-3 cylinder petrol motor, which is a solitary engine option for the car.

Nissan Micra Active goes diesel
Nissan Micra Active Diesel Spyshot. Notice the Blue signage under the XL badging, which clearly indicates that a K9K turbo diesel engine lurks in the car's engine bay.

By adding the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel engine (65 Bhp-160 Nm) to the Micra Active, Nissan India will make space for another low cost hatchback, this time in the diesel segment. While the Micra Active Petrol starts at 3.5 lakh rupees, ex-showroom Delhi, the Micra Active Diesel could start a lakh rupees higher, at about 4.5 lakh rupees.

At that price point, the diesel version of the Nissan Micra Active will take on the diesel versions of the Chevrolet Beat (4.78 lakh rupees for the PS variant) and the Tata Indica eV2 (4.46 lakh rupees for the LS variant). Like the petrol engined version of the Micra Active, the diesel engined model is expected to feature a 5 speed manual gearbox.

While the petrol engined Micra Active is available in four variants – XE, XL, XV and XV S – with the top end XV S variant comes with ABS+EBD and twin airbags, it remains to be seen whether Nissan India would launch the Micra Active Diesel with the same number of variants as the petrol powered model, along with the standard safety bits on the top end variants.

Given the fact that Nissan India didn’t offer ABS+EBD in the pre-facelift Micra Diesel – essentially the Micra Active in terms of design and equipment – the possibility of these features making a comeback in the Micra Active Diesel remains slim.

Even so, the market for a well engineered, cut-price diesel powered hatchback does exist and the Nissan Micra Active’s diesel powered version will be aimed exactly at such a market. The existence of the diesel powered Nissan Micra Active also means that diesel engined cars in the Datsun – Nissan’s low cost car brand- range are all but ruled out for the foreseeable future due to pricing pressures.