Micra C+C looks quirky, but drives well
Rear seats are largely for show
Essenza spec is generously equipped
Even with roof folded, boot space is generous
First DriveA facelift for the fourth-generation Nissan Micra still can't gloss over the fact that it looks and feels like a car built for developing markets
First DriveA clever Miller cycle, supercharged three cylinder add low emission zest and efficiency to this otherwise disappointing new-gen Micra
BY NISSAN’S OWN admission, the Micra C+C is a car for girls. So we showed it to some. ‘Nice colour.’ ‘Cool dashboard.’ ‘Looks a bit weird though.’ No-one was interested in how it drove.
Which is a shame, because the way it drives is one of the best things about the C+C. In this class of car, however, looks are more important, and that could be a problem. The Micra’s cute and nicely proportioned from the front, but walk round the car and it starts to look weird. The long bootlid, tiny rear side windows and high flanks are awkward, although the glass roof reduces the top-heavy effect. That long lid does mean there’s a class-leading amount of space inside the boot, though: 457 litres roof up, 255 roof down.
So how does cutting the roof off affect the way a Micra deals with ropey British roads? Roof up, it’s as if nothing’s changed. It deals with UK roads well and the chassis’s precision makes it fun, too. It grips with conviction, and although the steering could use more feel there’s enough weight and it reacts quickly. The 1.6-litre four-pot is willing enough, but gets noisy beyond 4000rpm.
Lower the roof and things deteriorate, however – shudders come through the sides and windscreen frame, although not through the steering column. It’s not perfect, but it won’t ruin your day – well, as long as you’re not to o bothered by scuttle shake and steering feel.
If you’re after an affordable, well-equipped cute cabrio with a trick glass roof and a big boot, this is it. Get over the peculiar profile with the roof up and it looks like a winner.