Renault Pulse Diesel RxL Review
Aggressive HatchbackWednesday, June 5, 2013
Renault India is one of the many car makers that followed the worldwide known market strategy of making re-badged cars means cars sharing engines, appearances and platforms but came from different brands. It recently launched its hatchback Pulse which shares a many features of Nissan's Micra. The exterior front look of Micra doesn't quite caught the Indian buyers because of its feminine design but Pulse added edgy and pointed headlights to its newly crafted big front bumper with a thin chrome lining which sets it apart from Micra and give it a manly and rigid look which is one of the many demands of Indian customers that needs to be fulfilled. Renault Pulse is also manufactured at the same Chennai plant where Micra was manufactured. The small fog lights are housed inside the air dam to give a lively look to this hatchback.
The base model comes with 14-inch while the top one includes 15-inch alloy wheels. The rear of the car has also shown some changes with clear lens tail lights, black rear bumper, stylish wiper on door handle and brake lights with integrated spoilers. Also, the dark grey shade in the interior looks most handsome with leather finished steering wheel and gear knob and also there is an instrument cluster present with a trip computer and a tachometer. As a matter of comfort, it has ample space for legroom with adjustable headrests and tilt-able power steering wheel. This car also provides remote controlled front and rear power windows with one touch open and close function and also has a Start/Stop engine button with central locking facility and unique feature of keyless entry. It has a powerful AC with heater, automatic climate control, rear defogger, smart access key for all doors and also a key off reminder function which proved it very useful. Its dashboard is same as Micra's but has different color of grey with circular central console and AC vents and increased boot capacity of 251 litres with fold-able but non-split rear seats.
The top model includes an integrated music system with a CD, MP3, radio and an AUX support with four speakers and also there is a 12V accessory socket for direct connection of music gadgets. Pulse comes in both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engine is a 1.2L DOHC 12 valve with three cylinders to produce a maximum power of 75 bhp at 6000 rpm and a maximum torque of 104 Nm at 4000 rpm. The diesel engine is a 1.5L K9K DCi to generate a maximum power of 64 bhp at 4000 rpm and a maximum torque of 160 Nm at 2000 rpm and both the petrol and diesel engine uses five speed manual gearbox. The petrol engine goes 0-100 kmph in slightly over 13 seconds and reaches out to a top speed of above 140 kmph, whereas the diesel engine needs around 17 seconds to touch 0-100 kmph mark and gives a top speed of 145 kmph. Pulse seems very much fuel-efficient with petrol engine providing a mileage of 13 kmpl in cities and 15-16 kmpl on highways whereas the diesel engine comes with a better mileage of 15 kmpl in cities and 18-19 kmpl on highways.
Its light and quick responsive steering of minimum turning radius 4.65m provides an easy path for this car in city traffic and its wheelbase is within the limits of maintaining a good ride on roads at any speed. It has disk brakes at front and drum brakes at the rear. Its safety features includes speed sensing auto door lock and immobilizer with the top variant also including Airbag for driver and an optional one for front side passenger with enhanced features of ABS and EBD in its suspension system. Pulse has three petrol variants- RxE Petrol, RxL Petrol and RxZ Petrol and four diesel variants- RxL Diesel, RxL Diesel Optional, RxZ Diesel and RxZ Diesel Optional with the optional diesel variants providing front passenger and driver airbags. Pulse has six superb shades which are Metallic Red, Pearl White, Champagne Gold, Metallic Silver, Solid Black and Metallic Grey with an amazing 2+2 years warranty which is first in its segment. Overall, it doesn't quite attract the buyers of Maruti Swift, its main competitor in this segment which is cheaper, stylish, spacious and performance based than Pulse. So, it seems a little hard for this car to survive in Indian market because of Renault's renowned poor reputation and servicing facilities but this car could be the thing for buyers who want something different than Micra and Swift.