Recommended. Micra offers plenty and is good value.
The faithful Nissan Micra has been on our roads since 1983 and has always been a popular little car. It morphed from a basic runabout into a bit of a fashion accessory – in recent years being pretty obviously aimed at the female market with its soft lines and general cuteness.
But now it’s had a total revamp – you could even go as far to say that it’s barely recognisable as a Micra. Perhaps, then, this is Nissan trying to make the Micra more masculine and broaden its appeal in the process. Visually it’s changed a lot – it’s got sharper and meaner looking.
It feels bigger, too, even if rear space is tight if those in the front are quite tall. Entry level Visia (£11,995) spec gets 15in steel wheels, a basic audio system with Bluetooth and safety tech including lane departure warning, intelligent lane intervention and emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
Visia+, meanwhile, adds air con and stop/start, while Acenta gets 16in steel wheels, cruise control, a 7in touch screen and Apple Carplay. N-Connecta (are you keeping up with these catchy names?) has 16in alloys, a bit of leather trim, automatic air con and touch screen sat nav.
At the top is Tekna (£17,435), which is adorned with 17in alloys, more leather, intelligent key and start button, rear camera and parking sensors and a BOSE audio system that includes speakers in the driver’s headrest.
Engine-wise it’s pretty simple – two petrols and a diesel. The bog-standard petrol is a 1.0 with 71ps. It’s naturally aspirated and isn’t going to set your world on fire. But, as a base engine, CO2 of 103g/km and MPG of 61 make it an efficient option for those looking to keep both purchase price and running costs to a minimum.
But for those who like a bit of zip, the 0.9 turbo petrol, with 90ps, is clearly the choice. It makes 64 to the gallon on paper, with CO2 of 104g/km. Nissan also offers its DCI 90 diesel, a 1.5-litre unit with, unsurprisingly, 90ps as well. It’s the one for those looking for super efficiency, with 88mpg on paper and 92g/km.
It was the one that we tested and it’s nice and smooth, if not particularly powerful. While diesels often feel out of place in city cars like the Micra, it does feel like it’s mature enough now to handle an oil-burner. The petrols, notably the little turbo, do make more sense though unless your Micra is going to be doing big miles.
It’s a nice smooth and comfortable ride and it handles well, with good grip. The interior is smart, too. It has a premium feel to it; the materials are good quality and the overall finish is great.
All of that means that the Micra feels like it could easily be your only car, not just a runabout. It’s certainly a hugely tempting alternative to rivals like the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo, Skoda Fabia, Citroen C3 and Suzuki Swift, to name just a few.
The Micra feels like it’s come of age.
1. It looks great.
2. Efficient engines.
3. It feels like more than a runabout.
We don't like:
1. There’s not a huge amount of space in the back.
2. Average base engine.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The little 0.9 petrol zips along nicely.
Most sensible: The diesel has impressive economy figures.
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