The new Nissan Micra has all of a sudden grown up, and by introducing a one for two model move Nissan has made the car sexy in a single stroke.
It has grown in size, capacity and it takes on a new persona that breaks the mould of the Micra of the past.
Last week, Nissan announced a host of changes in terms of design and specifications for the latest generation Micra.
You need to forget about the Micra of the past, because this new car offers so much more. This is no longer going to be the staid car of the older and more sensible drivers; even though age won’t be a deterrent to having some fun.
Everything about the Micra has changed including the fact that it has replaced both the old one and the slightly bigger Note. Relative to the old Micra, the new car is longer and wider, while being lower than in the past.
The design is very new and modern and it is in line with the rest of the cars in the Nissan range.
On the mechanical side the new Micra has new engines, three in all, two of which are petrol, and a third diesel engine option. The petrol engines are three-cylinder ones, one of which comes with a turbo-charger, while the diesel option is the 1.5-litre Renault developed engine that’s widely used in both Nissan and Renault cars.
I was surprised that Nissan didn’t introduce an electric drive option as this is very much a city car, given Nissan’s impressive Leaf electric car experience. Nissan has a new Leaf on the way for 2018 and James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland said that he would not be surprised to also see an electric version in the near future.
The new 0.9-litre turbo-petrol engine is an impressive one, developing 90bhp with plenty of torque at 140Nm for an engine of this size. Out on the road, the car delivered an impressive performance and on the M3 motorway to Navan it showed its ability.
Being a relatively small petrol engine can push the rev counter into the uneconomical zone and that’s when the engine revs come close to 3000rpm.
At that speed the car achieves the motorway maximum of 120km/hr and the Micra was steady and powerful on the road with no hint of its three-cylinder design configuration.
Nissan claims that this new engine has given improved fuel economy with a combined economy figure of 23km/litre (4.4/100km or 64mpg). In theory that should give a range of over 900km given the car’s 41 litre fuel tank capacity. City driving will probably be less, but it is still a relatively economical smaller car.
In performance and size terms, this new Nissan Micra is a match for the best.
The improved engine is great to drive and meets all of the economy and CO2 standards giving relatively low cost motoring.
The turbo-petrol engine is the better option but it adds €1,000 to the entry price.
This engine is more powerful and slightly more economical and that’s what you’ll be paying the extra money for.
The standard specification Micra comes in the entry XE grade with a high level of specification.
This includes 15-inch steel wheels/covers, LED daytime running lights, electric door mirrors with integrated turn signals, electric front windows, rear spoiler, hill start assist, trip computer with gear-shift indicator and outside temperature read-out, manual air conditioning, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rake/reach adjustable steering wheel, two-tone dashboard.
The top SVE grade Micra was available to me for the car launch and that’s €4,000 more expensive than the entry car.
This version comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, Nissan Intelligent Key with engine start button, rear view camera with rear parking sensors, BOSE Personal audio system with six speakers, safety pack, leather steering wheel and gearshift, three rear headrests and SVE black and grey cloth trim.
So there’s a lot of kit in there, making the car feel so much more impressive than the Micra of old.
This new Micra will break the mould in terms of the car’s perception.
The entry prices are temptingly competitive relative to the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, while this car seems bigger and is more exciting and modern to look at.
The new generation Micra has changed and it’s here.