From £7,940
Sprightly and practical, but not a car for the enthusiast driver

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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14 September 2010

What is it?

This is Micra with a mission, built to meet the needs of many more markets than the last – 160 in all – which is why it’s less distinctively realised than the previous, UK-built K12 edition.

This is our first chance to try this Indian-built, global car on European roads, where it has been part-honed for by Nissan’s Cranfield engineering centre. Our test variant is equipped a 1.2-litre petrol 5dr.

See the test pics of the new Nissan Micra

What’s it like?

The good news first – the all-new, three-cylinder motor is a smooth spinner and unlike most of the breed, idles with barely a tremor.

Its 115g/km of CO2 and 56.5mpg are competitive too, especially for the entry-price, but it’s short of the eager zip of Suzuki’s new four cylinder 1.2 Swift engine.

The new (and conventional) suspension, mounted in a lighter, stiffer shell, rides decently enough, but mildly charging some damp Danish roundabouts had the front-end slithering like a landing duck on ice.

The electrically assisted steering may be better than some, but this Micra is not a car whose dynamics entertain. Instead, it’s better on practicalities. There’s more room in the rear, the boot is adequate, properly-folding rear seats provide a big, flat-floored loadspace and there’s plenty of in-cabin storage, including a well beneath a lift-up cushion in the front passenger seat.

Excellent, affordably-priced sat nav, sensors that reveal whether a parking space is Micra-sized and slender A-pillars make this an easier machine to man-handle. Less clever is an absent power socket.

Should I buy one?

Well, it’s keenly priced, well-equipped and will be cheap to run. But after the style of Nissan’s Qashqai and Juke, it’s easy to feel disappointed.

Next to the outgoing Micra this version looks older, boldness traded for lower common denominator global appeal – it lacks the visual (and dynamic) verve of a Swift or a Fiesta, and the smooth three-cylinder doesn’t compensate for its average dynamics and dull style.

Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta

Price: £10,595; Top speed: 106mph; 0-62mph: 13.7sec; Economy: 56.5mpg; CO2: 115g/km; Kerb weight: 915kg; Engine, type, cc: 3 cyls, 1198cc, petrol; Power: 79bhp at 6000rpm; Torque: 81lb ft at 4000rpm; Gearbox: 5-spd manual

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Comments
149

16 September 2010

This is really disappointing for Nissan. It looks like a rite turd. It looks a bit too "third world" IMO. It looks like it might fit in just nicely in a showroom selling Tata Nanos. This could be the next model up... Just. I thought I'd never say it.... I'd rather a Hyundai, and actually, by a considerable margin. Nissans larger cars are ok but their small cars like this and the pixo are just naff.

16 September 2010

Consumer warning: best before seeing it.

Looks dated. Needs a major facelift NOW. Why should a "world car" look dull? What sells in Europe, sells everywhere. I really waited for Nissan's new Micra because the current car is so unique and fun, but this... I'd buy almost anything else in this class. Shame on you, Nissan!

16 September 2010

i predict a huge sales success for this. People who buy Micras dont want flash, they want what they already know.Its a Nissan, its reliable, its cheap to buy and run, it doesnt look offensive. For the majority of people who would have considered a Micra theis car will provide everything they want at a lower price than they might have expected.

For some reason people on this forum think all new cars should be aimed at enthusiasts. Time for a reality check. Most cars are not bought by enthusiasts, most are people who just want to get from A to B. This might not be much more than automotive white goods, but thats just why it will sell so well.

16 September 2010

[quote artill]For some reason people on this forum think all new cars should be aimed at enthusiasts. Time for a reality check. Most cars are not bought by enthusiasts, most are people who just want to get from A to B. This might not be much more than automotive white goods, but thats just why it will sell so well. [/quote]

You're right...and for the rest of us there's the Juke! I'm not being sarcastic btw. I think the Juke is a great little car...

16 September 2010

[quote Scandinavian]I really waited for Nissan's new Micra because the current car is so unique and fun, but this... I'd buy almost anything else in this class. Shame on you, Nissan!
[/quote]

I looked at a Micra six years ago, but didn't buy it. This model looks as though it was designed and rejected in favour of the most recent model. The last one looked good, with headlights that mirrored the new Nissan Juke. The fact that the new one is only available as a 5 door will put off some people. Nissan designs seem to improve the higher up the food chain you are. The Pixo, new Micra and the Note just look low-rent, while from the Juke upwards they do look worth having. Perhaps the designers are following Renault's lead and just getting "cautious". Either that or world car designs have to be bland to suit emerging markets. Shame, really, because Ford's Fiesta seems to buck the trend.

K_A

16 September 2010

[quote Scandinavian] What sells in Europe, sells everywhere. [/quote]

Not quite. Like another member said, those who purchase a Micra will be more interested in reliability, running costs and vaule for money. Global orders have already exceeded 54,000 units in just 6 months; 3,000 in China, 4,000 in India, 21,900 in Japan and many more going to other countries.

I'm more concerned about the price however. A 1.2 Tekna 5dr manual is likely to set you back £14,500. I'm dreading how much Nissan will charge for the turbo-charged Micra in Tekna form...

While I've ordered a new Swift, I may cancel and check out the Micra instead.

16 September 2010

Whilst it's good to see something genuinely cheaper than the rest of the competition, and something that's also green, at the same time it's a shame that the car itself has to be so dull - both in terms of styling and range/variety. It just makes the Micra seem like too much of a cheap/value car. I'll be sad to see the previous-generation Micra go.

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

17 September 2010

I really like it. It´s just a plain car, not pretending to be anything else. Hopefully the marketing will reflect the design and not try to sell the thing as something sporty, fun, young, or whatever else is being branded as hip.

17 September 2010

Hang on a minute. So the new Micra is light, efficient, cheap as chips, comfortable and easy to drive. Isn't this what small cars are supposed to be? The car tested here is £1000 cheaper than a Fiesta with two fewer doors and 20 less horsepower, so I'll take that staid styling and dumb handling. Nissan may not please the enthusiast, but I think the company has judged the market well this time round.

18 September 2010

Is this £10.5K or £8.9? two different prices in the report, no explanation of the difference.

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