Juliet McGuire

First drive in the new Nissan Micra

I can’t say I have ever really been a Nissan Micra fan. It just never really featured in any recommendations I may have given to friends and family looking to buy and it certainly never made it to the top of my list when it came to choosing my top budget buys. But Nissan has stepped it up and for the first time I look at the Micra with new eyes. (Gosh that sounds dramatic, but I like a bit of drama.)

The Nissan Micra Active will still be available for the more budget-conscious buyer, but this new Micra is the cat that lands amongst the fat pigeons that are the Volkswagen Polo, the Ford Fiesta, the Kia Rio and the Hyundai i20 to name but a few. Tough crowd!

The new Micra is a far more mature offering than before. It looks bloody good too. It’s longer and wider and overall just appears to offer more. The interior continues to impress and even from the entry-level Visia you can expect standard features such as a multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, hill-start assist and an auto-stop system (which is possibly one of my least favourite technologies ever invented, but I can’t get away from it so I am going to have to just accept the intrusive annoyance). Move up to the Acenta trim level and you are in for a seven-inch infotainment system which features Apple Car Play, and a five-inch colour drive display. The top of the range Acenta Plus model range adds things such as an orange interior (not my vibe) and selected exterior colours.

Nissan Micra interior

The seats are noticeably comfortable, something Nissan gets so right – the X-Trail houses some of the comfiest seats I have ever experienced in a car. The infotainment system I mentioned in the previous paragraph, although comprehensive, is somewhat finicky to use. I found myself having to press the screen a bit too hard to get some of the buttons to actually work. I imagine this will frustrate the crap out of a driver.

All new Micra’s house a 0.9-litre turbopetrol engine under the bonnet, the same you will find in the Renault Clio. I know, I know, you are thinking, “What the hell? That engine is far too small.” But let me put your mind at rest. It might be small but it has adequate power, 66 KW and 140 N.m to be exact, but more than that, it has enough oomph to give you a pleasant driving experience both in the city and on the highway. Like I say with all the cars in this and similar segments, you have to expect the performance you are paying for. If you go uphill and some punk in front of you slows down and you lose momentum, you will need to gear down and start the whole process over again. It is par for the course. Plus, you buggers who complain about lack of power, also want low fuel consumptions. Make up your minds! You will be happy to know the new Micra claims 5.1l/100 km.

Overall, this new product is something worth considering. It’s certainly not going to topple the Polo off its pedestal and I can’t see it taking sales away from the new Fiesta either (what an excellent product that is), but it will certainly be a different option for those who don’t like to follow the norm. Look at the Micra through my eyes and you will definitely want to give it a go.

NEW NISSAN MICRA PRICING

Micra Visia R233 500
Micra Acenta R257 400
Micra Acenta Plus R272 400

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