Five generations of the Nissan Micra have shown the car to be a worthy, if dull, contender in the small car stakes. It sold very well and was sound and reliable and all that but couldn’t really shake of that fuddy-duddy image. That’s all changed now. Ignore the rather silly ‘accomplice’ TV ad and instead concentrate on the many good points of this very attractive car.
Nissan Micra Visual Appeal
It is a new design from the ground up. The new Micra has been given a fresh look with a crisp, energetic design. Unlike earlier models, the sporty demeanour gives it sales appeal across all the age groups. At last, young people can buy this car without looking like they have borrowed it from their granny.
Real attention to detail has been paid to the design. With headlamps, grille and the sweeping window treatment, the Micra certainly stands out in a crowd. In a sector packed with fine small car choices the floating roof and glass-covered rear pillars of the Nissan acknowledge the latest design trends, with a coupé styling provided by concealed rear door handles. It’s a good-looking motor, particularly in ‘Energy Orange’ as seen here.
Nissan Micra Interior Appeal
The list of standard equipment on the Micra is impressive and includes a bright, seven-inch screen, Siri voice-control via Apple CarPlay, and a powerful Bose stereo system optional on certain models. See the specification and tech details below. Top models in the Micra range start to get a tad expensive but come absolutely loaded with kit and still undercut equivalent competitors on price.
For safety, autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and auto-dipping headlights are standard across the range. The front seats are firm but very comfy indeed with good adjustment for the driver, although the sloping roof line will affect taller folk in the back. Overall, especially with the optional (and must-have) ‘Orange Interior Personalisation Pack’ (£400) as pictured, the cheerful and well-fitted interior is a big hit.
The boot is certainly adequate but the shape means it doesn’t offer the best space in this class of motor.
Nissan Micra Driving Appeal
Right now, showroom customers can choose from a turbocharged 0.9L petrol engine or a 1.5L 89bhp diesel as found in our test car in which economy proved to be very good delivering the high 60’s on a long run. One tester reported 74mpg. One reason not to hate diesel. Both are driven through a crisp, five-speed manual gearbox. A cheaper, naturally aspirated 1.0L petrol will follow later as will a CVT auto. For most users, the lively 0.9L turbo, also with 89bhp, would be the right choice, I’d say.
It’s worth specifying the ‘Vision+’ pack at £550 because it provides an ‘around view’ monitor with moving object detection (very valuable when reversing out of a space in the supermarket lane grand prix), rear parking sensors and blind spot warning. Well worth having.
In order to keep the Nissan Micra on an even keel in corners, the suspension felt firm to some. Personally I rather liked it as it helped to deliver a responsive, fun drive. True, on rougher roads (that’s most of them in blighted Blighty) occupants were jiggled about a bit. It’s a matter of personal preference as there are perhaps more comfortable offerings elsewhere, although the Micra has most of them beaten on price. It’s a matter of preference and I liked the agile handling characteristics.
The diesel version is great for long distance travel and more than holds its own at motorway speeds. Most drivers though will prefer the diminutive turbo-petrol I suspect. I personally like the Nissan Micra very much and it rivals the best in this sector. Geoff Maxted