The Japanese manufacturer will redouble its efforts in the B-segment hatchback category with an all-new Micra
1 March 2016

Nissan is planning a renewed foray into the hard-fought B-hatchback market in 2017 with an all-new Nissan Micra designed to hit the all-important UK market at about the same time as a completely revised version of the top-selling Ford Fiesta.

The model will represent a renewed effort in the sector for Nissan, whose past two Micras have not conformed to European B-segment norms in terms of size and specification.

Nissan's chief planning officer, Philippe Klein - who replaced Andy Palmer, now boss at Aston Martin - acknowledged that Nissan wants to move back into the heart of the sector.

"My feeling is that a world car that isn't suited to local conditions is a problem," he told Autocar at the 2016 Geneva motor show.

"We will make sure we are competitive where we want to compete."

Last year Nissan's executive vice-president, Trevor Mann, told Autocar that the next Micra will aim to win back customers with much-improved interior quality.

The current Micra has suffered because of poor perceived quality. However, Mann believes its successor - which will be based heavily on the Nissan Sway concept from the 2015 Geneva motor show - will be more worthy of the Micra name.

Although he said production of the car could, in theory, return to Nissan’s UK plant in Sunderland, he defended its current base in India.

“I don’t think you can blame India for the perception of quality,” he said. “You’ve got to blame the people who defined the product. The Micra’s not like that because it’s made in India. We have listened to feedback and I think you will see a big difference [in the next one].

“As for Sunderland, it was always a plant that was designed to be flexible. And it can make Micra. The debate is whether it can make it and make sense.”

Mann also said the Micra was likely to grow for its next incarnation, and this could open up room for a new, smaller Nissan city car. 

“It’s always a possibility,” he said, “but I think if you look at that segment, there are still not huge volumes in Europe. It’s something that we will continue to study to see if there are opportunities.”

Our Verdict

Nissan Micra
Its ambition is to be a world player, so will it show world-class ability?

The Nissan Micra is a supermini offering low running costs but in most other areas is below the class average

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Comments
8

23 July 2015
Why do motoring journalists write this piece every single time there's a new model about to be launched? Every single Astra has been the one that is going to launch Vauxhall into the premium sector, along with every Ford Focus and every Escort before the focus.

23 July 2015
Chris576 wrote:
Why do motoring journalists write this piece every single time there's a new model about to be launched? Every single Astra has been the one that is going to launch Vauxhall into the premium sector, along with every Ford Focus and every Escort before the focus.
I haven't heard that before about Vauxhall or Ford. I have seen it written about Honda, Volvo, Alfa Romeo. What they do always say is that percieved quality will go up in the new model. This is always true. The quality jump is easy to discern sitting in 1st gen and then current gen Ford Focus, let alone an 80's Escort.

23 July 2015
The budget brand Dacia has taken off well. People like a bargain, and perceived quality then seems less of an issue. The Micra always used to be extremely popular, it was almost a brand in itself, but was criticised on the perceived quality front once it moved to India production. I don't see many of them around. Maybe that car was wrongly priced, or the wrong car for the time, and the boat has been missed, others have got in. The styling and size of this latest iteration seem deserving of a fresh new name, I would have thought, and take it way away from the staid driving school and old people's car image. Nissan had the smaller Pixo but that seems to have been dropped and I find the comment on city car volumes interesting, I see a lot of city cars around, so it seems to work for others, in UK at least. I have no figures to back up this perception, though. Didn't the previous gen (Sunderland) Micra effectively morph into something called the Juke? Certainly to my eyes there were some noticeable styling cue carry-overs: if you pumped up the old Micra a bit and fitted big wheels, there you have it!

23 July 2015
Because the interior quality is the only thing wrong with the current India-built Micra...

23 July 2015
As Macaroni hints, it's not the perceived quality that's the problem. It's the fact that the car looks like a white good/appliance or fisher price car. This may appeal to the over 60s (probably not even them) but anyone younger wouldn't like it. Totally non-descript. At least the previous 'bubble' models had character, whether you liked them or not.

1 March 2016
StuM82 wrote:
... the car looks like a white good/appliance...
You beat me to it: the current one is crashingly dull, whatever its competencies as basic transport, and simply isn't cheap enough to compensate for this. Hopeully the next one will be better, but the Pulsar doesn't augur well.

23 July 2015
One of the best concept-turned-production-car is the Range Rover evoque. Stunning concept that didn't change when it was put into production. Nissan needs to do the same. The sway looks good. Very good in fact. Don't change a thing Nissan,. Have the Courage to just put it into production as it is.

29 January 2016
The best Micra IMHO was the last shaped one to look like a Fiat 500 and made in the UK. Bug eyed headlights and a thick shoulder line running down the back. Nissan went off boil when they shifted production to India AND other Asian markets to produce the same body shell that they currently sell. It suddenly went from a well developed drive to something far removed from driver feel and also became a generic shape. But what people seem to forget is that the NOTE 5 door mini MPV came off the 2009 platform as well. Micra hasn't morphed into a Juke, but rather morphed into both the NOTE model and the JUKE. The Renault Modus also used the same platform as the Micra, which begs the question to why Nissan don't just do a similar version? It all comes down to cost; even Indians don't like the Micra; they'd rather spend their money on the Datsun Go which uses the same platform or far more premium Hyundai i20.

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