You know when Nissan launched the Micra the first time and people called it curvaceous and rounded, which may have put off the prospective male buyers (even the Micra facelift didn’t do much to change this view). So the Renault Nissan Alliance thought it would be better to bring Micra that is more edgy and launched the Renault Pulse, which is basically a Micra with a nose job. Would it be enough to lure in the customers?
1. The front looks good, especially with the GT-R-ish nose; this is essentially what the Micra should have looked like.
1. The cons are more for this one. The Pulse looks more like Micra than we want.
2. Higher pricing than Micra definitely not helping.
3. Micra had a facelift recently while the Pulse remains the same.
Spoiler alert: Renault Pulse doesn’t just look like a Nissan Micra, it is a Nissan Micra. This is a cross badge-ing between Renault and Nissan to save on research and development costs, and it may have sounded like a good idea on the discussion board. But just uplifting a nose and replacing the badges front and rear doesn’t make it a different car.
The Micra, er, Pulse looks good from the front, with a sportier grille, inspired by Nissan GT-R and a new bumper. The headlights too get a slight tweak and that sums up the changes in the front.
To the side, there are no visual changes that differentiate the Pulse and Micra in the side profile with only the new alloy wheels acting as the Pulse identifier.
Coming to the back, the Pulse sports a new rear grille with a diffuser-like black part in the middle. The tail lamps again get a slight tweak to make it the Pulse.
The Pulse’s interior is the same as the Micra’s except for the logo in the middle of the steering wheel. The Renault Pulses gets a combination of black, beige and light brown interiors.
The dashboard is finished in black, while seats and the doors get beige and light brown combo. The steering wheel feels good in size and to hold. The instrument cluster gets a three dial setup with a large circular speedometer in the middle, a half moon tachometer to the left and a MID on the right.
The centre console holds the rectangular AC vents on the top, audio system in the middle and the circular HVAC controls at the bottom.
The Pulse comes with several great features such as start/stop push button, climate control ABS with EBD and dual front airbags.
Both the front and rear seats get adjustable headrests. The Pulse is generous on space in front and as well as the rear.
The front seats are offer great support for the legs and shoulder, while the cushioning is good.
At the rear, you get acres of room for your head and legs while the under thigh support might have been better. The adjustable headrests at the rear are appreciable.
The Renault Pulse is available in both petrol and diesel versions. The Pulse petrol is powered by a 1.2-liter engine while the Pulse diesel gets a 1.5-litre engine. Both the engines are offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox only. The CVT gearbox available in the Micra hasn’t been shared with the Pulse yet and remains a Micra-exclusive for now.
The Renault Pulse petrol is powered by a 1198 cc engine putting out 75 hp at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 104 Nm at 4000 rpm. The power delivery is good and the petrol engine proves to be more rev happy than its diesel counterpart. The motor delivers a good low-range and mid-range suitable for city driving, while on the highways requires more effort to bring out the best.
The 1461 cc diesel engine is a proven engine for its frugal character and driveability. The low-end power delivery is impressive with very minimal turbo lag. The engine also has a strong mid range performance but take it to the highway and you start to feel the lack of power. You need to carefully plan any overtake and downshifting will be a regular affair on the highways to keep the car up to speed. The 5-speed manual gearbox didn’t have any problem in slotting the gears as required.
Ride and Handling
Renault has opted for a softer suspension setup for the Pulse so the ride quality is very impressive. The Pulse absorbs even rough roads with ease with the suspension taking the irregularities pretty well. Because of the soft suspension, the Pulse’s handling is not sporty enough but not bad as well. The straight line ability of the Pulse is good while around the corners, the body roll does sweep in but the Pulse holds on good enough. The steering wheel is light and weighs on well as the speeds rise.
Renault Pulse get driver side airbag standard across all the variants. The passenger side airbag is available in the top variant of the diesel version only while the ABS with EBD is available only for the diesel variants. Why Renault? Don’t you want the buyers to buy the petrol variants?
Renault Pulse is available in three variants - one for petrol (RxL) and two for diesel (RxL ABS and RxZ).
The Pulse Petrol comes only in one variant - RxL and you get driver airbag, engine immobilizer, speed-sensing door locks, body coloured bumpers and door handles, rear defogger, rear washer and wiper, front and rear power windows, keyless entry, automatic climate control system and day/night inside rear view mirror.
The Pulse RxL ABS Diesel comes with features such as ABS with EBD, body coloured door mirrors, electric ORVMs, chrome accentuated front grille and trunk room lamp.
The top-end RxL Diesel offers passenger airbag, leather gear shift knob and steering wheel, front fog lamps, roof spoiler with stop lamp, engine start/stop push button, automatic headlamps, remote sensing auto folding ORVMs, smart access key, integrated audio system with CD, MP3, FM, Aux-in, Bluetooth and USB support, 4 speakers and driver seat height adjust.
While it is appreciable that the Renault wants to offer us a hatchback but with a car that looks just like the Micra at a higher price is not acceptable. If the Renault-Nissan Alliance is keen on cross-badging their cars, then we expect something on the lines of Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. The SUVs can stand on their own even though both are the same cars. We don’t see that happening with the Pulse and Micra.
Renault Pulse price
|RxL ABS |
|5,99,000 ||6,25,726 ||6,54,695 ||6,27,906 ||6,20,200 ||6,23,030 ||6,46,406
|6,95,176 ||6,98,199 ||7,30,159 ||7,00,584 ||6,91,938 ||6,95,503 ||7,19,534
|Petrol RxL |
|5,08,281 ||5,08,235 ||5,31,723 ||5,09,260 ||5,03,370 ||5,05,326 ||5,27,470