Launched at the 2012 Auto Expo, Renault did get their share of attention with the offering for the masses – the Pulse. First look, and you do feel the overall effect is pleasing. The front end is completely re-worked with new bumper, new grille and ofcourse new headlamp. These do gel in well with the oval and round shaped body shell. The rear has the same design of the tail lamps (as the Micra) but the clear lens and color treatment is different. What’s a bigger change is the blackening of the bottom part of the rear bumper to make it look like a diffuser – see, we told you Renault is a clever company! Another big change is the look of the alloy wheels – definitely eye catching and sporty. The rest of the car (including the superb design of the roof) remains the same and the Renault badge and Pulse branding is done in a prominent way. Unlike the exteriors which see a host of changes, the cabin of the Pulse is identical to that of the Micra save for the badging on the steering and the slightly different color theme inside. The design, features, seat et all – all remain unchanged. And this isn’t a bad thing at all as the Micra always had comfortable, practical and ergonomically designed interiors. Seat comfort is good. As expected, the Pulse also uses the same 1.5-litre dCi motor as the Micra and makes 64 PS. it will take around 16 seconds for the 0-100km/h dash.
This is a car best enjoyed between 1500 – 2500rpm : keep these engine speeds and your city commutes will be quick and fun. On the highways, the car feel relaxed at 100-110km/h and 140km/h comes up pretty quick too, with another 15-20km/h more in its kitty. The icing on the cake comes in the form of its fantastic fuel economy. For the three days we had the car for, it displayed an average fuel economy of a shade over 18kmpl including Delhi’s start-stop traffic (no air-con though). The petrol has a 1.2 engine which makes 76 PS and has a mileage of 15-16 kmpl which are ARAI figures. The steering is light, visibility good and turning circle tight – three essential ingredients for a city car. We regularly spent a good time in congested traffic conditions and the Pulse gave us no reason to complain. Further, the suspension does the job well, better than most other cars in the segment though we would say that cars like the Figo and Liva ride much better.The suspension is tuned more for comfort than for handing. High speed stability though is very good. The Pulse starts at Rs 4.3 lakhs to 6.7 lakhs for the top diesel model, for that you get a good all round small car. Its more muscular and better looking than the Micra though it is more expesnive but many will love its ease of use and looks. For a detailed look at the Pulese read below.