First off, I will happily admit I’m not a Nissan fan! Yes, they make some good cars – but they are not really for me and I have had these thoughts for many years, but recently I had the pleasure of testing the new Micra and I was pleasantly surprised just how good it was. I’m not kidding here folks; I think I may have seen the light. Now without any further waffle let’s get on with this week’s review and why I have your attention, I would also like to wish you all ‘A Very Happy New Year’.
Power and efficiency
Fitted with a 1461cc diesel engine with 90PS @ 5000rpm, 220Nm of torque and a fantastic short shift 5-speed gearbox that gives you a good feel between gear changes. Also, give it the beans and you will get a healthy 0-62 time of around 11.9sec and an impressive 61.4mpg (combined) which I managed very easily – along with a top speed of around 111mph, which is decent by all accounts. The engine is also happy to be driven hard to get the best out of it. But, I do have one niggle in that it sounded a little noisy but then it’s a diesel so I can forgive it for that.
On the road
Like all Micra models, they handle like a go-cart and I can feel where Nissan has made some major changes over the older Micra model because everything feels so much more together which all helps in giving you a lot of confidence into the bends even when full to capacity as well as giving you a great ride on uneven surfaces. Even on the motorway, all was good, and the road noise at high speed was very minimal.
Design & technology
As with all Nissans, the interior is of a good standard but I feel Nissan could have made it feel a little less ‘cheap’. Of course, it will last for years and the seating is rather good, even after a long journey. Plus, all the dials and switches are laid out very well and are very clear and precise but there are areas I would like to see some improvements.
Some of the standard equipment across the range includes: ABS with EBD and brake assist; driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags; front and rear seatbelts warning light; speed limiter; Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS); Intelligent trace control; Intelligent ride control; ISOFIX child seat anchorage points (rear x2 and front passenger seat); Hill Start Assist; Intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition; High-Beam Assist; Lane departure warning; Intelligent lane intervention; Automatic hazard lights; Halogen headlights with signature finisher; concealed rear door handles; LED signature Daytime Running Lights (DTRL); rear roof spoiler and door mirrors with turn indicator.
And it doesn’t stop there either, as my test car was the ‘Tekna’ version, you also get additional features such as: 17” alloy wheels; Absolute black cloth trim with grey inserts; Leather-wrapped gear knob with silver decoration; Leather-wrapped handbrake; Synthetic leather inserts on front door pad and dashboard; BOSE® PERSONAL Audio Pack with 4 BOSE® speakers (front doors and A-pillars); 2 driver headrest speakers and soundstage control; rear view camera and rear parking sensors.
To sum up
What can I say, the little Micra is the perfect little city car that everyone should experience.
I would recommend right now that you go find one and immediately drive it around some of our capital cities to get the full feel of what I see as the perfect little city car.
Price from: £20,005 (OTR) as tested.
By Tony Yates